Ram’s Head Inn co-owner James Eklund said Thursday that following a meeting that Easton Porter representative Michael Donovan had with Ram Island neighbors, he suspected the company would not proceed with its plans to buy the property.
There have been a few others looking at the Ram’s Head Inn — “There are always people looking. Hopefully, they’re the right people,” Mr. Eklund said.
“For the moment, we’re still there,” he said about plans he and his wife Linda Eklund have for continuing to operate the Ram’s Head until a buyer is identified.
But he said he would encourage anyone who develops a plan to buy the Inn to be willing to make it public and get ahead of the curve before neighbors start spinning their own versions of plans.
The original story about Easton Porter deciding not to buy the Inn appears below:
Easton Porter has withdrawn its plans to invest in the Ram’s Head Inn. Word came just before 6 p.m. today and after the press deadline for the Reporter’s print edition to be published on Thursday.
“We always take a long-term view of business investments and must have all of the basics covered — scale, seasonality, access, parking,” said an email from Curry Uflacker, the media representative of Easton Porter.
“While Shelter Island and Ram’s Head are a unique opportunity, the small scale and extent of infrastructure investment render it challenging to meet our underwriting criteria,” said Dean Porter Andrews, co-founder and chief executive officer of the Easton Porter Group. “We are expanding our hospitality group and are completing investment analysis of other larger hotels as a priority for our independent hotels and resorts expansion plan.”
Easton Porter examined all aspects of the investment from developing and enhancing the scope of the resort business to providing state-of-the-art aquifer and water treatment solutions to comply with health and engineering code, Mr. Andrews said. The company understood and respected the “fragility of the environment and the need to mitigate any potential impact,” he said.
“We believe in the opportunity for the Ram’s Head Inn as a resort in a unique destination and we are disappointed that it ultimately did not meet our investment criteria,” Mr. Andrews said.
The company plans to explore other Suffolk County opportunities and possible sites in the coastal New York region, he said.
Easton Porter appreciated the efforts the Inn’s owners Linda and James Eklund made, noting that the Inn has “tremendous potential in the right hands,” Mr. Andrews said.
The Eklunds could not be reached. Mr. Eklund said at a meeting on Monday night that the Inn would be sold to someone if the Easton Porter purchase failed to work out.
At a meeting with Ram Island neighbors last week, Easton Porter partner Michael Donovan said two issues would be deal killers: The company wouldn’t proceed with the purchase without the neighbors’ support, and it wouldn’t be willing to enter into a lawsuit to push its objectives.