Orleans Interested in Leasing Nauset Knoll Motor Lodge

ORLEANS – The Town of Orleans is expressing its interest in acquiring the soon-to-be available Nauset Knoll Motor Lodge.

The National Park Service has been accepting bids for a ten-year lease of Nauset Knoll, located on Cape Cod National Seashore property in Orleans.

The motel is situated on the hill near the entrance to Nauset Beach, supplying the building, and those who occupy it, with an astonishing view in both directions. The lease for the motel expires on April 30.

The Cape Cod National Seashore, under the umbrella of the National Park Service, will be hosting an open house at the motel on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.

Town Administrator John Kelly says the current lease stands at a cost of $30,000 per year, with the Town of Orleans collecting an additional $10,000 in annual taxes from the property.

“We don’t have a project that we can present to the Seashore that’s been approved by town meeting, that’s been funded, so we’re basically looking at moving into the facilities and what we can use them for short-term,” Kelly explained.

“What we would like to do is consider a short-term option of 1-5 years that would allow us to relocate the Nauset Beach Administration, the first aid station, and the store, which is currently at the beach, into the manager’s office and residence area and operate that. We would also relocate the gazebo to the site and improve the access to the beach.”

The Seashore is seeking a long-term lease and hopes to secure a lease by spring of 2019.

Kelly and other town officials speculate that the town could relocate the administration office, first aid station, and beach store into the motel manager’s office, garage, and residence. With bids for the lease due by December 17, the Seashore estimates it should be accepting a lease January 31.

“The balance of the property would remain as green space. This would allow the town to secure the property for five years, allow the town to decide what it might want to do long-term with some of the projects this board has talked about, and also give us an opportunity to see if we can negotiate with the Seashore to acquire the property, or a much a longer term lease.”, Kelly said.

“That would allow us to put the resources in without the concern that in 5-10 years we’d lose control of the property, similar to what happened up in Truro with the golf course.”

The 12-unit motel has only been used as a motel, but the Seashore will consider other uses for it, including potential use as a restaurant, an education center, a commercial property, or for municipal services. The property also features a shed, garage, an office, and a decorative windmill that can be used for storage.

The Seashore asks potential lessees to outline their plans for the property, and advise that the lessee is responsible for insurance, utilities, and maintenance.

As the only lodging facility on the Cape Cod National Seashore, it’s likely that if the town is not the next lessee, it will keep running a motel.

Interested parties can contact Brandon Flint at 508-957-0736. Forms are also available online.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center

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