CARIBOU, Maine — Two Aroostook County businessmen want to launch Maine’s very first log cabin village to aid raise tourism.
When Troy Haney and Jim Gamage started to approach the upcoming SnowBowl, Caribou’s inaugural snowmobile competition slated in March, they found out region inns currently deficiency ample rooms for the hundreds of folks envisioned to go to.
Aroostook is a key spot for snowmobiling, ATVing and other seasonal actions, so resort rooms are inclined to fill up immediately. But with the new closure of the Presque Isle Inn & Conference Middle, travelers in the area now have one much less choice to opt for from, as Caribou attempts to greater market place its outdoor experiences.
“I frequently say that Caribou has the DisneyWorld of out of doors recreation but not the advertising and marketing of DisneyWorld,” Haney said. “If we do not have the lodging to assist tourism, it doesn’t subject how several people know about us.”
Regional motels are comprehensive with any big event, he reported, and homeowners are not increasing.
But if Haney and Gamage have their way, Caribou may possibly before long be the to start with Maine local community to have a village of furnished, calendar year-spherical cottages. Situated close to the Caribou Municipal Airport and on the site of a previous trailer park, the enterprise would add a new lodging option.
Impressed by comparable villages in New Hampshire and Wyoming, the associates strategy to established up about 20 deluxe cabins with comprehensive-sized kitchens and bogs, air conditioning and heating models, property home furniture and included front porches. Every single could home 4 to eight men and women.
A clubhouse in the vicinity of the major entrance would include things like a lounge and entertainment location, a modest advantage retail store and further bathrooms, showers and laundry facilities.
But for now, the concept is in limbo as the builders and the metropolis try to secure Federal Aviation Administration acceptance, which could take months.
The 7 1/2-acre parcel is future to the metropolis-owned Caribou Municipal Airport around snowmobile and ATV trails.
The airport’s first two landing strips had been constructed in 1929. As the airport expanded its runways and hangar house in excess of the a long time, the metropolis relied on FAA grants to aid fund individuals initiatives.
“These grants are primarily agreements with the FAA, [saying] that the FAA would be concerned with any conclusions about the airport,” Metropolis Supervisor Penny Thompson stated.
Any new non-aviation enhancement the city proposes for airport land need to state how it would profit airport targeted visitors and not danger pilot safety, Thompson stated.
Buying FAA approval and planning the land for new enhancement will possible get months, Caribou Code Enforcement Officer Ken Murchison claimed.
To start with, the partners and the city want to draft a proposal to the FAA, including the city’s website style and design review, new zoning definitions, a business enterprise prepare and proposed structure.
The Caribou Organizing Board would require to generate zoning adjustments for that portion of the airport land to go from industrial to professional, household or a mixture of the two zones. The Caribou Town Council would approve the changes.
If the FAA approves, it could launch the assets to the city by way of a lease or lease-to-buy agreement. That would give the city comprehensive authority to build the village.
For Haney and Gamage, the village’s rewards are evident: extra lodging and leisure prospects for visitors who fly in on personal planes, as properly as medical staff from close by Cary Medical Middle.
“We can coordinate with community snowmobile dealers to have [pilots’] snowmobiles positioned upcoming to their cabins,” Haney explained.
Really should the idea gain the FAA’s environmentally friendly light, at the time the initially 20 cabins are accomplished they want to incorporate recreational car web pages and ultimately increase 30 much more cottages.