Whitewater rafting park pitched for Skowhegan

Whitewater rafting park

SKOWHEGAN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A white water rafting park is proposed in Skowhegan.

It could mean jobs and could possibly bring in millions of dollars worth of revenue to the city. According to a study more than 10 years in the making the park could bring in $6 million worth of revenue and more than 40 jobs in its first year. 

The park would operate all-year 'round and have everything from kayaking, paddling and canoeing as well as expanding the trail system.

The study, presented by planning decisions of Hallowell and Main Street Skowhegan, said in 10 years, it could bring in as much as $19 million and 136 jobs. Some local business owners are excited about the plan. 

“I think it'd be fantastic it'd be great revenue for Skowhegan especially for the small businesses the restaurants you know Whit's End, Ken's” said Alice Stadig, owner of Alice's Restaurant. 

"I think it's gonna spur some economic activity, we'll definitely see more families enjoying the river and finally focusing on the river as an asset versus just an afterthought so I think it'll be good" said Matthew Dubois, co-owner of The Bankery. 

The next step for the park includes a business plan. Kristina Cannon, the Executive Director for Main Street Skowhegan, said they hope to fund the project from different sources that include private donations, donations from businesses and money from grants. She said she believes that it could make Skowhegan "the gateway to the Maine woods and a great stop for recreation...as part of their Maine vacation". 

There is some opposition to the park but News Center could not find anyone to comment on this issue today. 

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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