To the Editor: Big box tourism 

To the Editor: 

Should we allow big box tourism to undercut our lodging industry? What is fair about a foreign flagged hotel planting itself in the beautiful, pristine view, and passengers thronging ashore, by the thousands, to all the most popular grounds, and get away without paying the lodging tax that the land-based tourists pay? The Anthem of the Seas, with just over 4,000 passengers, should be paying the state $67,000 for every night they do business in Maine.   

In this way alone the cruise industry is violating international and federal laws barring them from interfering with interstate commerce.  

Cruisers do not leave many profits. $1.17 per passenger. Just over $4,000 from an Anthem invasion.   

At least 65 percent of the public view cruise ships negatively after 40 years of experience, according to a very well record response survey we, the town, had done for $25,000. 

Presently, the Bar Harbor Town Council and town manager are threatening the public that we will be sued to the tune of a property tax increase if we try to change the number of passengers we allow to come ashore, if we vote yes, for the citizens’ petition. A little research shows we have an official document called a Standard of Operation Procedures, an SOP, agreed upon by the town and the cruise industry, that states very clearly, we have a federal, state and local right to set disembarkation levels. We cannot be sued.  

Best to ignore the Town Council and vote intelligently. We don’t need cruise ships. Period. It is past time this eyesore be removed for our much more valuable land-based customers.  

Personally, I had two weekly rental guests, in one day, I happened to talk to when I was working out in the yard, out of the blue, say they would not come back to Bar Harbor because of the despoiled view from Cadillac and the mob downtown. How many tourists, coming for our natural beauty, are being disappointed by what is essentially looking at the biggest internal combustion engines in the world when they round the corner into Bar Harbor? 

Jim O’Connell  

Bar Harbor 

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