Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon Welcomes New Ownership Amidst Speculation on Future Changes

Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon Welcomes New Ownership Amidst Speculation on Future Changes

The Sylvia Beach Hotel, an iconic oceanfront retreat in Newport, Oregon, has recently changed ownership after 40 years.

This beloved establishment, known for its stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and its unique literary theme, has been acquired by John Lee, managing director of VIP Hospitality Group, for an undisclosed amount.

The former owners, Goody Cable and Sally Ford, who have been the heart and soul behind the hotel’s charm, have officially passed the torch, raising concerns among locals about potential changes under the new management.

The End of an Era

Goody Cable and Sally Ford poured their hearts into transforming the Sylvia Beach Hotel into a haven for book lovers.

When they purchased the property in March 1987, it was a dilapidated structure with a leaky roof and unstable foundations. Despite its run-down condition, Ford was immediately captivated by the building’s potential.

“When I first saw that dilapidated old place, I just loved it,” she reminisced. The duo embarked on a journey of extensive renovations, adding four fireplaces, a new kitchen and dining room, and an additional 21 bathrooms.

A Tribute to Literature

The Sylvia Beach Hotel is not just a place to stay; it is an experience deeply rooted in the love of literature. Each room is themed after famous authors such as Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and J.K. Rowling, providing guests with a unique and immersive experience.

The hotel’s library, boasting a vast collection of classic tomes, invites guests to disconnect from modern distractions like TVs and Wi-Fi, and instead, immerse themselves in the joy of reading.

Fostering Connections

One of the hotel’s most cherished traditions is its encouragement of social interaction among guests. During dinners in the hotel’s dining room, guests are invited to engage in parlor games and conversations, fostering a sense of community and friendship.

This emphasis on human connection and shared experiences has been a hallmark of the Sylvia Beach Hotel, making it a beloved destination for visitors seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The First Guest and Early Days

The hotel’s early days were humble and quirky. Ford recalls the first guest as a “little guy in a white sailor’s uniform” who, despite not staying the night, made a lasting impression.

Over time, the hotel’s picturesque location and unique charm drew more visitors, transforming it into a popular tourist destination.

Concerns and Hopes for the Future

The announcement of the hotel’s sale has stirred a mix of emotions among its fans and regular visitors. Some have expressed concern over potential modernizations that might alter the hotel’s unique character.

On social media, one fan suggested, “We should all chip in and buy it ourselves,” while another lamented the possibility of the hotel “going all corporate.”

However, there are also voices of optimism. One former guest noted, “The building will be here long after we’re all gone,” expressing hope that the new owners will respect and preserve the hotel’s legacy.

A New Chapter Begins

John Lee and VIP Hospitality Group have assured that they will honor the hotel’s storied past while making necessary updates. “Sally and Goody have built a successful business and brand with a worldwide following for four decades,” Lee acknowledged.

The new owners plan to immerse themselves in understanding the hotel’s unique qualities before making any significant changes.

“There’s a lot to learn and digest, and we will be immersing ourselves into the business over the next several months to figure out the next steps, including necessary capital investments to renovate all areas of the hotel,” Lee added.

Reflecting on a Legacy

The decision to sell the hotel was influenced by personal circumstances, including the passing of Ford’s brother Ken Payton, who managed the front desk, and Cable suffering a stroke four years ago.

Despite the bittersweet farewell, both Cable and Ford take immense pride in what they have accomplished. “I’m going to miss it terribly,” Cable confessed. “I’m going to really miss a lot of the guests and the dinners.”

As the Sylvia Beach Hotel embarks on this new chapter, its loyal patrons and new visitors alike will watch with anticipation, hoping that the new owners will preserve the essence of this beloved literary haven while guiding it into a promising future


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