Park visitor numbers reflect virus impact 

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — The park’s visitation numbers for the second quarter of this year are further proof that the COVID-19 pandemic severely curtailed area tourism. 

For April, the number of visits recorded was down 40 percent from the same month last year. The May numbers were down 55 percent and the June numbers were off by 57.2 percent. 

All the park’s visitation numbers are estimates or approximations, not an actual count of every individual who enters the park. But the numbers do provide a basis for year-to-year comparison. 

This year, the Park Loop Road and Sand Beach entrance station did not open until early June. But Christie Anastasia, Acadia’s public affairs specialist, said the park had other ways of counting visitors. 

We had multiple counters in place throughout the park for the duration of the closures,” she said. “Many of these counters were in locations used for multiple years. Data from these counters were compared to data from previous years in order to generate an estimate for monthly visitation for April and May.” 

According to the report that Acadia officials submitted to the National Park Service, only 36,225 people visited the Mount Desert Island section of the park in April, 90,256 in May and 180,249 in June. In most years, the number of visitors in June is more than 400,000. 

Last June, 11,308 Island Explorer bus passengers were counted as Acadia visitors. 

The buses are not running this year. 

Also in June of 2019, Oli’s Trolley, National Park Tours and commercial motor coaches accounted for 18,089 Acadia visitors. This June, that number was just 298, and all of those were motor coach passengers. 

Acadia’s campgrounds recorded a total of 36,320 camper nights last June. The number this June was zero because the campgrounds were closed.  

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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