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Mystic — An iconic staple of the region's tourism promotions is up for sale.
The Inn at Mystic, a sprawling property that includes 67 motel rooms, the Flood Tide Restaurant and a turn-of-the-20th-century mansion known for hosting weddings, has been listed for $8.5 million, Rick Weiner of William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty in Essex said Wednesday.
"It's one of the most spectacular sites available in New England," Weiner said. "You'd be hard-pressed to find a location on the East Coast that's near as many tourist amenities."
Jody Dyer, who has long co-owned the property with her sister, Nancy Gray, declined to be interviewed.
"It's such a special place," Tricia Walsh, president of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce said of the inn, which overlooks Mystic Harbor and Fishers Island Sound. "People call the chamber all the time asking about the big white inn on the hill. They want to get married there."
Actors Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall honeymooned on the property in 1945, staying in the four-room Gate House, an outbuilding.
Tricia Cunningham, the commerce chamber's previous president, said Dyer has long played a leading role in promoting the Mystic area.
"She's led the charge for many years," Cunningham said.
Just last week, Dyer contributed $10,000 to a relief fund for Misquamicut businesses devastated by Superstorm Sandy.
The mansion on the property was built in 1904 by Katherine Haley, widow of one of the brothers who owned the Fulton Fish Market in New York City. W. Frederic Mosel purchased the mansion in the 1940s. Dyer's father bought land adjacent to the mansion in 1963, and there built the Mystic Motor Inn and the Flood Tide Restaurant.
In 1970, Dyer and Gray took over the inn, which acquired the mansion in 1980.
According to Weiner, the property for sale includes six parcels comprising nearly 16 acres. In addition to the inn, the restaurant and the mansion, it includes the Gate House; the waterfront Banks House; a "substantial" house off Reynolds Hill Road where summer employees stay; and a house on Denison Road, he said.
Amenities on the property include a swimming pool, tennis courts and a dock from which inn guests canoe and kayak.
Response to the property's listing has been "strong," Weiner said.
"We have groups both locally and nationally that have come out to see it," he said. "One group that's interested manages very high-end boutique properties. … It's literally impossible to duplicate a property like this."