2017-04-19 / Letters

Supporting Maine’s High Peaks is supporting our businesses

Maine’s High Peaks is once again asking the town for financial support. There is much confusion over MHP. I am a director and I volunteer numerous hours of my time. As most of you know, when I truly believe in something, I put my heart and soul into it. I truly believe in this.

We are the ‘chamber of commerce’ for northern Franklin County. We promote tourism. Kingfield NEEDS tourism for our businesses to survive. MHP is our biggest supporter and our loudest voice. We have 200 business members of which 70 are in Kingfield.

Times have changed! Years ago, businesses didn’t need the outside help that they need today. They had a captive audience. We were a mill town. Everyone bought their gas, cars, food, oil, & wood in town. Sugarloaf needed us for stores, restaurants, mechanics, etc. It is no longer. Our businesses struggle to stay afloat which will get more difficult with the substantial minimum wage increase. Our school continues to shrink. Families can’t afford to live here. We are an aging community. As a town, we are good at supporting nonprofit groups and the many programs that help the needy. We are NOT good at supporting businesses. Supporting Maine’s High Peaks is supporting our businesses.

This, of course, is personal to me. We now have 7 restaurants in town. NONE of them can survive off the locals alone. We MUST have tourists. Tourist spend money. If they like it here, they buy property. They pay taxes. They put kids in our shrinking schools. They hire contractors, electricians, plumbers, etc. The more tourists, the more jobs. Tourism provides jobs.

At a recent meeting, the selectmen stated that MHP doesn’t do anything. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I invite them, and you, to get informed. We publish a visitors’ guide which is no small task, and other publications. We attend many conferences and workshops to stay abreast of how tourism is changing, how social media can make or break a business. I invite you to visit our Visitors’ Center across from Ayotte’s in Carrabassett.

Tammy Goldfrank
Maine’s High Peaks Board of Directors
Kingfield

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