For decades, Old Orchard Beach has been one of Maine's largest summer tourism destinations. There's something magical and alluring about the Pier, about the beach, about the overall atmosphere of one of Maine's most iconic beachfront towns. But there's also been a quiet problem growing during the busiest months of the year. That problem is parking. It's at a premium near the beach with lots charging as much as $30 for a day pass. For those that want to visit Old Orchard Beach on a budget, parking meters have been a cost-effective alternative. Unfortunately for many, that may not be the case for long.

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According to Saco Bay News, the Old Orchard Beach town council voted to increase the parking meter fees from $2 per hour to $3 per hour starting this summer. Beyond just the price increase, Old Orchard Beach has extended the dates in which the meters will be in use. "Meter season" in OOB used to be from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. It'll now begin on May 1st and extend beyond Labor Day into Indigenous Peoples Day. The change will add 55 days of metered income for the city.

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While the changes will be excellent for Old Orchard Beach's coffers, is the town in danger of pricing itself out of visits from people with limited disposable cash? Time will tell. If you plan on visiting Old Orchard Beach and using the parking meters or municipal lots, you can expect the increased fees to kick in over the July 4th holiday weekend.

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