RUMFORD – Area lodging owners are excited about next month’s big two-day snowmobile race at Black Mountain of Maine because it will give them income they don’t normally see until after Christmas.

They’ve already started booking rooms for spectators planning to attend Round 2 of the 10-race 2007-08 Rock Maple Racing Central series snocross tour on Dec. 15 and 16.

More than 2,500 spectators are expected to attend the competition between more than 200 racers, all of whom will be bringing crews, said race organizers.

“We’re half full with bookings now, so it will sure help,” said Jean DeSalle, owner of the Blue Iris Motor Inn on Route 2 at Rumford Center on Wednesday afternoon. “We got our first one over a month ago. This will really help us for the month of December, (because) it doesn’t start that strong.”

DeSalle has 13 rooms.

“Anything in December is big, and what we make helps the community. We also try to send people around the area to get what they need, so something like this helps everybody,” she added.

Pamela Davis, owner of Trail’s End Motel on Route 2 at Rumford Point, said she also has a few rooms reserved.

Bed and breakfast businesses are also booking rooms.

Anne Morin and Barry Allen, owners of Mountain Spring Farm Bed and Breakfast located 10 miles from downtown Rumford and 4 miles off Route 2 at 473 Andover Road in Rumford, said two groups contacted them three weeks ago and rented two of their six rooms.

“This is going to be a smashing success for a lot of reasons,” Morin said Wednesday afternoon. They’re also one of the event’s sponsors. “One man has been in contact with us constantly. He said that in other places he’s gone to for this, it’s been difficult to get rooms because of all the people who flood into the area.”

With the former Madison Hotel on Route 2 closed, there aren’t any large motels in the Rumford area that can handle big crowds like Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, which means people coming to the area for the races will have to find lodging from Bethel to Farmington.

“When’s the last time we had anything in the middle of December? We’re hoping we will get more reservations and we’re counting on people to get the word out. This will be a wonderful thing. …We’re very much looking forward to it. There is life east of Sunday River,” Morin said.


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