Kennebunk, Maine and its surrounding villages have always been a popular tourist destination. However, with the opening of a new resort and the forthcoming reopening of the train depot, this destination spot is set to bring in more visitors than ever before.
This week marked the opening of 84 Main, a new Capital Resorts Group destination, in downtown Kennebunk. The resort is expected to attract Capital ResortsTM owners and guests from all over the country to visit this beautiful coastal destination.
In 2015, The Amtrak Downeaster Train is set make regular stops in Kennebunk, according the Matthew Eddy, the Director of Economic Development for the Town of Kennebunk. Eddy’s job is to focus on developing a healthy and vibrant economic climate within the various villages and the downtown area.
Eddy talks with much excitement about The Kennebunks, which include the Town of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and nearby Arundel, and the new possibilities of an even greater economic boost in the tourism industry.
What’s the appeal of Maine to visitors, particularly The Kennebunks?
“To start with, its our tagline — a place that one should live. I was born in Connecticut, but I have spent most of my life in Maine, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. It’s a perfect mixture of everything. People may think of harsh hurricanes or harsh winters — but its really four great seasons here,” Eddy said.
“Its essentially a beautiful area. Kennebunk is special because we are a year-round community that tourists like to visit, and we are a place where people want to live. We’re a full service community with real jobs, strong service industry, and a strong medical industry. When you start looking at the natural assets, about 20-25% of all the land is in conservation trust, so there’s a real sense of protecting our resources,” he said.
Eddy noted that for a small community, the area is brimming with activities, with three rivers, sandy ocean beaches, historical tours, fine eateries, art galleries, and bike paths and walking trails that make everything accessible in many ways. “During the summer there is some of the best fishing around, and there’s easy access to boats.”
Eddy said this is an especially exciting time for the tourism industry. In 2015, The Amtrak Downeaster Train is planning to make regular stops in Kennebunk.
The Amtrak Downeaster is a car-free connection from Boston, Massachusetts to Brunswick, Maine, and points in between. “It’s the fastest growing rail system in the country, and we have the oldest train station still left on the line. They have decided to include us on a stop,” he said. There are several businesses set to go up around the station, such as car rentals and moped rentals, he said.
Eddy said getting to Kennebunk will be as easy as flying into Boston and boarding the train straight to Kennebunk Station. Many folks get around fine without a car, he added. “There’s a lot for the visitor to come and experience, and they can do it easily,” he said. “The whole community is accessible. We also have trolleys and alternative options for folks to get around.”
Visitors find the Town of Kennebunk to be quaint and unique, he said. “Its three villages: West Kennebunk, which is a very typical inland rural area; there’s Kennebunk Proper; and then we have the lower village on the harbor across from Kennebunkport, which is the tourist destination,”
The beaches are a big tourist draw. “There are miles of gorgeous beaches. Kennebunk Beach is actually is one of the most popular surfing beaches in the state. You could spend the day on the beach, and then head up to one of the reserve areas, or you’re about an hour and a half from the mountains.”
“Here in Kennebunk, you have an array of really good eateries, and arts and entertainment. It’s a great experience, and there’s no shortage of things to pick from.”
Eddy said outsiders are also beginning to discover the many seasonal events and festivals that The Kennebunks host for its local residents.
“It starts with the community being very committed to putting together great events for the Kennebunk people and their families. As a result, each one of these events are growing, and people from the outside are discovering them,” he said.
Eddy also noted a new, all-season activity pavilion featuring an ice-skating rink that will be coming to Main Street in downtown Kennebunk. The proposed 60-by-90-foot ice rink will be open from December until mid-March. In the summer, it will operate as an in-line skating rink. The pavilion will be open to the public all four seasons for a range of activities, according to Eddy.
What does the opening of 84 Main resort mean for the town of Kennebunk and the surrounding area?
“It offers a new opportunity to bring a variety of visitors from all over the country to the community on a regular basis. We see plenty of business from May though October, but it does slow down in the fall and spring — but to have someone proving a steady flow of people will provide a steady flow of income for restaurants and businesses. Kennebunk itself is unique, and tells a great story about Maine. Kennebunk is the quintessential Maine experience, and its going to be well received,” Eddy said.
Once they visit, Eddy said he believes “people will be interested in the investing in the community.”
84 Main, the new Capital Resorts Group’s destination, opened on April 21st. Located on Main Street in downtown Kennebunk, 84 Main features spacious one and two bedroom suites with separate living areas, hardwood floors, state-of-the-
Inside the resort, guests will find the perfect combination of modern luxuries and homelike comforts. Each suite will be characterized by Capital Resorts Group's premier Distinct DifferencesSM program, an initiative that strives to set Capital Resorts™ apart from the rest. Some features of the Distinct DifferencesSM program include state-of-the-
As a Capital Resorts Club destination, 84 Main will attract Capital ResortsTM owners and guests from all over the country to Kennebunk to visit this beautiful coastal destination.
Capital Resorts Group is a premier vacation ownership and full-service management company with resort destinations across the country. Owners with Capital Resorts™ enjoy flexible, points-based travel to a variety of sought-after resort destinations, with each resort featuring luxury accommodations and "Distinctly Different" amenities and benefits. For more information about Capital Resorts Group, please visit www.capitalresortsgroup.com.