When A Tourist Complains to the Bar Harbor Town Council About Too Many Tourists
Chutzpah! The pot calling the kettle black! There are even a few words that I can't print that describe the actual letter that was sent to the Bar Harbor Town Council on Friday, July 9 about too many tourists on the island. Again, this came from a tourist.
Here's the actual letter:
"A couple of weeks ago my husband and I came up from Boston to rent a cottage on Acadia for a (sic) several days. We looked forward to seeing the sights around the island and to our day trips to Bar Harbor, but came back from our outings to these places feeling frazzled and stressed, overrun as they already are we visitors. Had we known what we'd encounter, we'd have subtracted ourselves from their number. We met friends, visiting from New York City, in town for a drink. It was their first time to Bar Harbor and they said they hadn't expected it to be so crowded. They won't be coming back.
"And now I hear that Bar Harbor is considering opening up to cruise ships again. What a shame," the letter continues. "The town can barely manage the flow of tourists as it is. Finding a place to eat dinner, without being put on a long wait, already appears to be an impossible task. When the border with Canada reopens, the situation will worsen. It saddens me the pleasant town I visited years ago now feels like another generic coastal tourist mecca. Please don't make the situation irrevocable by adding cruise ships."
Cornell Knight, the Bar Harbor Town Manager responded:
"It is not fair to compare this year's tourist traffic with any other year because the pandemic has brought out the people everywhere. I just read a story in the Globe that Boston duck boat tours are full and long lines at restaurants. We are no different. Every hotel room, vacation rental, and campsite are booked. The Island Explorer bus service has very limited routes due to pandemic rules still in effect, so that means far more vehicles in town. The restaurants and shops can't hire enough people (a problem everywhere) so they are closing a day or two a week to keep staff which in turn adds up. Every day our parking revenue is as much as the busiest day in 2019, and I am sure it is like that at all coastal communities in Maine. I suspect it will get back to normal next year and I hope you will reconsider a return visit. Thanks for taking the time to write us your concerns."