BANGOR — As the state of Maine eases its COVID-19 restrictions, some people are looking ahead to the summer tourism season.
“This year, we can actually plan on how to have safe events throughout the summer and the fall,” said Kerrie Tripp, executive director of the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
According to Gov. Janet Mills’ “Moving Maine Forward” plan, out-of-state residents from anywhere will be allowed to come to Maine without any restrictions unless their state sees a spike in variant cases beginning May 1.
“It helps the economy in the state of Maine. It helps get Mainers that work in the tourism and hospitality field back to work,” Tripp said.
Alex Gray of Waterfront Concerts said many people tend to plan their travels to Maine around performers coming to the area.
“That, I don’t think, is going to be the case this summer,” Gray said. “I think Maine’s in a very unique position to take advantage of how safe we are.”
He said if there isn’t going to be a big concert season, construction on Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion will remain on hold. Despite capacity limits increasing, Gray does not see that happening.
“One hundred percent of socially distanced is not 100 percent of our capacity,” Gray said.
Gray said only about 28 percent to 32 percent of the concert venues will be able to be filled, and they are in contact with the artists.
“The gate is really the dictating function of what they make for money,” Gray said. “That would have them taking a massive pay cut.”
He said they are talking about potentially hosting other events.
“You may see some of the arts organizations that are traditionally presenting inside going outside,” Gray said.
Tripp also said she expects people to continue taking advantage of the outdoors.
“I think we’ll see some fun, unique, thoughtful ideas of outdoor events,” Tripp said.
They both said they’re encouraging people to support local businesses safely.