The Newport Belle has been conspicuously missing lately from her berth at the South Beach Marina. Normally a popular floating bed and breakfast inn on the water, the vessel has spent some time up at Bud Shoemake’s place – at The Toledo Boat Yard.
Newport Belle owners Mike Wilkenson and his college instructor wife Nancy Sims, have been operating the Newport Belle for quite some time and recently decided that they needed to start thinking about retiring to their home port of San Diego – but without the Belle. Hence the reason to have the paddle wheeler undergo a spit and shine in Toledo. The port is scraping and repainting the bottom and making adjustments to the paddle wheel. “Some new paint…and that ought to do’er,” said Wilkenson. After getting the Newport Belle all dolled up he wants to put the floating B n’B on the market for sale.
Wilkenson says the floating hotel is in great shape since it doesn’t run up and down the river. It simply sits in one of the most strategic spots in Yaquina Bay – a location that captures romantic sunsets over the Yaquina Bay Bridge and the port town of Newport. He says the ole gal has eight guest rooms and 9 and a half bathrooms. And on the second floor it’s floor to ceiling glass for an unparalleled view of the harbor. Weddings are their specialty. Wilkenson, being the captain of the Belle, officiates most of those weddings.
Wilkenson says he’d like to sell the Newport Belle to someone who would carry on the ship’s tradition as a B n’B. He says the venue is well known and if the past is any indicator, whoever buys it will be inheriting a valuable business.
Wilkenson says anyone interested in exploring ownership of the Newport Belle can call him at 541-867-6290.