- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 23, 2005

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) — Coolfont Resort, which has been owned by the same family for 40 years, has been sold to a Maryland real estate company.

Coolfont founder Sam Ashelman on Tuesday announced the sale of the business and 776 acres to the Carl M. Freeman Cos. of Olney, which develops and operates residential and golf communities and shopping centers. He did not disclose the purchase price.

“My family is getting a good price, a fair price,” Mr. Ashelman said. “This is a very good thing for all concerned. It’ll be good for my family, for the business community and for the county.”

The sale, which took more than a year to complete, was finalized Monday, said Coolfont President George Haynes.

The sale involves 240 acres that belonged to Coolfont ReCreation Inc. and 536 acres that belonged to the Ashelman family, Mr. Haynes said. It does not involve the 115 private homes in the 450-acre Coolfont Mountainside Association community.

Mr. Ashelman, 92, established Coolfont Resort in 1965 on 1,300 acres about four miles southwest of Berkeley Springs. The resort employs 102 workers and includes a conference center, spa, cabins, lodge, chalet and vacation home accommodations, plus a mountain lake, fitness center, salon, swimming pool, restaurant and lounge.

“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,” said Joshua M. Freeman, president and chief executive officer of the Freeman Cos.

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