Greenville prepares for tourism season

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:18 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, Maine (WABI) - Now that Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, Maine’s tourism season is really picking up.

As the weather warms up, so does Maine’s tourism season. Maine businesses got a boost over the Memorial Day weekend, and that was the case, too, for businesses in the Moosehead Lake region.

“That’s our kickoff,” Allison Arbo, Destination Moosehead Lake executive director.

Retail businesses, hotels, and restaurants are getting ready for what will hopefully be a record number of visitors to the area.

“I think it is going to be a lot busier in town, so I am excited, said Becky Lee, owner of Ashley Rose Box Co in Greenville.

“Occupancy is definitely up, and I feel like we started a lot stronger this year than in the previous five years since I’ve been here, so hopefully that trend will continue,” said Chantel Caron, Slate Restaurant general manager. “We are just more and more developing our menu and our style and I think its headed like sky is the limit.”

Like other regions around the state, the Moosehead Lake region is feeling the brunt of the workforce and housing shortage.

“The businesses in town that need extra workers have actually gone out and either rented places on their own or they have purchased places for folks to come and live to be able to work,” Arbo said.

Ally Kaiser just moved to the area a month ago.

She’ll be spending her summer working as an Adventure Coordinator for Northeast Whitewater in Shirley.

“We are the only whitewater rafting company in Greenville, and we are the closest whitewater rafting outfitter to Bar Harbor,” Kaiser said.

Kaiser is a seasonal worker in Maine, so she says she’s constantly looking for affordable housing.

“A lot of things that would otherwise be seasonal or long-term rentals for folks that live and work in the community are now Airbnb’s, and we can’t afford to rent an Airbnb for an entire summer, so finding somewhere to rent was a real struggle,” Kaiser said.

As businesses work through the housing and workforce demands, visitors can expect some exciting changes.

Some shops and restaurants in the downtown area are getting a facelift.

“We have the new Lakeside building in town. The Katahdin has been undergoing renovations this year, and we also have several other businesses are doing new projects. Just really, it all speaks to the revitalization that’s been happening in the downtown area over the years and now we’re really seeing it,” said Arbo.