CARIBOU, Maine — A longtime local hotel will soon become a nationally known chain’s first inn located in Aroostook County.
The Crown Park Inn on Access Highway in Caribou will reopen its doors as the Quality Inn on Oct. 16. Quality Inn already has locations in central and southern Maine.
Owner AJ Dhillon purchased the Crown Park from previous owner Dana Cassidy in December, 2022. Dhillon did not disclose the purchase price. Dhillon signed a branding deal with Quality Inn’s parent company, Choice Hotels, in April.
Dhillon and hotel manager Mujeeb Mahmoodi began a $5 million full renovation of the hotel last December. All 60 rooms feature new furniture, bedding and bathrooms. There is also an expanded lobby, newly paved parking lot, new flooring and stairs throughout, as well as wheelchair accessible entrances, new laundry facilities, vending and ice machines.
This is the first time the hotel has undergone a renovation in at least 40 years, Dhillon said.
Dhillon has replaced the building’s former metal siding with a stone facade. Work is still being completed on the hotel’s exterior and entranceway, he said, and a permanent Quality Inn sign will arrive within the next month.
After purchasing the hotel, Dhillon wanted to sign on a national hotel to better promote what the hotel and Caribou region has to offer. Dhillon also owns SureStay by BestWestern in Presque Isle, Comfort Inn & Suites in Scarborough and BestWestern hotels in Albany, New York, and Boston.
“We were already part of the local market [in Presque Isle] and thought that this would be a good way to expand,” Dhillon said.
Thirty-two of the Caribou Quality Inn’s rooms are already booked for guests. Dhillon hopes to coordinate with Cary Medical Center in Caribou to possibly bring traveling nurses and doctors to the hotel for long-term stays.
Mahmoodi and Dhillon eventually want to open a restaurant inside the hotel. For now, they have expanded breakfast options through the Quality Inn’s menu.
Mahmoodi and Dhillon hope that Caribou’s outdoor recreational opportunities and business growth will entice more visitors.
“We hope that being part of a national brand will bring in people from other states,” Dhillon said. “It would be good for the area if we could bring more tourists.”