MILLINOCKET- Snowmobile season is in full swing and some areas are benefiting more than others.
“The last few years we’ve seen a 10 to 12 percent increase in traffic, snowmobile wise and just winter season wise” Jamie Brundrett, the president of the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce told us.
More than a decade ago, Millinocket’s economy was hit hard by the closure of the paper mill, but that hasn’t stopped people from going there.
Brundrett is also the owner of the Katahdin General store. He said “on any given weekend, my cashiers do a count and it’s been in the hundreds of snowmobiles we see every weekend.”
Matt Polstein, the owner of the New England Outdoor Center in Millinocket, says his company is responsible for grooming more than 100 miles of trails.
He estimated that the greater Millinocket area has at least 400 miles of trails.
“The snow mobile clubs are out grooming. From here, north, and up to the county and into the Allagash” Brundrett added. “There’s plenty of great snow. There’s plenty of great riding. If you’re thinking about staying home, come on up.”
It’s not just snowmobile clubs benefiting from the winter season.
According to Brundrett, restaurants, lodging, and other hospitality services have also seen a spike in business.
“We have ethanol free gas here, which is big for the snow sleds. That draws snow sledders here, then food service” Brundrett said while talking about his store. “I have a whole bunch of winter jackets here, parts for snow mobiles, all those types of things. It all adds incremental sales throughout the winter season.”