BANGOR – The Bangor Waterfront Concert Series kicked off this past weekend. On Monday, local officials weighed in on the series’ impact on area businesses and the economy.
According to Bangor police officials, about 10,000 people walked through the concert venue’s entrance on Saturday to enjoy the first show for the 2019 season.
Kerrie Tripp, executive director of the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau, said businesses have already felt the impact from Saturday’s show.
“This really does kick us right into that summer season and to have that ‘pop’ to begin that season is really great,” Tripp said.
Maine is known for its beautiful waterfronts — and hiking trails — but one local business said the concert series helps draw people back into town.
“To bring everybody back in on a Saturday night is key. Especially for all the local businesses,” Seasons Restaurant and Sports Bar General Manager John Hafford said.
Hafford said that on concert nights sales usually double but Saturday night’s combination of the Stanley Cup playoffs and the opening night of the summer concert series, the restaurant saw its second biggest night in profits.
“Proximity is key. I mean we have so much walk-in traffic coming in from the hotel, coming up and down the strip. People coming in from downtown,” Hafford said.
Tripp said the concerts are one factor helping to put Bangor on the map as a destination.
“This region, the Maine Highlands, is receiving 10 percent of overall visitation for the entire state of Maine,” she said.
Bangor police Sgt. Wade Betters said every show is different and that officers did not make any arrests from inside the venue on Saturday.
“There’s really no way to plan for everything but we use a lot of past experiences and we’ve learned from that,” Betters said.
Tripp said the summer tourism season is trending upward. The concert series has become a musical draw with hopes of bringing more people to the area by providing a safe fun time for people to enjoy.
“Really that’s what it’s about. We have to work together to make this the place to be.” she said.