Oak Bluffs selectmen sign off on new name for the Wesley, now Summercamp

The Wesley Hotel overlooks Oak Bluffs Harbor. — Louisa Hufstader

Oak Bluffs selectmen Tuesday approved a request from a representative from Lark Hotels, owners of the Wesley Hotel as of last May, to change the name on the lodging license to Summercamp, which will also be the new name of the renovated Wesley Hotel when it reopens this May.

Lark Hotels operates a collection of self-described boutique hotels, according to its website, “located in sought-after spots,” including Whitehall in Camden, Maine; Captain Fairfield Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine; 76 Main on Nantucket; 21 Broad on Nantucket; The Attwater in Newport, R.I.; Gilded in Newport, R.I.; Pomegranate Inn in Portland, Maine; Ale House Inn in Portsmouth, N.H.; and The Break in Narragansett, R.I.

According to its website, “Lark Hotels embrace the locations they are in, but in playful, unexpected ways. Think ‘sense of place’ with imagination and a touch of mischief.

“The name Summercamp is a direct homage to the hotel’s long history as a summer camp destination for the Methodist church,” Dawn Hagin, chief inspiration officer at Lark Hotels, wrote in an email to The Times. “It’s also a way to connect with and honor the Island’s history as an iconic summer destination. The property was in serious need of a renovation, and in wanting to embrace this new lease on life, we felt that it was time for a change.”

Selectmen unanimously approved the change, and acknowledged Peter Martell, owner of the Wesley for 29 years.

Mr. Martell was in attendance to request appointment to the Oak Bluffs Affordable Housing Committee. Selectmen unanimously approved Mr. Martell’s appointment, and also appointed Will Craffey and Jim Bishop. A member of the Oak Bluffs Planning Board, to be determined later, will also take a seat on the committee, bringing the total number of members to seven.

Following the unanimous endorsement of the library trustees, selectmen voted unanimously to approve acting director Allyson Malik as the new director of the Oak Bluffs Public Library. The vote was 4-0. Selectman Greg Coogan was off-Island chaperoning a school ski trip.

Ms. Malik stepped in as acting director in October when former head librarian Sondra Murphy left to take a job in Worcester. There were 13 qualified applicants for the job, from as far afield as Kansas and the Cayman Islands.