Maine Businesses Report Strong Memorial Day Weekend

For Immediate Release: May 30, 2012 Media Contact: Doug Ray; douglas.ray@maine.gov; 207-624-9802

AUGUSTA – Maine Department of Economic & Community Development's Office of Tourism, is hearing reports of a busy Memorial Day weekend from throughout the state.

"From what we are hearing, the tourism season is off to a fantastic start," said the Office of Tourism Director Carolann Ouellette.

With sunny skies and warm temperatures for most of the weekend, the unofficial start of the summer season began late Friday afternoon when traffic on the Maine Turnpike started picking up.

Sarah Diment, innkeeper of the Beachmere Inn in Ogunquit reported the inn and town busy. "The inn was full this past weekend. Every room was occupied Friday through Sunday. Shops in town were busy and restaurants had lines to get in. I'd say southern Maine had a successful kickoff to the summer tourism season," said Diment.

Further up the coast, the Samoset Resort in Rockport also reported a strong weekend. "We had the best Memorial Day Weekend in seven years thanks to mother nature’s cooperation, two weddings and our marketing efforts. Over 50 percent of our occupancy was from Mainer’s who took advantage of our Maine Resident promotional rate. It was a great way to start off what is looking like a very strong season with our pace well ahead of projections," said Samoset's General Manager Connie Russell.

Maine's campgrounds are reporting positive numbers, as well. "Reservations for the summer season are up by 10 percent or more at campgrounds throughout the state," reported Rick Abare, Executive Director or the Maine Campground Owners Association.

The Maine Office of Tourism started marketing for the summer season earlier than usual this year with ads on the Red Sox Radio Network. The campaign began on April 5th and includes one 30-second spot during each of the 162 games. The network consists of nearly 70 stations, giving Maine more than 11,000 spots running during the regular baseball season.

"With this kind of start, we are optimistic that the coming summer season will be just as strong for businesses throughout Maine," said Ouellette. In Maine there are roughly 108,000 jobs supported by tourism.

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