To the Editor:
Islander letter writer Ann Hirschhorn got it right. Officials are not considering the cruise ship dilemma from the perspective of the visitors, and let me add, the full-time residents of Bar Harbor.
Once Bar Harbor allows the big cruise ship business to run the show, it is over. Money will rule, and everyone’s right to make more money will always be the topic of the day. Local residents losing their traditional places in the market will only be the beginning. Then the zoning changes will commence, and the status quo will change. Residents need to be engaged in this entire process, or they will lose control of their little village.
Our bi-yearly trip to Acadia and Bar Harbor has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. Last fall was the worst, with wall-to-wall buses on the Park Loop and an impossible trip up Cadillac Mountain to view the rear ends of the cruise ship passengers. Our only trip into Bar Harbor for shopping didn’t happen, as the cruise ship buses had taken all the parking at the wharf and the sidewalks were swollen with passengers. We found we could very happily spend no time in Bar Harbor and most of our time on the western side.
Furthermore, a letter writer in March is living in a fantasyland if he thinks we tourists are going to continue to spend our dollars for this new, abbreviated experience. People don’t come to Bar Harbor or Acadia for the crowds. I am already giving up one of my trips this summer. I have lived for these vacations for over 30 years. It really wasn’t worth the 11-hour drive or the expense to be fighting the crowds augmented by the cruise ships. That is something else local residents and business owners must consider, as many other long-term tourists begin an exodus.
The cruise ship model may seem like big, easy money. But for whom? It will be big money from away that will take over your politics and ruin what everyone comes to Bar Harbor and Acadia for. Believe me, it has already started. Residents also will have to live with it. Make sure you vote in June so you don’t lose control!