Tourism and hospitality industry weighs in on Gov. Mills announcement

The Maine Tourism Association welcomes the news.
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 6:26 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Governor Mills’ announcement was met with optimism from those in Maine’s tourism and hospitality industries.

“Economically tourism is the heart and soul of Maine, it’s the backbone of Maine’s economy,” said CEO of the Maine Tourism Association Tony Cameron.

Starting in May, folks from across the country can openly visit Maine and indoor gathering capacity will increase to 75 percent.

The Maine Tourism Association welcomes the news.

CEO Tony Cameron says this allows them to start planning for the upcoming season.

“At least this gives some businesses a bit more of a road map to be able to plan for those types of things. This is the time that Maine needs to be marketing as well and getting visitors to think about Maine and to do it safely,” said Cameron.

President of Hospitality Maine Matthew Lewis says it means a lot to feel like their voices were heard.

He says while some challenges remain for smaller restaurants, they understand that safety remains a priority.

“People have had to adapt to take out menus when their service had been dine in and that kind of experience but they’ve adapted to it quite well. Now, will they go back to what they did before or will they continue what they started in this process,” said Lewis.

While outdoor gathering limits will increase to 100 percent capacity with social distancing on May 24th, this isn’t the green light for Waterfront Concerts in Bangor.

“This is a step in the right direction but no i don’t think this means the music’s gonna play on in downtown Bangor in the summer of 2021 just yet,” said Alex Gray with Waterfront Concerts.

Alex Grey says this still limits their capacity to 30 percent

“You’re really asking the artist to take a 70 percent pay cut because so much of what we do paying them is based on the capacity of the venue and the ticket price,” said Gray.

Gray says Waterfront Concerts does have performances scheduled for July and August.

He says there are ongoing discussions with artists and management - and there’s a lot of time for change between now and those concert dates.

Governor Mills says the gathering capacity could be dialed down if the CDC sees a significant risk to public health.

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