History of our Hotel
The Waves Oceanfront Resort was founded by the Weinstein family at the turn of the century. Abraham S. Weinstein started his business in 1888 as a distributor for S.S. Pierce, supplying produce to local restaurants. The business was in Biddeford and a warehouse was located in Old Orchard Beach near the railroad tracks. This was to become the future site of the Waves Oceanfront Resort. While raising her eight children, Abraham’s wife, Annie Mollie Weinstein, built cottages on the land adjacent to the warehouse. This was the start of the Weinstein Family’s long history in hospitality.
In the early 1900’s Abraham Weinstein opened his produce market at 75 West Grand Avenue in Old Orchard Beach and the family lived over the store. Shortly after, the warehouse was converted to more cottages. It was about that time, in the early 1920’s, that Natalie Weinstein Berger began her 75 year career in the lodging business. In 1933 Natalie became the first female lawyer in the State of Florida, where she practiced law until her retirement in 1983, during which time she served the public and the legal profession of Florida for 50 years with honor and distinction. In 1939 she was duly admitted and qualified to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. Natalie Berger died in 1999.
All of the Weinstein children were successful in their academic and business ventures. They all went to graduate school and five became Lawyers, one a Doctor, one an Engineer and one a Social Worker. The men all served their country with honor and pride during World War II. Dr. David Weinstein was awarded the Silver Star for his service at the battle of Iwo Jima while attached to the 3rd Marines in the United States Navy. He was featured on the cover of Time magazine at that time. Leonard Weinstein graduated from Harvard and went right into the Navy. He served aboard the LST’s landing at Normandy. After the war he became a successful lawyer and in 1949 he opened his Law Office in Miami, which he maintains to this day. In 1961 he became one of five Dade County Constables until 1967, when he began his 16 year term on Miami’s City Commission. He also served as Vice Mayor for many years, and in 25 years of service, he never lost an election. He left politics behind in 1983 to expand a family owned resort in Maine, the Waves.
Together, Natalie and Lenny continued to purchase nearby lots and expand the hotel to be the largest in Old Orchard Beach at its present size of 139 units, along with various apartments and cottages. Natalie and Lenny’s father, Abraham, could often be seen at the Hotel and lived to be over 100 years of age. Once during a particularly vicious hurricane, Lenny and Natalie had to use all their powers of persuasion to convince him to move to higher ground.
On May 1, 1998 the property was purchased by Lafayette Hotels, but the spirit of Natalie, Lenny, and the Weinstein family will forever be with the Waves.