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January 26. 2013 7:25PM

Shuttered Gunstock Inn attracting interest from potential buyers


After seven years of owning the historic Gunstock Inn, the Bastille family was forced to close. Several potential buyers have toured the inn since it closed, and a few have made offers. (COURTESY)

GILFORD -­­ After seven years of owning the historic Gunstock Inn, the Bastille family was forced to close its doors last week.

The family - Richard, Maurine, Ed and Louise - bought the inn and its fitness center in 2006, and did their best to keep the 90-year-old inn's character while maintaining its reputation as one of the area's finest establishments.

But in the years after they took over the inn, the sour economy caused a drop in business, Richard Bastille said. The family has been trying to sell the inn in past months as they kept the business going, but last week the family's bank stepped in and forced them to close its doors.

"We put a lot of our lives into the inn," Bastille said. "It's sad to have to leave."

But there is a silver lining of sorts, he said. Several potential buyers have toured the inn since it closed and a few have made offers, and though the bank has not yet accepted any of the bids, the family is hopeful.

"It would be nice if someone took over and kept the inn as it should be, as we have," he said. "That would make us happy, if the right owner took over."

The real estate market's downturn has made selling the business difficult, he said. The family bought the 25-room inn and its popular fitness center for $1.1 million, but its selling price is presently $610,000, Bastille said.

The inn, which is located near the entrance to Gunstock Mountain Resort, has been a mainstay of the town. Originally built to house the workers who helped build the resort, the inn was once called "The Baraks." Skiers have made up a large part of the inn's clientele over the years, he said.

The inn's beautiful architecture and its spacious views of the Lakes Region have drawn the attention of Les Schuster, owner of the Lazy Inn and Lake Side Getaway in Laconia and the Bear Tree Lodge in Meredith.

Schuster wants to buy the inn and has made a formal offer that was not accepted by the bank, which has been cautious about buyers thus far, Bastille said.

"There was nothing wrong with my offer, no problems at all, but the banks are being very particular now about who they sell to," he said.

Schuster said he's not giving up, though. "I'm looking for another investor, and hopefully that will satisfy the bank," he said.



dseufert@newstote.com



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