December 15, 2017
Business Latest News | Poll Questions | Net Neutrality | Republican Tax Bill | Susan Collins

Comments for: Portland area now accounts for most of state’s economy. What happens to the rest of Maine?

Guidelines for posting on bangordailynews.com

The Bangor Daily News and the Bangor Publishing Co. encourage comments about stories, but you must follow our terms of service.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic
  2. No vulgarity, racial slurs, name-calling or personal attacks.
  3. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked.
The primary rule here is pretty simple: Treat others with the same respect you'd want for yourself. Here are some guidelines (see more):

  • Hayseed.

    The lesson here is that Portland is close to the NH/Mass border and the rest of Maine is not. Follow the money, aduh.
    :-)

    • Anonymous

      You are right, to a point. But, does it really HAVE to be that way? I’ve stated for years that Bangor has the basic infrastructure of a larger city. A large airport, I95, UMaine, Husson, EMMC and now finally a city council that realizes a thriving downtown is vital to not only growth but preservation of its young residents.

      Having said all that, the Bangor region still lacks the draw for large employers to want to locate in and around the city. That draw in my opinion could be enhanced by tax incentives, cheaper energy and utilizing it’s own natural resources (the beauty of the waterfront for one) and the rich heritage of its past more effectively. While I’ve been a supporter of the waterfront concerts, imo that land it too valuable to be utilized in that manner long term. This is the type of area that should be developed as upscale housing and eateries, finer hotel space in large 10 plus story buildings.

      Portland is my second hometown. To me, it’s one of the best overall small city’s in the country. It is very small in land mass at only 20 or so square miles so it’s population at 67k is somewhat deceiving. In other words it looks and feels bigger. What Portland has done better than Bangor is tell its story more effectively. Bangor has as rich of a history as Portland, it just needs to be marketed better. For years when I was growing up there, Bangor always seemed content to stay as it was, with very little vision and very few forward thinkers in positions of power. Hopefully, that is starting to change. There is no reason that Bangor can’t be marketed as the gateway to Acadia and Downeast. Of course when you do that there has to be quality places to stay, things to do, high quality restaurants etc. Something that Portland has, and has had for a long while. In order for Bangor to be held in as high regard nationally as Portland is it needs to move upscale. I know that’s not what many want to hear but it’s true. Get better or stay the same. It’s really that simple.

      I believe Bangor MUST become a larger city for the economic health of central, northern and downeast Maine. All city and state policies should be geared toward that end. Without Bangor being able to draw new employers, new tourism, new nightlife and other activities the area will continue to wallow in despair if not poverty. Gone are the days of a prospering Old Town, Millinocket, and Lincoln etc, without a prospering Bangor.

      • Anonymous

        Bangor simply lacks the ambiance that would attract larger companies. , Maybe that will change, but not any time soon, would be my guess.

        • Anonymous

          I think you’re right, but hopefully with the casino, the new arena and convention center, and a more upscale touch to lodging and dining those things can change. It won’t be overnight nor necessarily in our lifetime, but the goals should be set now. Favourable policy towards these goals should be set by both city, state and in some cases even federal levels.

          Btw, Brewer needs to shape up their side of the waterfront too. I drove down Main St. there Wed. and was horrified at the gas tanks, dilapidated buildings and general grossness of an area that in any other city would and should be the most valuable property in the city.

        • Anonymous

          I’ve seen some of Portland’s “ambience” up close and personal, let me tell ya…….and it weren’t too pretty lol

          • Anonymous

            Neither is bangors up close. I think you don’t no what a city is illegalscout. Cities bring in every form of character because that is where the services are and are close by with public transportation. Every states largest city is a microcosm of the state.

      • Anonymous

        I think you are right. Portland is a really nice city, and right by the ocean. A lot to like.
        As for Bangor. There has been a lot of positive change in downtown Bangor in recent years. It has a wonderful theater in the Penobscot Theatre and other cultural offerings. Nicer and more diverse restaurants and shops. More music. A much more active downtown scene at night as well (much more vibrant than in recent decades. ) However , as you know , Maine has the oldest population in the nation. There is still a lot of resistance to change in this part of Maine. Yet, how has keeping things as they were adding to a thriving Bangor?! Keeping Maine as the state with the oldest population is not going to lead to much economic improvement. If someone wants a quiet life, a rural town is the answer . A city, by nature, is not supposed to be some quiet ,dead area.

        • Anonymous

          All true. It’s time for new leadership with real vision of what makes a city grow. The past several generations have had their shot. Unfortunately their vision was stagnation. It is only now that positive changes are finally starting to happen.

      • Anonymous

        I think you have it backward – Bangor prospered as the supply center when the other mill towns were thriving. However you’re right that Bangor may have to go it alone to grow now.

      • Anonymous

        Hard to save money on energy. It is a cold climate. Wonder if taxes can offset things? How does Canada attract business?

        Oh yeah, no requirement to buy employees health insurance, lower overhead to hire people to work, and different regulations.

  • Anonymous

    Rest of state? What rest of state?

  • Thank the Moonbats. No LNG. No East West highway. No to Plum Creek. No NOTHING.

    • Anonymous

      East West Highway is not for Mainers. duh!

      • Anonymous

        Sure it is. It allows Canadians to save at least an hour driving to Bangor.

        • Anonymous

          East West highway is a short cut for Canadians. A better road from Washington County, Eastport, Lubec, whatever the big port is out there, to Bangor, might be useful. A road from Bangor to nowheresville in Western Maine only benefits Canada.

    • Anonymous

      Not necessarily Moonbats. Some of us are “old Mainers” trying to save the place from vanilla-flavored consensus “community” in order to restore what Maine was, a wonderful self-sustaining place to raise a family and live our lives, unmolested and unspoiled by those from away who are so very different to us in viewpoints and ethics..

    • Anonymous

      No Plum Creek would be great – except that Plum Creek is on track.

      To transform Lily Bay into the Jersey Shore.

      Yessah

    • Anonymous

      haha east-west highway is the most unfeasible idea ever, no wonder your area of the state can’t grow if hedging your bets on that.

  • Anonymous

    90% of the population in Maine lives in the southern 10% of the state. The article states that 1/3 of the jobs are created by the southern part of the state. Shouldn’t that be 90% of the jobs?

    • Anonymous

      Anybody who has ever lived in another State knows that issues like this are not unique to Maine. The population centers always dictate policy to the rural areas. Big deal.

      • Anonymous

        my, my, how statist of you

      • Carey Haskell

        Actually the article states just the opposite,that state of Maine regulations have traditionally been anti-“city” and Portland has prospered in spite of that.

        “Supporting and leveraging those assets could start in Augusta, but Maine’s Legislature has historically been anti-metro, said Damicis.
        “State policies have historically been anti-Bangor, anti-Portland, anti-Lewiston-Auburn,” he said.”

        Time for Maine to smarten up a bit, the policies and attitudes of the past aren’t going to lead to a successful future.

    • It’s closer to forty percent of the State population over the three counties.

    • Anonymous

      Get your numbers a little less crazy.

  • Anonymous

    Just a good indication of what the 1% percent has done toward creating jobs, jobs, jobs… Maybe we need to see how much their portfolios have grown?

  • Anonymous

    Ask almost anyone in the Portland area about the rest of Maine and you will get a blank stare. Most don’t even know we exist, and the few that do wonder why we don’t just move down there and leave the rest of the state for the North American re-wilding (Wildways) efforts. http://www.twp.org/wildways

    • Anonymous

      As a lifelong resident of Bangor that recently moved down to the Portland area, i know what you mean. You mention Bangor down here and people think you must be a lumberjack or something….seriously

      • Anonymous

        Nothing wrong with bein’ a lumberjack…

      • Anonymous

        I know. I have a large extended multigenerational family in that area and one of my own children relocated there three years ago when they recognized the direction Bangor was taking and not liking it, decided to follow opportunities in Portland instead.

      • As a child I grew up in Presque Isle and Bangor. I have lived in Portland for 27 years. I have never encountered Portland urbanite snobs. What I have encountered is a boatload of people I grew up with because this is where they found jobs after college.

    • I worked in Portland for a few years. Very interesting little city…but
      the arrogance and snootiness of some Portland “urbanites” and their attitudes about their fellow Mainers is certainly repulsive.

      • Anonymous

        That’s why we are still in Bangor for now, although the younger in-crowd here really seems to want to get rid of us baby boomers so they can overhaul the place to suit themselves.

        • Anonymous

          Isn’t it their turn though? I’m not trying to be sarcastic, I’m just wondering if you ever wanted what you believed to be positive change when you were younger?

          • Anonymous

            Of course, we all did, but we certainly didn’t expect our parents and grandparents to drop dead to accomplish it. We loved having them around and we enjoyed their company.

          • Anonymous

            I didn’t mean to imply that. Nobody wants that. I love having my folks around too. All I meant is that it is proper for the younger generation to make positive contributions to their particular city or town. Nobody need be excluded or put out to pasture so to speak, but major changes are needed for economic prosperity in central and northern Maine and that means Bangor needs to grow and be the catalyst for the region.

          • Anonymous

            Do you think that possibly the younger ones may make expensive mistakes based on lack of life experience? Such as exclusively projecting narrowed outcomes for their projects when success is highly unlikely? For example, spending huge amounts on projects with the hope of drawing a particular demographic rather than amplifying and enhancing the services and attributes we already have and that made people want to live here in the first place? In my opinion, a mixed age group is ideal. Just some food for thought,

          • Anonymous

            Fair point. But nobody has all the answers and all of us make mistakes. Even if they are costly, the option of doing nothing is more so.

          • Anonymous

            You hit the nail on the head: nobody has all the answers. That’s why you need a more diverse group giving input and it should be taken seriously. I would like to see enhancements and improvements for older people because we do still live here and contribute to the tax base. Bangor will never be Portland nor should it be! Bangor was always a destination back in the day because of its uniqueness and for its variety of things to do, even worth driving three hours to from Aroostook County towns. If you were 25-30 years old and were choosing where to locate to raise your family after spending $150,000. on your college education, the pubs downtown and the loud concerts won’t make you move here, the means to earn a good income in your chosen field is what you’d be looking for. The partiers are primarily visitors just like in the old days of Bangor.

  • Anonymous

    This kind of makes sense doesnt it? I mean in all honesty, the REAL Maine stops at Augusta, and that is only because the State House is there, otherwise you could write off everything North of Portland:)

    • Anonymous

      What does that even mean? What is “the REAL Maine.”

    • Anonymous

      What you call REAL Maine is usually called Massachusetts North.

  • Industries OTHER than logging and mining have to be encouraged in rural Maine, which they’re not. Our legislators go WAY out of their way to support the logging industry but don’t give a crap that other businesses are taxed straight to bankruptcy. Meanwhile, businesses that COULD create jobs, teach workers to have actual skills, and build a strong economy avoid Maine because other states give them tax breaks and Maine doesn’t.

    • Anonymous

      Recently the LePage admin dealt a crippling blow to the Down East region by quickly and secretly approving closure papers for a nursing home that employed 92 people in the already-hurting town of Calais. 92 jobs lost. All the residents forced to locate without much notice and no clear place to go.

      This is just one example of the cruelty of the LePage doctrine.

      http://bangordailynews.com/2012/07/10/news/down-east/next-step-in-restoring-nursing-home-care-to-calais-is-exploring-options/

      • Anonymous

        Your whole post is based on ignorance of the issue and blind rage against LePage.
        The nursing home that closed was a privately owned state licensed facility. They made a decision to close on their own. The State cannot make that decision for them.
        Read the links you post and you won’t be so embarrassed in the future.

        • Some people simply have no shame about bold-faced lying, as Spruce clearly shows. Thank you for making the correction.

  • Anonymous

    How about they pay all the taxes for the rest of us. Then we all can sit back and get the freebies we are entitled to. I am all for taking from those Portland folks and redistributing their prosperity.

    • Anonymous

      They already do – and the rest of Maine needs to step up .

      Yessah

    • Anonymous

      they already do: you already do.

    • That’s an attitude that builds cooperation, especially when it’s already happening! You might try gratitude. Or better yet, question why all the $ spent on “economic development” has failed to produce 21st century industry in rural Maine. Greedily pointing the finger might make someone feel good but it won’t solve any problems – quite the contrary. There’s way too much of that already, which I believe contributes to keeping the problems unsolved.

  • Anonymous

    Really…. BDN needs to publish an article to to tell us something that all Mainers have known for decades. What a waste of print news space!

  • Anonymous

    This is why LePage hates Portland – and vice versa.

    Yessah

    • Anonymous

      …and this is why he shouldn’t, IF he really wants to grow the Maine economy…

    • Anonymous

      Is Portland too “elitist” for LePage? He probably doesn’t care for PBS either.

    • Anonymous

      That is Mr. Lepage to you.

    • Anonymous

      What was the disparaging name candidate LePage used to refer to folks in southern Maine? I forget now.

  • wishyouknew2

    Agenda 21

  • Kathleen March

    It’s easy to figure out why. The area has some sense of culture. All that art, music, theater, literature, etc. that are part of the arts and humanities the rest of the state ignores (for the most part). Plus, there is more diversity. Certain higher education institutions further north ought to take notice, but it doesn’t look like that will happen any time soon.

    • Anonymous

      What are you talking about??

  • Anonymous

    Quimby?

  • Anonymous

    Yup Portland area accounts for most of Maine’s economy, I believe this to be true.. The reason for this is that people wont invest in doing anything up in the county or surrounding area.. There is no industry up there except for logging and a few paper mills that are about to go under.. What about bringing a Casino or maybe a textile mill up there to keep them busy.. Seems no one wants to invest in any business up there..

    • Anonymous

      With all due respect you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • Anonymous

    What happens? We’re left to wither on the vine and die. That’s what happens.

  • FELT

    I see Maine very differently. Basically it’s an environmental preserve which attracts active retirees who settle here and live comfortably; bringing with them a new matrix of jobs to service their retirement lifestyles.

    For them it’s not the ‘help wanted’ sections of the Forecaster or the PPH, but DOWNEAST, Maine Design, and other ‘fashionable’ magazines that are read. New jobs and occupations flow from a lifestyle that revolves around remodeling, health care, physical activity, growing things,continuing education, travel and part-time employment usually in some professional or technical field.

    To them Portland is boring and dangerous; with expensive parking and useful as a Ferry terminal and location for Whole Foods, Trader Joes and ethnic specialities. Given the choice between Portland and say, Belfast, Rockland or Bar Harbour; Portland comes in last.

    There are many different Maine’s; it all depends on what you are looking for.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, i can understand how people can like one town over another but i don’t think portland could be called boring .

    • Anonymous

      “it’s an environmental preserve which attracts active retirees who settle here and live comfortably; bringing with them a new matrix of jobs to service their retirement lifestyles.” If you want to describe a big difference between Maine and somewhere else, that’s a good one. You’re talking Midcoast through Down East.

  • Anonymous

    This story demonstrates why we need to have RESTORE: Longfellow Square, an organization dedicated to stopping all development within Portland’s borders. Its headquarters can be in Allagash and Idaho, most of its leaders from out of state, and throw in the Koch brothers to gate off each end of Congress street from all motor vehicle traffic while applying for a property tax abatement. Wait, no, that’s crazy too.

  • Anonymous

    It’s just weird that they consider the Portland metro area to be three whole counties.

  • Anonymous

    unless it can double its population, Bangor is always going to play second fiddle. Research and development is possibly the only advantage it could have, and that is not taken full advantage of. There simply is no reason for a large non-service oriented business to choose Bangor over Portland to do business in (for service oriented businesses, it is possible they find Bangor is under-served). I work in research, and it is very difficult to recruit highly skilled employees up here (most of which have to be recruited from out of state).

    • Mike Lange

      Bangor’s retail expansion has been mind-boggling, and I question whether an economy based on selling things to each other is sustainable for the long term. Ellsworth was fortunate to find a buyer for it’s closed Lowe’s store a few weeks ago. If a big-box store in Bangor shuts down, I doubt if the city will be as lucky. But if I had a choice of living in Bangor or Portland, there would be no contest: Bangor by a wide margin.

  • Anonymous

    Nice new , expanded ,stats on the strength of southern maine but this is old news.
    Since the cut back in paper mills and the closing of loring AFB the south has been growing in importance. i would also add it’s a very diverse economy but only concentrated in geography. i would say it’s healthy overall but small town politics and tax structures are not keeping up with the realities of the growth.

  • Anonymous

    I left Portland 20 some years ago because there was no work. Now I see why there are so many liberals posting on this paper. Collect welfare and promote the democrat party, and you kind of have a job in a bleedng heart kind of way.

  • Anonymous

    New York City not only accounts for most of New York’s economy, but also for the economies in New Jersey, & Connecticut. Georgia’s economo is 90% Atlanta, and 10% for the rest of the State. Oregon’s economy is centered in the Salem/Portland area, New Hampshire’s economy is Manchester Keene, and Nashua. Alabama’s, Missisippi’s and Louisiana’s economies are all located at the extreme southern parts of their States, mostly in a ten mile from the Gulf zone.
    Here’s a good one for you. Although Canada is the second largest country in the world, 95% of her economy and 99% of the population are located within 100 miles of her southern border.

    • Anonymous

      NH is a state that has many economic centers. You forgot to add the Seacoast region Portsmouth, Dover, Rochester and also Concord and the Lakes Region. Like him or loathe him, Gov. LePage has said we need to emulate NH’s and he’s right.

  • Anonymous

    Every state that voted for OBAMA basically said that it really doesn’t care about the economy. Maine was one of those states. Deal with it. You voted for the big-eared cigarette smoker to fix things, so let him do his job and stop whining.

    • Anonymous

      Oh please like the guy who likes to fire folks, and who makes 10K bets with people is going to fix everything.
      I voted for the lesser of two evils.

  • Anonymous

    It just goes to prove that there are 2 Maines. One part supported by Augusta and the other that the politicians could care less about.

  • Anonymous

    Who would of thunk it????
    Northern Boston…LOL

  • Thron

    Maine and New Hampshire are the tale of two states. New Hampshire chose freedom and Maine chose entitlements which is why ME has triple the welfare of NH. NH is a one for all, all for one state and ME is an inny and outy state where Portland is in and the rest are out. NH chose responsible business development and ME chose no business development except Portland. While ME expanded entitlements, NH built and maintained roads. With the re-election of the Protected Liar, Maine will regain its station “as goes Maine, so goes the nation.” Even though Mainers lament over the states devolution, collectively you have voted the same for the US.

    • Anonymous

      Of interest is that the economic engine of NH are the four counties nearest to Massachusetts.

      • Anonymous

        Almost true. North Conway and Carroll County Out preforms Keene, and Cheshire County. The average income in Coos County is equivelent to the average income in Washington County, and the average price of single family existing homes is higher in Washington County, than in Coos.

  • Anonymous

    man its almost all democrats down there too where all the jobs and economic growth is created, man those democrats hate to work, lazy bums….

  • It would be entertaining to compare the gross tax revenue generated
    by Portland for the state, as opposed to the state payments TO Portland,
    for welfare, medical care, school district costs, and every other form
    of benefit from the state.

    For some reason, I think it would be a wash, or a negative on the state’s part — but, that’s just me.

  • Anonymous

    What is the percentage of Maine’s population that lives in the Portland MSA?

  • Anonymous

    Half the state population and only a third of the jobs? How is that a power house?
    Half the states population and half the economy makes sense.

You may also like