Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

July 27, 2023

Rain, rain, go away: Maine businesses lament impact of dreary summer weather

Alexis Wells Although it may be 90 degrees outside, Maine hasn't had the warmest or driest summer this year.

Although it may be 90 degrees outside, Maine hasn't had the warmest or driest summer this year.

Mainers and tourists have come to expect rain or fog this summer, but how has the weather affected local businesses that rely on a good tourism season? 

“The rain is killing business,” said Cory Hutchinson, general manager of Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco.

A Mainebiz poll a couple weeks ago asked readers, “Has the rainy summer affected your business?”

Out of 173 votes, 41% said the rain has limited outdoor activities, limiting business. But over half of respondents said it’s been business as usual for them. 

According to the National Weather Service in Gray, Portland International Jetport received 5.68 inches of rain in June, twice the 2.62 inches received in June 2022.

How local businesses have been affected

This summer's rain and fog have put a damper on some businesses, especially those like Funtown Splashtown, an amusement park and waterpark in Saco who rely on good weather to keep the business open. 

theme park
Alexis Wells
Funtown Splashtown Adventure Theme Park

Funtown's Hutchinson told Mainebiz that June was one of the worst months the business has had.

He also said that their workers had been affected. If the weather is bad and the park is closed, employees don’t get paid, which has left some workers with no other choice but to find jobs elsewhere. 

“It’s affecting us greatly,” said Hutchinson. “We aren’t open daily because of the forecast. July hasn’t been off to a great start, but we hope it will improve.”

On Tuesday, the amusement and waterpark announced that it has created a ride called the Haunted Hotel, a “dark ride” and an indoor attraction.  

Chris Carleton, owner of Allspeed Cyclery & Snow, which has locations in Portland, Carrabassett Valley and Bethel, said rentals have been down. 

“Carrabassett has been down 66% in rentals, which is kind of understandable," said Carleton. "Who would want to spend $100-plus for a really rainy day and muddy trails? Despite having a record-breaking spring, mountain bike sales were down significantly. We have seen an increase in our E-bike sales.”

Although sales and rentals were down, Carleton says that the business has maintained all of its employees and has had plenty of work in the service department to keep people busy. 

“We are just wondering what is going to happen with the rest of the summer,” said Carleton. “Are people just going to wait till next summer to come to visit us.” 

According to National Park Service visitor data for June 2023, Acadia National Park has seen a decline in visitors. While we don’t know the root of the issue here, one may wonder if the weather is the issue. 

In June, the park's recreation visits were down 6.2% from June 2022. It saw 565,341 visitors versus same month last year, when it had 603,023 visitors. 

Business as usual

While some businesses have seen decreases because of the weather, for others the show goes on.

"We are at about the same as last year or slightly up," said Karen Francoeur, founder and instructor at Castine Kayak Adventures. “Surprisingly, folks are showing up all smiles and with good gear on, excited to enjoy our rainy or foggy weather."

Scheduled tours are going on, as planned, she said. 

"Our bioluminescent tours have been full with an active waiting list every night, rain or shine. I've been looking at them ‘like OMG’  why are these people so happy? But I really think they are happy to get away from the heat waves, Canadian fires, and smoke happening where they are coming from and just psyched to get out in nature," Francoeur said. 

In Scarborough, Wassamki Springs Campground said that it has been busy and hasn’t seen a decrease in customers. An employee told Mainebiz that is has a cancellation policy and doesn't allow weather-related cancellations. 

More weather may be on its way today.

Old Orchard issued a severe weather warning for this morning. The warning is in place for a heat advisory from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., plus high winds, heavy rains, flooding, lightning and a tornado watch. The town advised residents and visitors to tune in to local news stations for additional information and be ready to seek shelter if they are in the path of the storm.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF