Citing a shortage of seasonal staff this year, the park has closed Cadillac Mountain overnight to vehicles and stopped staffing the popular Village Green Information Center in Bar Harbor, among other moves to deal with a lack of workers for Acadia visitor services.
Even the Star Party at Cadillac, one of the more in-demand events of the Acadia Night Sky Festival in September, has been cancelled “due to limited capacity and staffing constraints,” according to the festival website.
But perhaps the biggest impact to Acadia visitor services is the elimination of park staff at the Village Green Information Center, ending a longtime presence of rangers in downtown Bar Harbor during the busy season. According to former ranger Maureen Robbins Fournier, rangers sold park entrance and commercial passes, swore in hundreds of Junior Rangers every year, and helped people plan visits and Acadia hiking, among other services, with lines sometimes out the doors during cruise ship season.
“We are not staffing it this year due to limited staff availability,” Sean Bonnage, public affairs assistant for Acadia, told us in an email. “We don’t have plans to staff it in the future, although ideally we would like to.”
The Village Green Information Center is owned by the town of Bar Harbor and is leased as an operations center to Downeast Transportation, the nonprofit that operates the Island Explorer on Mount Desert Island. It is still being used as an operations center this year, with the Island Explorer operating a full schedule for the first time since 2019, and is open to the public, only with no rangers present for Acadia visitor services. It was first staffed by rangers 20 years ago.