MILLINOCKET, Maine (WABI) Denise and Dan Willis moved to Millinocket two years ago. After being warmly embraced by the community, they're doing their part to help drive the local economy…literally.
"One of the biggest needs has to do with tourism, getting people from the Bangor Airport out here to Millinocket so they can hike Mt. Katahdin, or see the Katahdin region, the monument," said Denise. "The more the tourists come in here, the more that it's going to benefit our economy here."
"They need the go between, so that's what we really are," said Dan.
God's Country Shuttle Service is taking folks directly from Bangor International Airport to places like Baxter State Park and Katahdin Woods and Waters.
"Everybody who is a tourist that comes into town is going to be spending money in some way or another whether it be staying in a motel or visiting the grocery stores and all the things that are here in town so everyone will benefit from this, absolutely," said Dan.
Although the Willis' are relatively new to Maine, they say they're working to boost the economy of Millinocket.
"We're trying to do things in the town to build that back up and tourism, naturally, is a wonderful way to do it because there are so many beautiful things to do here."
The shuttle service is helping get folks to the Katahdin region, but it's the efforts of local communities that are helping tourists find things to do once they get there.
"We felt that it was critical in the early stages of the new monument where there's not a lot of signage or infrastructure in place, to have a really good map that not only highlighted the opportunities that are available within the boundaries of the monument, but also in the communities around it," said Matthew Polstein of Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters.
The new map is available for purchase in many businesses in the region. Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters say it will ease the burden of planning trips to the monument and let them enjoy all the area has to offer.
"If they have the map, the adventurer's map, and they work with locals that know the area, we can keep them in the safest places and avoid conflicts with other users."
To schedule a ride with God's Country Shuttle Service, call 480-5222.