×

Windsor inn on the market, and its ties to the N.Y. Yankees appear deep

  • The Windsor Mansion Inn in Winsdor, then known as the Juniper Hill Inn, is seen on Nov, 18, 2015. The inn’s current owner, according to state records, has deep ties to the New York Yankees organization, as did the previous co-owner, Ken Lucci. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) (Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.)



Valley News Business Writer
Saturday, March 23, 2019

WINDSOR — It probably doesn’t mean the New York Yankees are going to move spring training to the Upper Valley, but an executive with the team is tied to ownership of a historic inn and restaurant in town that is on the market.

Tony Bruno, chief financial officer of Yankee Global Enterprises — the entity that owns the Red Sox rival — is the manager of HHK Hospitality LLC, the corporation that owns the Windsor Mansion Inn, according to Vermont Secretary of State records.

Previously known as the Juniper Hill Inn, the Windsor Mansion Inn was acquired in 2015 by Ken Lucci, who a year earlier had acquired the Sumner Mansion in Hartland with his sister, Brenda Bradley. Lucci resided at the Hartland inn and managed both properties before pleading guilty in 2017 to stalking two employees and firing a bullet into one of their vehicles. He was sentenced to serve 90 days in jail with credit for time served.

The Windsor Mansion Inn appears to have landed in the glove of a Yankees honcho thanks to Lucci’s long-standing ties to Yankees co-chairman and part owner Hank Steinbrenner, son of the late George Steinbrenner — for whom Bruno also served as “personal CFO,” according to Bruno’s LinkedIn profile.

Hank Steinbrenner wrote the foreword to Lucci’s book about the chauffeur industry, Driving Your Income: How to Maximize Your Income as a Professional Chauffeur, which Lucci self-published last year.

Lucci won high praise from the Yankees executive’s preamble.

“If I were assembling a winning corporate dream team, Ken Lucci would be the top on my list of most valuable players,” Steinbrenner wrote.

HHK Hospitality’s articles of organization dated Dec. 11, 2015, and filed with the state of Florida’s Division of Corporations identify 1 Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa, Fla., as HHK Hospitality’s “principal office” and mailing address. The corporation’s mailing address was subsequently changed to another address in Tampa.

Bruno, the Yankee executive and manager of the HHK Hospitality, did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The Windsor Mansion Inn is currently listed for sale online by the Orlando, Fla., office of commercial real estate giant Avison Young with an asking price of $950,000. It had been on the market last year for just under $1.4 million.

Lucci had paid $400,000 in 2015 for the 14-acre property, which had run into financial difficulties under the prior owners and had been in foreclosure. He then invested heavily in upgrades and renovation.

Collin Foran, the Avison Young agent handling the 18-room, 13,700-square-foot property, said via email that the inn is “closed for the winter and the owners plan to reopen June 1,” but he did not respond when asked whether he could identify the owner of HHK Hospitality.

Since Lucci’s release in early 2017, he’s been a consultant to the chauffeured transportation and hospitality industries. Before he moved to the Upper Valley in 2014 and became co-owner in the two inns, he’d owned and operated a Miami limousine company — experience he drew on for his book.

Lucci, in a brief interview last week, said he was “not affiliated” any longer with either the Windsor or Hartland properties and declined further comment.

Meanwhile, the Sumner Mansion, originally co-owned by Lucci and Bradley, is now owned by Bradley and her husband, James Bradley, according to Hartland Town Clerk Clyde Jenne.

However, that property, built by lumber baron David Sumner around 1810, may soon change hands as well.

Scott Rome, chief executive of Upper Valley real estate agency Brick & Barn, which is handling the listing, said the sale of the Hartland property currently is “under contract” with a buyer, but he declined to identify the party, saying the deal has not yet closed.

Lucci and Bradley acquired the Sumner Mansion for $560,000 in 2014 and then spent $300,000 on improvements, according to Lucci at the time.

John Lippman can be reached at jlippman@vnews.com.