STANHOPE BEACH - Danny Murphy is planning to raise Stanhope Beach Resort from its ashes.
© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
"We're leaning towards rebuilding,'' Murphy told The Guardian Monday.
The president of D.P. Murphy Hotels and Resorts wants the historic tourism accommodation, which first accepted guests in the mid-1800s, to be rebuilt to its former grandeur.
The resort and convention centre was lost in a blaze on April 23. The Fire Marshal's Office concluded the fire was accidental, having started in a flowerbed outside the landmark tourism operation.
The resort had 85 rooms, from traditional to luxurious multi-bedroom cottages. A new 200-seat conference centre was also added.
Stanhope Beach Resort reopened in 2010 under its new and current owners, Murphy and his wife Martie.
Murphy hopes construction will begin on the resort in the spring of 2014 and be ready to open for the 2015 season.
He will have more details in about a month.
Loss of the resort, with its stunning waterfront location that Murphy has described as a prime tourist spot, has been palpable.
"Oh, it's huge,'' says Murphy.
"It's been there for so long. People really miss it.''
At peak tourist season, the resort employed close to 100 people.
Murphy says staff have found other jobs but notes "senior people are hopeful we rebuild.''
High winds and wind direction at the time of the fire contributed to the advanced spread of the fire throughout the facility. Firefighters from five different departments fought the blaze.
All that remained when the flames subsided were the chimney pillars. A total of four buildings, some of them adjoining, were leveled in the fire.