Bernard Chiu, investor, inventor and owner of the Harbor View Hotel, has spent many nights dreaming about dehumidifier technology.

“Numerous times, I would wake up at four a.m. and write down a dream about a product,” he recalled in an interview with the Gazette. “I try to turn a problem into a solution . . . that’s how most of my inventions started.”

The strategy was a successful one for Mr. Chiu, whose name now appears on more than 100 patents. Now, however, the inventor finds himself applying his problem solving to a very different challenge — operating the 132-year-old Harbor View Hotel, which he purchased in 2018.

The hotel will be celebrating its 132nd anniversary at an event next Thursday, July 27, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the hotel.

“I had never dreamed of buying a hotel before,” he said. It was only because of the special connection he had with the hotel, Mr. Chiu said, that he undertook the purchase. For the last 30 years of vacationing on the Island, Mr. Chiu and his family usually stayed at the Harbor View.

“I don’t think I would have even touched the hotel if I hadn’t developed the strong bond,” he said. “I thought it would be a noble mission for someone like me to pick it up.”

It has been a long journey to becoming a Vineyard hotelier for Mr. Chiu, who was born in Hong Kong to a family of limited financial means.

“Back in the 70s, in Hong Kong, life was a struggle,” he said. “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon. I went to school in the morning, and went to work in a factory in the afternoon . . . I was always in the mode of survival.”

That difficult upbringing has been one of the major factors in his business success, Mr. Chiu said.

“I do not regret that I had to work early about my life,” he said. “It’s the early exposure to work that hardened me mentally. I think it contributed a lot to my creative mind.”

Mr. Chiu moved to Boston in 1982, he said, and began working in start-ups, but always had the desire to run his own business. In 1989, he felt it was finally time to strike out on his own. He came up with what he thought was a perfect idea: an automatic wine corkscrew.

He spent six months working with an engineer developing the product, but once a functioning prototype was complete, he had a “change of heart.”

“The product had a very small market,” he said. “I needed to build a company quickly . . . so I realized I needed to change the direction.”

Mr. Chiu and his new company Duracraft pivoted and began developing technologies for humidifiers, dehumidifiers and fans. In 1993 the company went public, and in 1996 the Honeywell corporation made an offer to buy the company for $300 million. After a stint managing Honeywell’s commercial products, Mr. Chiu was headed to an early retirement in his 40s.

“Frankly, it was too early for me to retire,” he said. “Everyone else was still working, there was no one else to hang out with.”

Mr. Chiu, now 67, ended his early retirement by founding Upland Capital, a real estate investment company that has acquired properties in Boston, Nantucket and elsewhere in New England. In 2018, Upland Capital purchased the Harbor View for $30 million, but Mr. Chiu said plans to buy the hotel were formed earlier in his mind, as he perceived a decline in the hotel’s quality over the years.

“As soon as the ink dried, we started to focus on the restoration and renovation,” he said.

Renovations to the building began soon after the purchase, but a larger plan to expand the hotel and install new spa facilities have been mired in controversy ever since plans were submitted to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission in 2020.

The commission approved those plans in 2021, but the Harbor View later sued the commission over the conditions of the approval. The two parties settled out of court in 2022, and earlier this year the Edgartown zoning board approved the plans, however one abutter has since sued the zoning board over its decision.

Still, Mr. Chiu said he is proud of the changes they have already completed at the hotel, including a renovation of the main building and room interiors.

“We accomplished a lot in the last five years,” he said, highlighting upgrades to hotel sustainability and service quality.

But the work, he said, is far from over.

“The Harbor View is a long-term project,” he said. “As much as we’ve accomplished, there’s more to be done to keep it up.”