Waterfront concerts bring in $17.5 million to Bangor

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- New research shows the waterfront concerts brought in $17.5 million to the city last year.The concert study conducted by University of Maine professor Todd Gabe is music to the ears of city officials and area merchants.

"It's almost like field of dreams, you know. If you build it they will come," Sea Dog General Manager Marc Smith said.

Sea Dog is getting so packed it's having to expand the back deck, a good problem for any business owner to have. The local brewing company can see as many as 1,000 customers on a concert night.

Sea Dog's not the only business trying to get its piece of the multimillion dollar pie from these concerts. Pompeii Pizza makes more dough on concert nights than any other day of the year.

"We kind of have two big waves that come in," Travis Carey said about concert business for the mobile pizza restaurant. "Before the concert, we get the dinner crowd, and it's great as people are going to the concert waiting in line. We get just enough time to calm back down for wave two. Once the concert ends we get another wave of people, and it's been good. It's been a big part of our business this year."

When concert goers try it, Carey said they keep coming back.

"They don't know about the local business, so once they come here for a concert, they say, 'you guys are here all year long?' And we say, 'all summer we're here,' so then we see them here on a lunch crowd, on a Monday or Tuesday," Carey said.

Just because there's a concert doesn't mean business is booming everywhere. For example, country artists like Tim McGraw don't guarantee a packed house at Nocturnem.

"We put on the staff we think we're going to need, and then when nobody shows up, we have to make the decision: Do we cut staff? Do we keep them in hopes that we may get busy later on?" Gene Beck, the bar's owner, said.

Beck said the concerts help his business overall, though, and he hopes to see them become even more popular in the future.


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