Bar Harbor Golf Course unlikely to open this year

TRENTON — The Bar Harbor Golf Course will likely not open this year — leaving many local golfers scrambling for other courses to play.

Paul Crowley of Falmouth, whose family has owned the property since the early ’80s, confirmed Tuesday that the family has no plans to open the course this year.

“We’re not going to open it,” said Crowley, whose late brother, Charlie, operated the course for 30 years.

“It’s for sale,” Crowley said. “If it was purchased, it could conceivably open. It wouldn’t open on our watch. It would be under a new owner.”

“My father [Paul Sr.] was the first owner, he bought it back in the 1980s,” he said. “My brother Charlie really ran it for 30 years. He was really the face of the course. He passed last July suddenly.”

The family “limped” along for the rest of the 2018 season after Charlie’s passing, he said.

But, it isn’t possible for other Crowleys to run the golf club.

“The rest of the family lives hours away,” Crowley said. “There really isn’t any way we can do it remotely. It’s the kind of business that you have to have an owner on site.”

“Certainly we wish there was a way to keep it open,” Crowley said. “There really isn’t any way we can do it besides sell it and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

LandVest Real Estate broker Story Litchfield of Northeast Harbor has the listing.

The 180-plus-acre course is listed at $2.49 million.

“The Bar Harbor Golf Course offers an exceptional opportunity with a wide range of options and great investment potential; it’s unusual to have such a large, undeveloped waterfront parcel within such close proximity to Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island and the Ellsworth areas,” Litchfield says in the property description.

The 18-hole golf course was designed by architect Phil Wogan. The property includes about 5,000 feet of shorefront along an estuary of Frenchman Bay and offers views of nearby mountains in Acadia.

At least two golfers, who suspected the club might not open this season, have joined Kebo Valley Golf Club in Bar Harbor, according to David Closson, club manager for Kebo.

“We’re getting interest and we hope to pick up a good share,” Closson said.

The Down East Family YMCA, which has held an annual tournament at the course every August to raise scholarship funds, is making alternate plans in light of the uncertainty about the course’s future.

“We have to have a back-up plan,” said Peter Farragher, the Y’s chief executive officer.

Right now the Y is planning to “piggyback” on the Ellsworth Rotary Club’s annual blueberry pancake breakfast to be held Saturday, Aug. 3, Farragher said.

The Rotary Club intends to host the breakfast under a big white tent in the Y parking lot. The tent will stay up for the Y’s fundraiser that evening.

“Right now we know we’re going to utilize the tent and we’ll transform it for the evening,” Farragher said. “We’re going to have a really nice event that celebrates Ellsworth. We’ve got a committee of people working on this. I’m thinking it’s something that could turn into a tradition.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article listed an incorrect listing price. The property is for sale for $2.49 million.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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