Part 2 of The business of being King
Derry, Maine is back on the map and will receive more attention in 2019.
Two Stephen King movies are due out next year, but the tourism industry surrounding Bangor's most famous author is now a year round entity.
People come from every corner of the world to be in the locations described by Stephen King, and some are helping make sure those travelers are getting the most out of their experience.
"Nowadays you see the new movies that are coming out, and that is what is in everyone's mind. You forget about the history and the town that basically created it," said Dr. Mark Hauswirth of Gaylord, Michigan who was in Bangor to take in the sights on a recent tour with SK-Tours of Maine.
At the Charles Inn in Downtown Bangor, their busiest room is themed as a tribute to Stephen and his wife Tabitha according to Allan Hewey the Managing Partner Vacationland Inns. "So this room is themed after the Kings. The Kings have been great influences for the city, and this is hopefully sort of a tribute to them."
"In this room, we have some of Stephen and Tabitha's books that they've written, some first editions books, and we also have a collage of a wonderful article about them." Hewey said it's so busy, they just opened a second room in the hotel just down the hall. "With the new movie IT, the one that came out, we decided to do a Derry, Maine room and kind of highlight some of the places in Bangor, but also highlight the, Derry is kind of a spooky town, so we wanted to highlight that in this room."
Hewey added "The feel if you've watched any of the movies, all of the buildings, everything seems to be a little bit neglected, so that was the feel we were going for here."
SK-Tours of Maine takes people, like Dr. Hauswirth and his wife, around Bangor. It began nearly three decades ago completely by accident according to Stu Tinker. "In 1991, we had a fan club show up unannounced. There were 60 people. They came walking into the book store, and we had no idea they were coming. The Sunday that they were here, we figured that we had to do something for them, and we rented a coach from Cyr bus and called it the IT Tour and took them around the area. Took 9 and a half hours to do it. Every place we stopped, everybody got off and took pictures. It could be a stop sign. It was amazing."
Pet Sematary is set to be released April 5th, and It Chapter 2 is slated to come out September 6th.
Which means a busy 2019 in Derry, or Bangor according to Hewey. "There is always an uptick of tourism, King related tourism in Bangor, right about the time that these movies come out, and so, when there's a new Stephen King movie, our King themed room, at the time we only had one, was full every single day."
Tinker added "I've got bookings out in to the middle to the end of 2019 already, especially people from Europe. They're making long range plans to come to the States, and this is one of the first things they book."
And for the Stephen King fans who can't make it to Bangor, some still want to get a taste and to be part of the community, so they found his radio stations online.
Which brings in more business for WKIT says Bobby Russell the 100.3 Morning Show Host and former General Manager. "That turns in to listeners online, it turns in to t-shirts that we send out, bumper stickers that we send out. Anything that has anything to do with Stephen King...he's huge!"