Visitors sit in front of the entryway to the park's Visitor Center in the Bar Harbor village of Hulls Cove on Tuesday, July 17, 2018. Credit: Bill Trotter

After months of renovations, the Acadia National Park Visitors Center in Hulls Cove has reopened for the 2019 season.

The facility opened its doors to visitors Wednesday, June 19, after upgrades were completed by King Construction Services Inc. of Jonesport to address a number of “long overdue” improvements to the center, park officials said in a release.

Among the improvements are new carpet, a family restroom and a separate entrance to the park store from outside the building, park officials said. A small theater for screening an orientation film on the park was removed, and the film no longer is being made available to visitors.

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The park also added interior displays and exhibits that convey real-time information to help tourists plan their Acadia visits, several oversized maps and a new public display of pieces from the Acadia Artist-in-Residence program. Sound-dampening materials were added to help reduce the volume of noise in the center, and some asbestos was removed.

Other deficiencies with the facility remain, however. The center, which was designed decades ago for a small fraction of the visitors the park has today, still has limited handicapped-accessible parking and is separated from the parking lot by a long series of steps.

Park officials said the upgrade was funded through park entrance fees, though installation of interior displays and exhibits were supported through contributions from the park store. Operating hours and seasons for park facilities including the Hulls Cove Visitor Center are listed online at the Acadia National Park website.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....