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August 11, 2017

Port official set to take over Cruise Maine

A firm led by port official Patrick Arnold won a bid to run CruiseMaine.

Cruise Industry News reported that Soli DG Inc., a maritime business consulting firm owned by Arnold, won over a single competing bid.

Arnold serves as director of operations and business development for the Maine Port Authority at the International Marine Terminal. He is also involved in the New England Ocean Cluster and the Sunanna music festival at Thompson's Point.

For CruiseMaine, Soli DG proposed an annual budget of $115,000, with total fixed costs of $105,000 combined with a variable $10,000 budget, according to documents posted online by the Maine State Legislature and cited by the trade publication.

The contract will run for a full year before being reevaluated, with the potential for two 24-month options.

“The first step is to meet with the Maine Office of Tourism and to query everything that has been done. We do this with every business opportunity, to assess what has worked and what hasn’t worked,” Arnold told the trade publication. “Based on that, we will start developing a strategic plan … come the fall we will be a lot further along in terms of having mapped out strategic elements we want to put in play to keep Maine at the forefront of cruise tourism.”

Final approval must still be given by the State Procurement Review Committee, said Steve Lyons, acting director of Maine Tourism. “The next step is for the Office of Tourism to meet with Soli DG to discuss contract terms and set priorities for the first year of the contract. We expect to have a contract in place by the last week in August,” he told Cruise Industry News.

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