Broaden Tourism

I am one of the few lucky people to have grown up in Millinocket, Maine. It is one of the most beautiful and inspiring areas in this country, but now that I live in Southern New Hampshire, I realize that this magnificent place is only being shared with a very specific type of tourist, those that own a camper or don’t mind sleeping in a tent. I read some reviews on tripadvisor and people speak very highly of Baxter State Park, but there is never any mention of the surrounding towns. Currently there is almost no reason for tourists to come out of the park and visit the area towns. The people of Southern New Hampshire, Southern Maine and Boston work long hours and have long stressful commutes to work. When they vacation, they want to escape from reality and stay in luxury hotels, eat in fine restaurants and find places to play with their children. Most people in my area vacation in North Conway New Hampshire. In the 10 years I have lived in New Hampshire, I have only met a handful of people that have even heard of Baxter State Park. What sets these two locations apart? North Conway has attractions that supplement their mountains. There are luxury resorts with indoor waterparks, you can tube down the Saco River, play a round of miniature golf, enjoy fine dining or play in amusement parks. Santa’s Village was rated the 25th best Amusement Park in the country by tripadvisor in 2014. This puts them in company with Disney, Universal Studios, Six Flags and Sea World. It is a beautiful and tasteful amusement park that works wonderfully with the natural landscape. Then there is Lake George located in northeastern New York. This is the same scenario. There is a Six Flags, a luxury resort with an indoor waterpark, unique miniature golf courses and boat cruises. Northern Vermont has Jay Peak Resort and a Great Wolf Lodge was just built in Northern Massachusetts. These too are luxury resorts with year-round indoor waterparks. All of these places have a perfect blend of new and rustic. The beauty of the Millinocket area is its vast amount of land. A luxury resort could be built somewhere out of sight between East Millinocket and Millinocket (perhaps on the Rice Farm Road). Right now it is snowmobile season. What would be more perfect than snowmobiling in the day and relaxing at night in a resort by a fire or playing with your kids in an indoor waterpark? Families from my neck of the woods would flock to Millinocket if they were to build a few attractions in supplement to the mountain. Bangor is just an hour away, so why not build attractions they don’t have to solicit their business. I’m sure the people of Caribou and Presque Isle are looking for something to do and we have all seen how the people of Canada swarm to Old Orchard Beach. Don’t forget about the two large Universities in Northern Maine. Why not try to attract college students to the area. I know Millinocket is used to being a manufacturing town, but think of the jobs a resort with a large indoor waterpark could create, maintenance, electrical, landscaping, construction, food service, life guards, janitorial, chamber maids, business management, etc. The integrity of Baxter State Park will always remain and family entertainment doesn’t even need to be built anywhere near the park, it could be confined to the town limits. This has been a proven model for Northern New Hampshire, Northern Vermont, Northern Massachusetts, Northeastern New York and even Cape Cod. I firmly believe this is the direction Millinocket should take. Baxter State Park was preserved for all to enjoy, but that doesn’t mean you have to immerse yourself in it. Some of us would like to enjoy it for the day and then retire to a comfortable hotel room. It is time to share this majestic place with a broader audience.

Matching Gifts

Thanks Hampden Electrical, another outstanding supporter of the Katahdin Region, for matching $1000 in donations to Our Katahdin projects.

Hampden Electrical

337 Perry Rd. Suite #1
Bangor, ME 04401

IDEXX, with its continued dedication to the health of Maine communities, has generously matched $1500 in donations to
Revitalize Hillcrest Park IDEXX Laboratories

Thank you Lisa Caruso and Jay Peavey for generously matching $500 in donations to the
Katahdin Area Communal Gardens
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