Bangor Businesses Consider Adjusting Hours To Accommodate Incoming Cruise Ships
Earlier this month, we told you about a deal the City of Bangor was trying to work out with a company called American Cruise Lines, to bring cruises back to the City's waterfront.
While they aren't the huge cruise ships that one might see docked along the coast, these ACL river cruises stand to help bring a boost to Bangor's economy.
The City Council voted the arrangement through, and now plans are being made for how the City will welcome these boatloads of visitors each week.
Tracy Willette, Bangor's Director of Parks and Recreation, says that so far, American Cruise Lines is the only carrier to approach the city regarding the use of the dock.
"American Cruise Lines has not docked in Bangor since 2011, so we are indeed excited and looking forward to having them return to Bangor starting with the upcoming 2022 season. The City Council recently authorized the City of Bangor to enter into a 20-year lease agreement with American Cruise Lines. The agreement will be for the use of Dock 5, which is the City’s heavy vessel dock. We have not launched this dock since 2013. "
Willette says that as part of the agreement, the City of Bangor has given the cruise line a fixed rent schedule as well as a per-passenger docking fee for each time they use the dock.
He says the American Cruise Line Ships that will be coming to Bangor this season have a capacity of 96 passengers, meaning each one has the potential to bring in just under a hundred folks to the area, each time they dock.
"For the 2022 season, the typical schedule is to dock on Sunday morning and depart on Monday morning. "
Bangor business owners are also excited about the possibility of a consistent influx of people, on a weekly basis, to the city. The potential of a new pool of rotating customers even has some businesses that would typically be closed on Sundays and Mondays reworking their schedules.
Betsy Lundy, Executive Director of the Downtown Bangor Partnership, says talks recently started amongst downtown business owners to come up with a plan to provide those who dock along Bangor's waterfront with the cruise line, a great Bangor experience.
"As soon as we heard about the cruise schedule we began working with our stakeholders to ensure cruise goers have a great time in Downtown. A number of the shops, restaurants and breweries are planning to add hours on Mondays to accommodate the cruise goers. We are working on guided and self guided tours for passengers that will highlight the amenities in Downtown."
Summer Allen, who owns Valentine Footwear in Downtown Bangor, says she loves the idea. While she hasn't been open on Sundays since Covid hit, Allen says she and other business owners are actively looking at ways to adjust their schedules to accommodate the weekly visitors. Allen says she's excited about the idea of these cruises funneling folks directly into downtown businesses.
She's now in her 11th year as a Downtown Business owner, and says she is looking forward to some of the ideas the Downtown Bangor Partnership is coming up with, like specific shopping, walking, brewery, and arts & culture tours for cruise ship passengers. Allen says it's not just the shops and restaurants that are getting in on the planning. There are local coworking spaces and wellness businesses looking at ways to offer cruise ship patrons opportunities to work or work out while the ships are docked.
For more information, you can check out the American Cruise Lines website, by clicking here.