Learn about how Fireside Inn & Suites Belfast got started, how we grew, and the wonderful town of Belfast that we call home.
Kathy Caswell, originally from Boston, Massachusetts, moved to Maine in 1986, worked as a real estate broker and opened an agency with three partners. An entrepreneur, she began to look for a business of her own and soon found and purchased the Ocean’s Edge Motel (it formerly had been the Bay Motel). In 1991, Kathy married David Caswell, a Newport, Rhode Island native who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam war. They became business partners as well as husband and wife. After acquiring several lots near the Ocean’s Edge Motel, the Caswells tore down the old property and, in 1996, built the 52-room Comfort Inn Ocean’s Edge. David, who holds a heating and plumbing license, supervised the construction, worked alongside the contractors and did much of the plumbing for the project. A 31-room addition and restaurant/lounge were built in 1998.
As the business prospered, the Caswells purchased a home near the shore adjacent to the hotel property. They also renovated two cottages and made them available for seasonal rental.
The Caswells were very directly involved in the day-to-day management of the hotel and are responsible for its success. They worked on the front desk, cleaned rooms and did maintenance. They hired excellent people and gave great service. Kathy’s influence was evident in the beautifully decorated and impeccably clean rooms.
The Caswells have a reputation for being honest, hardworking business leaders who have been active in the community. Kathy has served on the Belfast Chamber of Commerce board of directors and was selected as the Chamber’s Business Person of the Year in 1997. David served on the school board. The couple has been involved in a variety of other business ventures including the Franconia Village Hotel in Franconia, New Hampshire and the Gull Motel here in Belfast.
We thank the Caswells for the great job they have done and we wish Dave and Kathy great success and happiness as they move to their new home in Florida. It was their vision that made this hotel possible.
Lafayette Hotels, a family owned and operated hotel company based in Bangor, Maine, purchased the hotel from the Caswell’s in 2003. Lafayette Hotels has tried to continue the legacy of hospitality that David and Cathy started. We are about to embark on our 20th year of owning and operating the hotel and look forward to another 20! If you would like to learn more about Lafayette Hotels or see the other properties we have across Maine and New Hampshire, please go to Visitlafayettehotels.com.
Belfast, Maine, formerly a prosperous shipbuilding center, is a community resplendent with restored Federal and early Victorian homes built by former sea merchants. The city, located on Penobscot Bay, is becoming a cultural center with artists, writers and craftspeople adding to the economic revival of Waldo County.
Discover the history of Belfast with Museum in the Streets or explore the Belfast Rail Trail on the Passagassawaukeag. Hint: the locals call it the Passy. The rail-trail follows the route of the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad, a passenger and freight line which operated from 1871 to 2007 between Belfast and Burnham Junction. The trail begins in downtown Belfast. From there, the crushed-stone, tree-lined trail heads northwest paralleling the river ending at the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad. The train still operates on the weekends throughout the summer.