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Hotel Impossible and The Charles Inn

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BANGOR - The landscape of Downtown Bangor changed this summer when 'Hotel Impossible' visited The Charles Inn. The episode, titled 'Ex Marks the Spot,' airs Tuesday, Nov. 24 on the Travel Channel. As a result of the episode, former owner Connie Boivin decided to sell the business. Leanne Hewey, a local hotel manager, and her husband arranged a deal with Connie to lease the business. Although not everything will be known until the episode airs, I talked to Leanne Hewey, who is now in charge of The Charles Inn. 'As it went along we found out Connie didn't want to be in the hotel business anymore,' Hewey said. 'She wanted to be with her grandchildren and go back to Florida where all her friends are. She decided that she was done.'

Hewey first got involved in the episode when Anthony Melchiorri, host of 'Hotel Impossible,' called in Hewey as an expert. Hewey made herself known in the community when she helped create a bill that would exempt innkeepers from becoming landlords. This change helped protect innkeepers from squatters. Before, people could show up and stay in a hotel room, and if they stopped paying it could be a three to six-month process to have them evicted. It was her legal experience that caused her to be selected as an expert, as she recounted: 'I don't know all the details, but there was supposedly an employee that the former owner didn't want there; she had let them go and asked them to leave. They would not leave and continued to come to work. That's why I was brought into the show.' Hewey's husband was also brought in to inspect the general shape of the building.

One of the biggest changes made was the closing of The Big Easy Lounge, a popular spot for drinks and live music. It was closed because it was hurting the hotel's business. Much of that is attributed to noise.

Hewey has big plans for the Charles: 'We are up 27 percent over last year. We are doing well, but we could be doing better.' Part of the plan to revitalize the inn involves working with other downtown businesses and adding themed rooms. 'We are just about to finish the Veterans Valor room,' she said, which is dedicated to the nine Medal of Honor recipients in the area.

'If people come in, we will show them what has been done as long the space is available. Take a tour, see our story, see what we are doing and how we are going to turn The Charles Inn back into a community hotel so it can become the historical hotel it deserves to be.'

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