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salvelinustrout t1_j97bxl8 wrote

To be frank, COVID hit Bangor really hard culturally. Before the pandemic it was definitely on the up and up (and I’m not saying it isn’t anymore or won’t be again), but it didn’t quite have the critical mass of entertainment venues, restaurants, etc to ride through the pandemic. Losing a few took a real toll in a way that larger cities like portland could absorb more easily.

Also, Bangor’s been a shopping/service center for the past few decades. As boring as it was, the mall area served a huge swath of Maine and Atlantic Canada and brought a lot of economic activity that has evaporated with the rise of online shopping. Downtown’s resurgence and a lot of great effort and investment from a dedicated group of leaders is making a difference, but those have been stiff headwinds.