BAR HARBOUR, Maine (WABI) – With the easing of COVID restrictions on masks and social distancing, some of Maine’s tourist towns are seeing record spring and early summer visits.
This means that finding accommodation is more difficult than ever.
With hotel rooms in Bar Harbor being hard to come by in the summer, that’s nothing new. But the rate at which they filled up this year is.
“In a normal week in April, the Ivy Manner would get 20-25 bookings a week for future stays. This year we were seeing 100-150 bookings per week for future stays,” said Peter Hastings, of the Ivy Manor Inn.
“Every day I get at least three or four extra reservations, but I also have to tell people, ‘I don’t have the time you’re looking for,'” said Deborah Vickers, co-owner of the Black Friar Inn. “I don’t have the dates”
Some Bar Harbor hotels weren’t even open this time last year as a direct result of COVID. Now, in a less direct way, they’re filling up faster than ever for the same reason.
“It coincided with the vaccinations,” said Eben Salvatore, chief operating officer of Bar Harbor Resorts. “You know, when people felt like they were at the finish line and they were ready to go again, we started to see the phones get heavy. It wasn’t even just that they were calling That was what they called. They didn’t even ask what the fare was, just, ‘Do you have anything?’ »
“We think COVID burnout has really hit and people just want to travel,” Vickers said.
Those in the accommodation industry point out that while the booking rate this season may be unprecedented, that doesn’t mean there’s a ‘No Vacancy’ sign all season long.
“There is still availability in town for July and August,” Hastings said. “You just can’t be too picky about when you want to come and how long you want to stay.
“I think people need to realize that this is a once in a lifetime request, but there is always availability,” Salvatore added.
“There’s still room,” Vickers said. “It just filled up faster than we thought.”
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