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Cruise ships could see restrictions next summer in Bar Harbor

Some business owners are still upset about the idea of restricting tourists coming off the ships.
Some business owners are still upset about the idea of restricting tourists coming off the ships.(WABI)
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 4:44 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Cruise ships might see restrictions as soon as next summer in Bar Harbor.

More than half of the respondents of a survey from the Bar Harbor Town Council say the cruise ship industry is hurting the town.

As the town looks to bounce back from a summer without cruise ships and fewer tourists, the survey speaks for itself, plenty of folks don’t want them around.

Business owners have a mixed reaction.

“I totally understand, it’s very difficult to park and to drive through the streets cause they’re narrow and they’re only two lanes. When the big cruise ships come in with the buses and busing other local people in and local tourists that come in, it can get really crowded,” said Paul Culler, Owner of the Fair Trade Winds.

“Anytime the government makes decisions, you’re probably going to upset at least half the people. That’s the way the world works. You have to be flexible so whatever comes up, whether it’s a change in cruise ship policy or change in health policy. You have to be able to adapt,” said Bo Jennings, General Manager of Side Street Cafe.

Yet some business owners are still upset about the idea of restricting tourists coming off the ships.

“I have 5 employees who live in town, who rely on that income,” said Culler.

Some say it actually draws out the season.

“I’ve been here for 42 years and if it wasn’t for cruise ships, I probably wouldn’t still be here. It’s going to be a major impact on most every place. It’s a short season, we’re only talking six weeks. Without the cruise ships we don’t really have a fall season,” said Bill Coggins, Owner of Ben and Bill’s Chocolate Emporium.

Town councilors are expected to talk about what’s next at a meeting next month.=

“We are hoping that the Town Council will look at both sides of this issue. I do think there’s reduction coming. I’m a reasonable person, I don’t object to that. However I hope that the Town Council does not say they’re going to ban cruise ships altogether,” said Glenn Tucker, Owner of Acadia Bike, Coastal Kayaking Tours.

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