GREENVILLE, Maine — Keeping tax dollars local has been an emphasis of the Appalachian Mountain Club as it constructs its new Appalachian Mountain Club lodge on Long Pond in the Moosehead Lake region, an AMC official said this week.
Both the supplies and the labor for the restoration of its Chairback cabins and the construction of the new lodge are being supplied locally, according to Rob Burbank, AMC’s director of media and public affairs.
“It is important for AMC to be part of the community. Part of being of a community is supporting as many of the local businesses as possible as well as hiring locally when jobs become available,” Burbank said.
The local economy also receives a boost from AMC’s visitors, Burbank noted. An informal survey of guests in recent years found they were spending an average of $100 in the area on winter trips for such things as gas, food, hotel, gear and gifts, and that’s outside any payment to AMC, he said.
The organization also pays both real estate and timber tax on its property, and room and meal taxes, according to Burbank.
Burbank said AMC’s objectives with the Maine Woods Initiative include building community partnerships and helping contribute to the local economy. Not only is AMC purchasing through local suppliers, but it also uses Maine logging crews to harvest the timber on its land that supplies local mills, he said.
The Chairback Lodge and Cabins, one of three backcountry sporting camps operated for the public by the AMC, will open Jan. 27. The traditional log cabins at the historic sporting camps are being renovated, and a new lodge is under construction.
The opening of the lodge and cabins is an exciting step in the Maine Woods Initiative, and AMC is fortunate to have such talented local contractors and craftspeople helping the project, Gary Dethlefsen, operations manager for AMC Maine Wilderness Lodges, said in a press release.
Dethlefsen said AMC’s property contains a network of more than 70 miles of recreational trails and ski routes open for use by the public, with more than 35 miles of new trails built since 2003.
“We really want our property to be a recreational resource for the community, and we welcome area residents and visitors to explore and enjoy this great landscape,” he said.
AMC, which has more than 3,700 members in Maine and recently relocated its Greenville office to 15 Moosehead Lake Road, is in the process of hiring a full-time lodge manager, adding to its full-time and seasonal staff of 29 in Piscataquis County, according to Burbank.