April 05, 2020

$50 million resort planner seeks endorsement

MILLINOCKET – The Town Council will be asked today to endorse a $50 million high-end resort aimed for about 1,450 acres of Township 1, Range 8 proposed by town businessman and Councilor Matthew Polstein.

Polstein, who has sought similar endorsements from selectmen in East Millinocket and Medway as part of meeting state Land Use Regulation Commission requirements, hopes to go before LURC soon, he said.

“LURC is looking for support for the project from local municipalities,” council Chairman David Nelson said Wednesday. “My understanding is that he is looking for the community to support this.”

In his guise as executive director of the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council, or MAGIC, Councilor Bruce McLean will discuss Polstein’s proposal at the 4:30 p.m. meeting, Nelson said.

The Hammond Ridge plans call for a hotel, restaurant, conference and wedding facility, adventure lodge, agriculture center and a large number of houses, compounds or cabins on land between Baxter State Park and Millinocket.

Polstein has said the upscale ecotourism resort could accommodate as many as 400 guests drawn to the scenic beauty of nearby Mount Katahdin and the activities the resort might offer. That includes cross-country skiing, mountain biking, trail hiking, skeet or trap shooting, snowmobiling and bird-watching.

He has been developing the resort plan since at least Aug. 30, 2004, when he announced that he and Katahdin Timberlands LLC signed a deal granting him the option to purchase 1,450 acres of former Great Northern Paper land along Millinocket Lake.

The central thrust to the Hammond Ridge plan, Polstein has said, is to allow guests to appreciate nature in a quiet, pristine environment and learn conservation.

Polstein will seek a zoning variance from LURC. He had hoped to have his plans presented to LURC in January 2006, with construction starting in September, but unanticipated wetlands site analysis and incorporating new ideas into the plan helped cause the delay, he said.

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