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October 17, 2019

A Look Back: The 'worst' tourism season

A lousy economy and a rainy early summer were blamed for the worst tourism season on record, according to the Nov. 14, 2009, Mainebiz. At hotels, revenue per available room dropped by 11.6% from 2008. Tax revenue from hospitality establishments plummeted to such an extreme that an economist at Maine Revenue Services told Mainebiz: “I can’t find [a year] this bad, and I went back and looked to the mid-'70s. I’ve never seen this kind of drop …”

Fun fact: In July 2009, just nine months after the stock market crashed, home sales in Maine surged by 12% versus July 2008. In a poll, Mainebiz asked readers if that was a sign the residential market was recovering. A resounding 59.1% of respondents said no. This commenter said it well: “I think most of the sales were low-priced homes. People with dollars to spend are taking advantage of the depressed market to acquire property. It’s much too early in the process to declare a rebound.”

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