Driftwood Motel outside Lewes closes after 44 years

The Shore Inn property on Rehoboth Avenue Extended sold for $1.4 million
November 22, 2022

Story Location:
Driftwood Motel
18282 Coastal Highway
Lewes, DE 19958
United States

There are several large hotels planned or under construction in and around the Cape Region. However, a few small, one-level motels have recently closed or changed ownership.

On southbound Route 1, outside Lewes, the Driftwood Motel has closed after 44 years. 

Located on two lots between Tenley Court shopping center and the Summerlyn apartment complex, the message board for the motel announced the closure a couple of weeks ago. The property has had a for sale/lease sign for years. As of Nov. 21, the answering machine for the motel still has a message for the Driftwood, but a call was not returned and emails were not successful. There hasn’t been an update on the motel’s Facebook page since July 2020.

According to Sussex County property records, the owner is Dillon's Driftwood Enterprises LLC, based out of Franklinville, N.J.

The Shore Inn sold

The Driftwood Motel isn’t the only motel/inn to close or change hands recently. According to Sussex County records, The Shore Inn property on Rehoboth Avenue Extended was sold Oct. 3 for $1.4 million to The Shore Thing LLC from Aldie, Va.

The inn spent at least the last summer closed. According to a Gazette story from 1995, the property has been home to one of the oldest continuously running motels in the Rehoboth Beach area. The Malloys opened a motel on the property in the 1950s. Longtime local business owners Jay and Dian Stein purchased the property from the Malloys in the late 1980s and turned the motel into the Kingston Inn. In 1995, Ben Killebrew and Michael Roussell bought the property from the Steins and turned it into The Shore Inn, which is what it’s remained since. Killebrew and Roussell stopped operating the inn in 2000.

More recently, multiple online listings for The Shore Inn describe the inn as a ‘“clothing optional hotel for gay men.”


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