The West Point Development Corporation will continue to own and operate the West Point Lighthouse.
Harvey Stewart, the corporation’s president, reported Tuesday that a private sector offer to purchase the lighthouse is off the table. The corporation’s board of directors met Monday night to discuss the purchase offer.
“After we hashed it all through, it wasn’t going to work out,” Stewart summarized the discussion.
Stewart said it is business as usual for the lighthouse. It will open June 1 for what he anticipates will be a very busy season. Advance bookings already have the rooms in the lighthouse inn at near 90 per cent occupancy for the season, he indicated.
“It’s been growing, big-time, the last three years,” he said.
Stewart was non-committal on whether the corporation is open to other offers. “We’re taking a breather,” he responded.
Carol Livingstone of West Point, who had been critical of the lighthouse sales talks, expressed relief Tuesday that the sale is off the table. She felt it should never have been considered in the first place.
Stewart said the whole process has been positive, creating renewed interest locally in the lighthouse and its role in the community. “People want to step up and help out,” he reported.
He admitted the corporation is in need of more members. Membership, which was once around 90, has shrunk to almost half. “It’s the same with all boards across the Island,” he said.
Livingstone agrees with Stewart’s assessment.
“Sometimes it’s easy to sort of sit back and think everything is going fine and not realize it is a big burden on a small number of people,” she considered. “I think it has made people realize we all have to step forward.”
There was also a Friends and Protectors of the West Point Lighthouse Facebook group formed in response to the potential sale which has close to 240 followers.
“Sometimes you have to almost lose something to really appreciate what you almost lost.” Livingstone said she certainly hopes to become more involved with the corporation beyond the lighthouse promotion service she had been providing. She has been a member of the corporation from its inception.
Stewart suggested the process of looking at a potential sale was also a good one for the young entrepreneur, Zack Stewart to go through.
He reported the structure is in good condition. The exterior was re-painted and an additional 25 meters of seawall protection was added last year.