BAR HARBOR, Maine — If you needed further proof that things were returning to normal as Maine eased capacity and mask-wearing restrictions this week, head to downtown Bar Harbor.
Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer and plenty of folks made the trip to one of Maine's most visited towns Saturday. So much so, parking was once again hard to find.
“It’s kind of the way I remembered it," Rich Duperey said.
Duperey is one of the many business owners in town and around the state that took a hit during most of last season. He was forced to convert his restaurant and retail shop Stadium into offering take-out only.
As folks lined up to order lobster rolls, or coffee and baked goods, it was an early indication of how busy this season will be. One issue facing many businesses not just in Bar Harbor, but all of Maine, Stadium is short-staffed.
“People who do visit have to understand, it’s just like home, we’re shorthanded, please be patient," Duperey added.
As these in-state or out-of-state guests walked around on a rainy Saturday, some are staying for the night and the weekend. Lodging businesses like Eden Village Motel & Cottages is excited to welcome guests at the beginning of this season.
Last year, pandemic restrictions delayed the opening of hotels and inns and travel restrictions limited the normal influx of tourists visiting from away.
“It’s extremely important because last year we were limited to just Mainers for so long," Eden Village co-owner Lisa Preble said. “We are expecting a huge, busy season."
Preble was cleaning one of the cottages on the property Saturday in preparation for the summer. She added guests will arrive that afternoon for the weekend and noticed many guests are booking longer trips this summer.
“We’ve been getting a lot of three to seven-night stays where before it was a lot of one to two-night stays," she added.
Preble said rooms are pretty much booked from mid-June through the rest of the summer and added if you are looking to plan a quick summer trip, act fast.