Nicole Skidmore’s passion for hospitality originated at the Captain’s House Inn, her grandparents’ bed-and-breakfast on Cape Cod. During summer stays when she was a teen, she greeted guests, left chocolates on their pillows, and baked cookies for afternoon tea. Welcoming guests gave her such joy and satisfaction that she majored in hospitality in college, but after graduation she put her aspirations on hold to accept a position at her father’s circuit-board company in California.
In 2015, she met her now-husband, Geoff, when they were both living in Venice Beach and he was working at Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, in Burbank. When the pandemic forced their jobs to go remote, they reconsidered their career paths and decided to return to Nicole’s first passion of innkeeping.
Nicole and Geoff spent two years looking for the perfect property, focusing primarily on the West Coast, and visiting 40 inns before expanding their search to the Northeast with Nicole’s grandparents’ legacy in mind. They first visited the Wolf Cove Inn, on Tripp Lake in Poland, last February and were immediately captivated by the natural setting and local culture. “We saw people ice fishing hundreds of feet out on the lake — with trucks — and our heads tilted like curious dogs,” Geoff says. “That just doesn’t happen in California.”
Then expecting their first child, the Skidmores were impressed with Wolf Cove’s longtime staff, which includes an on-site manager and culinary director, an arrangement that would allow their young family to live off-site. In mid-May, they made an offer on the inn and, in a leap of faith, began their cross-country move. Their final stop before reaching Maine was the Captain’s House Inn. “I wasn’t expecting much because my grandparents retired almost 20 years ago,” Nicole says, but to her surprise, she found a familiar face in the head cook, who’d been on the house-keeping team during Nicole’s summer stints. “She still makes scones adapted from Nicole’s grandmother’s recipe,” Geoff says. “It was a very wholesome 360-degree moment.”
The couple finalized their purchase of the Wolf Cove Inn in early June and have since been hard at work adding personal touches to the décor, meeting with contractors to plan two additional suites, and completing their first major project: an outdoor sauna with a view of Tripp Lake. There is also a cold-plunge tub, though Geoff says, “True Northeasterners may want to jump into the lake.”
They’ve embraced the Maine life for themselves and four-month-old Aiden too, adopting the simpler, slower pace practiced by their neighbors and hardworking staff. “It’s contagious,” Geoff says, adding that he and Nicole look forward to sharing it with their guests. “We’re excited to move this property forward, while paying tribute to its history and those who’ve been here before.”