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Coolfont resort purchased by Md. company

November 23, 2005|by TRISH RUDDER

trishr@herald-mail.com

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - An Olney, Md., company has bought one of the Eastern Panhandle's crown jewels.

The Carl M. Freeman Companies announced Tuesday the purchase of Coolfont ReCreation in Morgan County.

Coolfont ReCreation, which is about four miles west of Berkeley Springs, was founded in 1965 by Sam Ashelman, and is known for its lodging, spa and wellness center, conference center and recreational facilities. It celebrated its 40th birthday in June.

"Since 1947, The Carl M. Freeman Companies have been committed to thoughtful investment and participation in our communities - and acquiring Coolfont allows The Freeman Companies to add to the already vibrant community of Berkeley Springs," Robert Boras, senior vice president of The Carl M. Freeman Companies, said in a news release.

"We look forward to new opportunities that will be generated by working with community and business leaders and residents as we explore the many possibilities that exist to enhance this community and the surrounding areas," Boras said in the release.

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Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Sam Collins, Coolfont's general manager, said Tuesday that "Sam Ashelman had a great vision, and now we believe with Freeman coming aboard, the possibilities are unlimited."

The near-term operations will continue under the existing Coolfont management and staff while Freeman develops a plan for the future of the resort, according to the release.

"As a 60-year-old family-based company ourselves, we have a great deal of respect for the history of Coolfont and its unique character - and look forward to becoming a trusted partner in and contributor to the Berkeley Springs community," said Joshua M. Freeman, president and CEO.

"We are extremely fortunate to be able to welcome The Carl M. Freeman Companies to the Berkeley Springs community. Their track record for taking the time to sincerely understand and become part of the community will be a tremendous asset to the residents of and visitors to Coolfont. Their reputation for quality and doing the right thing is unmatched," Sally Marshall, president of Travel Berkeley Springs, said in the release.

Established in 1947, The Carl M. Freeman Companies have developed and operated residential and golf communities and neighborhood shopping centers, according to the release.

The firm also provides a variety of hospitality and property management services, general brokerage home sales, and commercial and vacation rentals, mortgage banking and title services in the greater Washington, D.C., Annapolis and Delmarva Shore communities, the release states.

Collins said, "It's great to know that the Freeman Companies are aboard. They are a class act."

He said the staff is excited about the change.

"It's going to be good here," Collins said.

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