BAR HARBOR — Troy Mace was prepared to feed a lunchtime lobster bake to 250 people on Tuesday.

At 9 a.m., he got a call. The cruise ship tour of 150 canceled its reservation for two hours later. At 10:30 a.m., he got another call. The second seating wasn’t coming in either.

Bar Harbor Lobster Bakes, a company whose business model relies on serving large groups of tourists coming through Acadia National Park, has lost more than 300 customers and thousands of dollars since the park closed Tuesday as a result of the federal government shutdown.

“I feel betrayed,” said Mace, as he watered flowers outside his restaurant Wednesday. “I’m a loyal American who pays taxes and votes, and I feel like those guys aren’t doing their jobs.

Bar Harbor Lobster Bakes is close to the Hulls Cove entrance to the park, but a couple miles from downtown. So tour groups — Mace’s only customers — have no reason, or way, to get to the restaurant if they’re not going to the park.

Other restaurants and shops along the main drag were still busy Wednesday, but employees said they feared what would happen if the park stayed closed and the bus tours and cruise ships stopped coming.


“That’s going to absolutely crush the local economy here,” said Andy Cough, owner of Acadia National Park Tours, which takes buses of people from the downtown through the park and back.

At this time of year — what he called “a lot of people’s gravy” — his 44-passenger buses are always filled. More than 25 percent of his reservations have canceled since the shutdown, he said. The rest have opted to get on the bus for the tour around the rest of Mount Desert Island that he’s offering instead.

But only a small cruise ship is coming in Thursday. There are 12 people total signed up for his two tours, and he expects half of them to cancel.

“I think what we’re in for is really going to show,” Cough said.

Charles Phippen, Bar Harbor’s harbormaster, said an agent for the Holland American Line has indicated that if the park stays closed, its ships will reroute to Portland.

The Veendam, a 1,350-passenger ship, is scheduled to be in Bar Harbor on Friday and again on Sunday. The Eurodam, which holds more than 2,000 passengers, is supposed to arrive Saturday.


Phippen said 37 ships are scheduled to come in through the end of October, including several owned by Holland America.

That’s what concerns Amanda Austin, the manager of Testa’s Restaurant on Main Street. Austin keeps a calendar of the ships coming in and the number of passengers they carry in a red binder that she was holding Wednesday.

“It’s how we decide how much staff we have working, how much lobster we order — everything,” she said.

The Bluenose Inn isn’t as tied to the cruise ships, but it does depend on business from bus tours, which can fill up as many as half of the 97 rooms in the hotel, said general manager Jim Ash.

So far, no one has canceled a reservation.

“‘So far’ is the operative term,” he said.


A handful of other customers, however, have canceled, Ash said. Another handful left early.

“If I seem bitter about it, I am,” he said. “It’s a disgrace that this has happened.”

As visitors from Lancaster, Pa., boarded their Conestoga Tours bus after shopping downtown Wednesday afternoon, driver Eric Stein said they were upset they couldn’t get into the park, which he said was half the attraction of Bar Harbor.

“You take half of it away, it doesn’t make them all that happy,” he said.

But people who came on their own, and were determined to get into the park, made sure that they did.

Cars with out-of-state places filled parking lots, lined streets and crowded into driveways near several entrances to the park. Hikers lifted their legs over locked gates to reach the trails.


Selina Mochizuki, her husband and their 2-year-old son took advantage of having Echo Lake to themselves for a while.

She said she was paying attention to the news Monday before they left their home in Greensboro, Vt., but they already had rented a house in Southwest Harbor.

“We weren’t going to let that stop us,” she said of the imminent shutdown.

Mochizuki’s husband, Jon Ramsay, said he assumed it was still all right for them to use the trails, but according to the park’s chief ranger, Stuart West, that’s not the case.

West, one of 15 park employees working Wednesday, down from the usual 206, said rangers were patrolling the park, asking people to leave. Long-term campers were given some extra time to make alternate plans. West said campers at about 30 sites in Blackwoods Campground were still there on Wednesday and would have to be gone by 11 a.m. Thursday.

Several hikers Wednesday said that although they were disappointed about the change in their vaction plans, they felt worse for the people who were out of work.


West wouldn’t comment on how the shutdown had affected the morale of his employees. Sharon Stencel, of Sacramento, Calif, however, had no trouble expressing her feelings.

Stencel and her husband recently renewed their vows and came to Acadia to celebrate the honeymoon they never had.

“I never would have come this far north,” Stencel said, if she had known the shutdown was coming.

Aware that the park was closed, Stencel drove to the Hulls Cove entrance Wednesday with a different purpose.

Standing in front of a flashing sign announcing the shutdown and closure, she smiled wide and held up her two middle fingers for her husband, who was holding a camera in front of her.

She said she was sending the picture to her congressman.

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