MDI visitors disappointed by Acadia shutdown

6:51 PM, Oct 4, 2013   |    comments
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BAR HARBOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Impact from the federal shutdown is continuing to be felt around the region's only national park. Acadia National Park has been closed and off limits to many visitors on Mount Desert Island this week. Many of those guests are coming in on cruise ships only to find out they can't get into the park.

Several businesses leaders on the island say they're wondering what the long term impact will be if the shutdown continues. Bar Harbor is expected to see about 40 visits from cruise ships this month. Those visits mark the last chance for revenue for many businesses that are seasonal in the town. Thankfully town officials say many ships are still scheduled to drop anchor.

Businesses merchants in town say they have been seeing some small benefits from Acadia being closed. Several visitors are choosing to stay in the town to browse stores and shop rather then go on bus tours around the perimeter of the park. The Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce says its also trying to let guests know what other activities they can pursue on the island

Yet business leaders agree that the longer Acadia is closed the worse it could be for the island's economy.

"We still want them {Congress} to settle this as quickly as possible," said Chris Fogg, who is the executive director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, "because we feel that the longer this goes on the bigger impact it's going to have on our community."

"For a lot of people this is their last chance to sock some revenue away before they close for the winter," said Desiree Bousquet, who is co-owner of 'Epi's Pizza' on Cottage Avenue, "it's a pretty short season so they need to take advantage of all of that."

While cruise ship traffic is still holding steady some land visitors to Bar Harbor are having second thoughts about their trips. The town's chamber of commerce says some hotels near the town are already taking cancellations from guests because of Acadia's shut down.


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