MILLINOCKET- With its third birthday coming up, the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument has had an effect on the Katahdin area.
“We’ve definitely seen more travelers to the area. We look down our main street and license plates are from all across the U.S, so people are definitely coming,” Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce President Jamie Brundrett said.
A feeling of optimism is permeating through different Millinocket business owners, and they said it’s no small part due to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.
According to the Katahdin Monument Superintendent Tim Hudson, last year there were 30,000 visitors during the summer to the monument and another 10,000 to 15,000 in the winter, all adding foot traffic to the Katahdin area.
“We know they come from at least 45 states last year and nine countries. So they come to see views, they come to paddle, they come to hike. There’s 87,500 acres, we’ve got a lot of birders and a lot of people looking at the night sky,” Hudson said.
Another aspect the Katahdin Woods and Waters Monument is impacting is the housing market in Millinocket and the surrounding areas.
With North Woods Real Estate Broker Daniel Corcoran saying the real estate and housing properties are being snatched up fast.
“We’re finding an increase in a number of people that are talking about either second homes here or retiring here. And they never even knew the Katahdin area existed, even though they’re familiar with Maine, the Katahdin area was something that was not on the radar until the national monument introduced them to this area,” Corcoran said.
He said real estate sales have been up year over year for the last three years.
He also said before the monument, the inventory of houses in the area was more than 100, but now there are just 19 houses on the market with three under contract.
This is a trend that he said he nsees continuing.