Public “wake” held for the ancient Sands Motel

FENWICK ISLAND, Del. – After 70 years in business, many in Fenwick Island came out to say goodbye to the Sands Motel. But instead of mourning, there’s a lot of celebration.

Former owners, employees, Fenwick residents and visitors gathered to pay their respects, at a public “wake,” advertised on Facebook by the motel.

The obituary said in part “after years on life support, the plug was finally pulled on the Sands, leaving few (if any) mourners.” But there were plenty of memories.

“This was my first foray into the hotel business, and I’ve been in the hotel business for forty years now, own motels and everything, and it all started here,” said Dave Beebe, a former employee at the motel in the 80s.

For Charles and Wilma Denton, this was where they spent their honeymoon. They started coming back to the same spot year-after-year.

“For ten years we came down just about the same time and met the same people every year,” said Charles.

And everyone knew it wasn’t the most luxurious spot.

“That was part of the fun, the charm of being here. You knew when to take a shower, before everybody else,” said Wilma.

With the ceremony over, it’s time to look forward to what will soon be a state-of-the-art hotel.

“It’s going to be something different, that’s for sure. It’ll be something that people riding by will be forced to look at and excited to come see it and stay at,” said Keith Fisher, the head architect for the new hotel.

“It’s going to be a classy place. Fun to come by. For those that are visiting, they’re going to get everything they expect from a first class hotel,” said Spiro Buas, the owner of the Sands Motel.

Even though the folks with rocks started their own personal demolition, the demotion for the Sands Motel begins Friday, rain or shine.

We’re told the ultimate goal is to have a building permit and a construction company lined up by February 1, with a 12-month schedule for construction.

The new facility will be a state of the art 63-room tapestry by Hilton. You can see the designs here.

Categories: Delaware, Local News