Catalina: New operator sought for Inn at Mt. Ada


The search is on for a new operator for the Inn on Mt. Ada on Santa Catalina Island.

The iconic bed-and-breakfast inn, onetime home of chewing gum industrialist William Wrigley Jr., is closing Nov. 30. All rooms are booked for the remaining nights, but cancellations are possible.

“The operators did not want to continue to operate the inn,” said Bob Reid, chief development and communications officer for Catalina Island Conservancy, which oversees the property along with USC.

Brian League, executive director of Real Estate Development at USC, said the university is working with the conservancy to find an operator to run the inn, adding that the current innkeepers indicated that they did not wish to continue their lease.


League said the university and the conservancy want the inn to stay open.

The hillside Avalon mansion was completed in 1921 and overlooks the town and its harbor. Wrigley, who bought Catalina Island in 1919, named the home after his wife, Ada.

During their heyday, the Wrigleys entertained an illustrious roster of guests, including the Prince of Wales and presidents Calvin Coolidge and Warren Harding.

After the owners’ deaths, the home was used as a tourist attraction for a time and then given to USC in 1970.

In 1985, the current innkeepers, Susie Griffin and Marlene McAdam, signed a 30-year lease for the property and turned it into an upscale bed-and-breakfast.

Griffin and McAdam did not respond to repeated attempts for comment. Earlier this year Griffin told a Catalina Island website: “It appears that we have been unable to negotiate a continuance for the Inn on Mt. Ada’s existence.

“Marlene and I are looking forward to the next chapter in our lives. We will miss the emotional income that never came with credit cards or cash but from caring hugs.”

Info: (310) 510-2030

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