This remote corner of Maine welcomes short-term rentals

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Short-term rentals are causing anger in many parts of Maine, particularly in coastal areas where they are accused of driving up housing prices, diminishing long-term rentals and making nearby properties less attractive.

In less traveled parts of the state, however, they are welcome to contribute to the local economy. Take rentals on Lake Meddybemps in Washington County, a 15-mile drive from the Canadian border. Lake Down East is bordered by four sparsely populated towns, Baileyville with 1,318 in 2020, Alexander at 525, Baring at 201 and Meddybemps at 139.

“I’m seeing more business due to short-term rentals, which are mostly seasonal here,” said Steve Clark, owner of Nook & Cranny restaurant in Baileyville. “I think they are accepted as helping the local economy.”

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