If you're a Gilmore Girls addict who romanticizes the idea of being a small-town innkeeper (or if you're just tired of the daily grind), do we have a contest for you. Janice Sage, who owns the 210-year-old Center Lovell Inn and Restaurant in Lovell, Maine, is set to retire and she plans to choose her replacement based on an essay contest, the .
It's an unconventional situation, but it's exactly how she acquired the inn 22 years ago, even though she had never been to Maine before winning the contest.
The theme of the contest is "Why I would like to own and operate a country inn," and it costs $125 to enter (plus a stamp). Submissions must be postmarked by May 7. Sage says she expects 7,500 entries, which would bring in well over $900,000 for her retirement fund.
She plans to read all essays by May 17, and then she'll pass on the top 20 to two area residents whose identities will not be disclosed. The judges will select a winner by May 21, and the inn will be transferred within 30 days after that.
Aside from working strenuous 17-hour days on the 12-acre property, there are some other strings attached for the lucky winner. They must maintain the property as a country inn and restaurant for at least a year after the transfer, keep the building painted white, and maintain the roofing and shutters in forest green, hunter green, or black.
The new owner will receive some assistance in the form of $20,000 in upstart funding, as well as some advice from Sage herself.
"Just breeze on through and don't let things bother you. Enjoy, just enjoy."
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