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KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — It is a damp Friday morning in late June, hardly tourist weather, but Dock Square is jammed with bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Undeterred by the rain, people pour into the retail district’s shops, which feature products such as lobster-designed handbags, locally-made pottery, T-shirts and kitschy knickknacks. Others stand patiently in line at the Clam Shack to buy one of the restaurant’s signature lobster rolls.
It’s been like this for years in Kennebunkport, a town of about 3,900 year-round residents whose sandy beaches, rocky outcroppings, postcard-perfect scenery and fishing-village charm make it a vacation destination. But look around this season and it’s clear changes are underway . A group called Kennebunkport Resort Collection, led by two Massachusetts-bred entrepreneurs, has built or renovated nine hotels and seven restaurants—including four this summer alone.