Governor Paul LePage Recreates Opening Ceremony Tossing the Key into Casco Bay

Westin Portland GM Jeff Burrell, Maine Governor Paul LePage and Nat Thompson grandson of hotel founder Henry Rines toss ceremonial keys (made from eco-friendly fish food) into Casco Bay as a symbolic wish that the hotel will remain open forever.

Celebrating 90 years since Governor Richard Brewster opened the doors and threw away the key, the Westin Portland Harborview, a Rockbridge portfolio hotel managed by New Castle Hotels & Resorts, today launched a summer-long series of commemorative activities with Governor Paul R. LePage recreating the time-honored gesture.

Governor LePage along with hotel General Manager Jeffery Burrell  and Nat Thompson a grandson of the hotel’s founder,

Portland business owner Henry P. Rines, hopped a ride to the waterfront in a Gatsby-style vintage 1933 Packard to toss a commemorative key into Casco Bay.  Hotel industry tradition suggests that because hotels are always open to travelers, they don’t need to lock their doors. Throwing away the key symbolizes a wish that the hotel will remain open for all time.

The classic car returned to Congress Square, adjacent to the hotel, for passersby to pose for photos and socialize for Throwback Thursday using the hashtag #WestinME90.

GM Jeff Burrell with New Castle Vice President Don Urbahn celebrate the anniversary in style.  

At a reception marking the occasion with a cake made by East End Cupcakes from 90 Westin-inspired 90th anniversary cupcakes, Burrell announced a summer-long celebration.

“Historic hotels like the Westin Portland Harborview played an important role in the evolution of the city and it’s important to honor that contribution, share the memories, and tell the stories,” said Burrell.  “Our tribute is a nod to the past with contemporary twists that we think today’s guests will appreciate.”

At the 90th Anniversary celebration of the Westin Portland Harborview, David Rines, Julie Thompson Rines and Nat Thompson, grandchildren of Eastland Hotel Founder Henry P. Rines. 


Historic Timeline Exhibit

Chronicling the history of the hotel from groundbreaking in 1925, when the Rines family set out to build New England’s largest hotel, to its restoration in 2013 by current ownership group Rockbridge Capital, the exhibit is located in the hotel lobby and highlights the hotel’s evolution over 90 years.  The display is enhanced by a Jazz-era soundtrack curated especially for the occasion.


Rates Worth Remembering

            Hotel guests can celebrate with memorable savings when booking two or three nights at the Westin  Portland Harborview.

  • Sunday- Thursday – Book a one or two-night stay at the advertised daily rate and pay just $90 for the second or third night.
  • Friday and Saturday – Book a one or two-night stay at the advertised daily rate and pay just $190 for the second or third night.

90 Good Deeds

To demonstrate its appreciation to the city of Portland and its neighbors, Westin Portland Harborview will perform 90 good deeds, large and small.   The hotel team launched the effort recently by volunteering time at the Milestone Foundation and participating in a community clean-up, in conjunction with the Maine Innkeeper’s Association.

“We think that every day should include some measure of surprise and delight, so we will be on the lookout for opportunities to do good deeds.  Among our core values is a genuine commitment to serve our world. We are honored to preserve the heritage of hospitality that our building represents and strive to continuously give back to our community.” said Burrell.

Hotel friends and neighbors are invited to share their own good deeds through the social media hashtag #WestinME90.

“A 90th anniversary is a noteworthy milestone in the life of any business, so we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate with the people that made it possible – our Portland neighbors, our guests and our associates,” said Burrell.

Located in the heart of Portland’s Arts District at 157 High Street, the 289-room and suite Westin Portland Harborview is the result of an 18-month, $50+ million renovation that transformed a beloved, 1920’s era grand dame into the city’s most elegant hotel.  The Westin Portland Harborview is within easy walking distance of the city’s best dining, shopping and art galleries, as well as the Old Port District. Recently ranked the “fifth hippest city in the U.S.” by Travel & Leisure magazine readers and the “#1 Foodiest Small Town” by Bon Appetit, Portland is celebrated for its live music scene, fine dining, independent boutiques and eco-friendly lifestyle.