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Updated: May 1, 2023 From the Editor

From the editor: Hospitality industry looks for ways to grow in Maine

The conversation around new hotels nearly always leads to the question, “Who is staying in all those hotels?”

It’s a complex question, but one that we address in this issue.

Leisure travel has always been the bread and butter of Maine’s hospitality industry — summer travelers.

As Maine’s tourism industry continues to push the boundaries of the summer and “shoulder” seasons, it’s also looking at ways to bring in more business travelers and off-season visitors.

When those visitors arrive, the hotel sector will be ready, as Laurie Schreiber reports on the next wave of hotels. Much of the hotel development in recent years has been focused on Portland, and indeed there are hotels in the works for the peninsula. But she also reports on some places that are seeing the first new hotel development in years, including Waterville, Skowhegan and Bar Harbor. Major renovations are underway in Boothbay Harbor and Presque Isle. See “Hotel development remains strong,” which starts on Page 16.

As Renee Cordes reports, there’s also a growing movement to attract more conventions and trade shows. Maine is not going to compete with major convention centers in Chicago, Las Vegas or Orlando. But it can certainly find a niche with smaller meetings and conventions. See our cover story, “Selling Maine as a convention destination,” which starts on Page 12.

Our list for this issue is Maine’s largest hotels, on Page 26.

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