Maine Meetup Report: Great Conversation, Lost and Found

Despite Bailey Island being well away from where most Maine residents live and work, and the weather turning wretched in the later PM, we had a great turnout of 15! I had promised crashing ocean views, which everyone did get, but not from the deck but the cozy living and dining room of the rental cottage.

We got some input that seemed consistent with signs that this vacation season didn’t seem as robust as ones in recent years, like more empty parking spaces than usual in Brunswick and Boothbay Harbor, less crowding in some restaurants (although there were indicators that went the other way, like shopping center Freeport seeming busy).

The Maine contingent said that the summer season really got going mid-July, which is later than normal. They also said that restaurants and hotels were having trouble hiring. I was skeptical, asking whether the problem couldn’t be solved by paying a dollar or two an hour more. They said no, that there were actual shortages because there were fewer workers from Eastern Europe. I neglected to probe this further, as to whether this was part of the famed decline in foreign students attending US colleges, or something else.

Separately, one guest left a jacket and hat at the house. The rental agency (which is on the main drag in Bailey Island) has them, so if you think they are yours, call them to check it out and arrange pickup.

They are:

Your Island Connection
2067 Harpswell Island Road
Bailey Island, ME 04003

Thanks again and hope to see you next year!

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  1. Which is worse- bankers or terrorists

    Was in Spain and Greece this summer; resorts and restaurants were having trouble hiring due to high housing costs.

    This includes places that have banned Airbnb and the like.

  2. lyman alpha blob

    Thanks for the meetup Yves – it was a really nice time again.

    My own theory on labor shortages in Maine restaurants and hotels is too many restaurants and hotels. One can only eat so much artisanal fiddlehead bisque. Portland has an extremely pro-business, pro-tourism city manager and developers get their way. Large new hotels and lots of fancy restaurants are coming in all the time as Portland has marketed itself as a “foodie” mecca. You can’t just keep setting up new businesses forever in a small state with an aging population and expect there to be enough people at your disposal. And tourism is about the only industry being promoted and even if all the business owners paid $15 minimum, that’s just not enough to afford the rapidly increasing cost of living in the area. $30,000 a year with no benefits isn’t going to get you into a $400,000 house.

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