Ellsworth area businesses crowded as tourism skyrockets

ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) – Maine is living up to its Vacationland slogan this summer as more people flock to the state. In Ellsworth, the tourist season has made things busier than ever.

“It’s an easy vacation, people know they want to go to a place where they think it will be quiet. I’m afraid that’s not quite it this year.

Gretchen Wilson, executive director of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce, says accommodations like hotels and Airbnb are in high demand.

“They’re booked pretty much until October at this point.” Wilson said. “We would find days, just a Tuesday, where there was no vacancy anywhere.”

And while businesses in the region are truly grateful for visitors after last season’s struggles, there are new issues to face.

“With such a high occupancy rate in the region, the biggest problem is catering and food. So you see queues at the grocery store and queues at any place you want to go for breakfast, dinner or lunch.

Daron Goldstein, owner and chef of the Provender Kitchen and Bar on Main Street in Ellsworth, says they’re busier than they’ve ever been since opening about five years ago.

“Ellsworth is just exhausted. We’re full of bookings, we easily turn 20-30 people a night with just appointments, we just don’t have the capacity.

Staffing and supply chains also continue to be issues for many businesses in the region.

“The labor shortage is certainly real. We were very fortunate to have such a great base staff. But now that he’s so busy we’re looking to recruit more people. It turned out to be a bit difficult.

Despite the crowds, they don’t want to turn down those looking for a fun vacation.

“We are grateful for the company, we are happy that everyone is here, so we can’t wait to see everyone. Goldstein said.

“There is a lot to do in the area, spread out. Wilson said. “The bedroom is more than willing to help you find somewhere a little quieter and off the beaten path. We’re just going to have to be kind, be patient and be ready for plan B. ”

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