HUB of Bar Harbor hosts development conference

BAR HARBOR — The HUB of Bar Harbor will host the 16th annual Maine Downtown Conference Friday at the Criterion Theater, Reel Pizza and the Abbe Museum.

The annual conference is a program of the Maine Development Foundation.

It brings together all the Main Street development programs in the state, said Chris Vincenty, president of the HUB, which is Bar Harbor’s Main Street group.

“We’re happy to host this because we’re able to bring together all these different dynamic communities and show the great work they’ve been doing in their downtowns as far as economic development and historic preservation,” he said. “And we’re proud of what Bar Harbor is doing.”

The HUB invited town councilors and Warrant Committee members to the conference learn more about what Main Street programs do.

Keynote speaker Kathy LaPlante of the National Main Street Center will speak on “The New Look of Economic Development,” using the center’s approach to downtown revitalization.

The theme of the conference, “Economic Basics, Gateways and Centennial Thinking,” connects the downtown development work with the centennial celebrations of the National Park Service and Acadia National Park. Sessions include historic preservation, as well as long-range visioning and planning.

“The Main Street program is partly based on historic preservation,” Vincenty said. “It was the National Park Service that originally came up with all the historic preservation standards.”

Other sessions include tourism, entrepreneurship and walking trails.

Leaders of Main Street organizations, business and municipal governments from Waterville, Belfast, Bath, Saco, Vinalhaven, Skowhegan, Rockland, Biddiford, Gardiner, Westbook and Windham are set to present in breakout sessions.

Visit the “Events” page at

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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