Columbus Day weekend has passed, typically the last hurrah here in Boothbay Harbor, after which many restaurants, hotels, and other businesses close for the season. We had guests in for the week following, but with Halloween (and colder weather) coming up we have also now closed up for the season -- plumbing drained, beds stripped, and so on.
This was quite a year for Harborfields! We were the site of 5 large weddings, two in June and three in September. These all went very well, thanks to our terrific wedding couples and their families and friends. Everyone seemed to have a great time, and we look forward to seeing many of these guests return to Harborfields in the future. We’ve been giving quite a few tours to wedding couples looking for a venue for 2015, with one booking pending and a couple of others still trying to decide.
The weddings, along with our many returning guests, have pushed our occupancy numbers to record highs (at least in recent memory). Despite this, our water consumption has declined, and electricity usage held steady. We have been monitoring the water use carefully all summer as we are hoping to be allowed to add the last two cottages to the big subsurface waster water disposal field built in May 2013. Our measured peak water usage rate (for all of the cottages) of 1,272 gallons per day, which occurred over four days in August, is only 65% of the design flow capacity of the new leach field, so hopefully we will get a green light. Last winter’s toilet replacement project, swapping out all of the old 4 to 6 gallon-per-flush toilets for modern 1.6 gpf fixtures no doubt helped a lot.
We continue to push ahead with incremental improvements (while trying to keep up with ongoing maintenance). It is a never-ending battle to keep the cottages standing, weather-proof, and functioning, as well as to maintain (and open up) the views. When we have a chance to sit down and add it all up, we will tell you just how many tens of gallons of stain our worker, Jake, applied to the cottages and decks this year.
So we are now looking ahead to next year. We already have about 9 weeks of confirmed reservations on the books from returning guests! But we would really like to hear from the rest of you -- most especially from those who know that you will not be able to come back for the same week / same cottage you had this year. This allows us to make your week available to others now, rather than having to wait until January 1st -- we are already getting inquiries for the 2015 vacation season! For those who are planning to come back, but haven’t let us know your intentions yet, please do! Don’t worry if you can’t afford to put down your deposit now, we can wait on that, although if you do confirm with payment before Thanksgiving, you will be guaranteed 2014 rates before any 2015 rates might take effect. For this year we will stick with the January 1st date for holding your cottage, but we are thinking about moving that up to December 1 in the future.
For our part, Bennett is now in his Junior year at Keene High School back in New Hampshire. He did a great job this summer as a boat rental agent for West Harbor Recreation, Inc. Now he is looking for work after school, and looking ahead to the upcoming ski season (as are we all, although we know that snow is an anathema to many of you!) Wendy was holding down the fort at Harborfields this fall while Tim returned to the classrooms at Keene State College (although he has been coming back to Harborfields every weekend!).
Speaking of West Harbor Recreation, Inc., our boat rentals had a good season as well, aided in no small part by the generally awesome weather we experienced this summer and fall. The fleet of boats that WHRI will have available for rent next year is currently in flux -- the Sea Sprite has been sold, and the Handy Billy might be going elsewhere as well, but we will have an Eastern 19 center console joining the fleet, and who knows what else!
While we do want to hear from you about your plans for vacationing at Harborfields in 2015, we also know that others would like to read about your experiences here as well. We welcome your reviews on TripAdvisor.com, InsiderPages.com, or Yelp.com; If you stayed in the 1780 Farmhouse, you could also review your stay on FlipKey.com (Wedding couples can review Harborfields as a wedding venue on WeddingWire.com or TheKnot.com). We strive to provide you with a uniquely special experience whenever you visit Harborfields, for whatever reason, and we really value your feedback towards that effort. Thank you to all who have submitted reviews, filled out our comment sheet, or sent notes. We are humbled by the warmth of your feelings for the place and greatly appreciate all of your support!
Tim, Wendy, and Bennett
Harborfields Waterfront Vacation Cottages
on the shores of West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Tim and Wendy Thorpe Allen, proprietors
The Harborfields Herald newsletter is published annually in the fall, with maybe a few other short updates in the winter, spring, and summer.
PO Box 524
West Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04575