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Despite pandemic, Greenville continues strong tourism boost for business

Despite the pandemic, Greenville saw a rush of tourism in the area last summer.
Despite the pandemic, Greenville saw a rush of tourism in the area last summer.(Owen Kingsley)
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 4:25 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, Maine (WABI) - Despite the pandemic, Greenville saw a rush of tourism in the area last summer.

Some businesses owners say this year, it’s even greater.

“COVID actually helped Greenville as sad as that is. You know, you hate to benefit from something that was so tragic for so many people, but I think it really did make a big difference for us. I think we’re still just riding that wave,” said Cheri Goodspeed, Co-Owner of Kamp Kamp antique store.

“I think tourism is here to stay. It’s our new economy,” said Suzanne AuClair, Executive Director for the Moosehead Historical Society and Museum.

The streets and stores of Greenville are seeing much more foot traffic.

“This has been one of the most hectic and busy summers,” said Robin Streck, Dining Room Manager at Kelly’s Landing.

But despite the tourism boom, things like worker and product shortages are still negatively affecting businesses in the region.

“People trying to get workers to come in. It’s been quite difficult, so we have to shut off half the dining room sometimes because we can’t handle the whole place,” said Streck.

Kelly’s Landing says they have operated with half staff for most of the summer, and stores are having a hard time refilling their shelves.

“There’s nothing to buy. Everything’s been sold out. You can get a t-shirt that is not the color you want and not the product that you had before,” said Goodspeed.

Despite these challenges and a health pandemic, customers keep coming.

“Now that people have actually discovered Greenville, some may have never been up here, but because the pandemic made them come up, maybe it’ll be the start of something new,” said Streck.

“And I think that the pandemic helped to establish that in an odd way. But I don’t think that’s going to turn soft. I think we’re only going to have more people,” said AuClair.

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