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Same time THIS year

Monday, July 14th, 2014 | Posted by | no responses

Heritage House, St. George 296

A north coast legend has reopened its iconic red door to the public again after having been closed for years.

The Heritage House in Little River was made famous by the 1978 classic movie “Same Time Next Year” starring Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn, and has long been the ultimate romantic getaway for couples. In fact, many believe the gorgeous seaside lodging was the real star of the movie.

The 47-acre estate was built by Lauren and Hazel Dennen in 1877. It served as a doghole port for lumber, then in the Prohibition Era served as a handy place for rumrunners to land their contraband wares. Baby Face Nelson once used the property as a hideout. It was turned into an inn in 1949.

Then Hollywood found it. The poignant and funny romantic film was a major hit. It won several awards, including an Oscar for Burstyn.

The inn itself had a series of owners. It opened on Valentine’s Day each year and closed on Thanksgiving. The later owners became absentee managers, hiring a management company and overcharging for the rooms. The restaurant concentrated on presentation rather than food quality. In 2008, the Heritage House went bankrupt and closed.

New owner Jeff Green has hired Jim Hunter, who has successfully restored such iconic properties as the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco and Pebble Beach Resort. Green said he is determined to make Heritage House the jewel of the coast once again. So far 45 rooms have been restored and reopened, including the two cottages in the movie, one named Same Time and the other Next Year.

The restaurant and lounge are both open, and locals are making it their own. There is no place on the 47 acres that doesn’t have a spectacular view, but one of the most beautiful venues is the wedding gazebo. Within a year, Hunter hopes to have 70 rooms open.

For more information about the Heritage House, 5200 N. Highway 1 in Little River, call 202-9000 or visit heritagehouseresort.com.

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Andrea Granahan is our West County correspondent.
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