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May 15, 2018

Poland Spring Resort owner inducted into Maine Tourism hall of fame

Courtesy / Maine Tourism Association
Courtesy / Maine Tourism Association
From left, Maine Tourism Association Treasurer Scott Riccio of NorthEast Charter & Tour Co.; Cyndi Robbins, this year's Hall of Fame inductee; and Chris Fogg, CEO of Maine Tourism Association.

The Maine Tourism Association has inducted Cyndi Robbins, owner of Poland Spring Resort, into its hall of fame.

Maine Tourism Association's Hall of Fame was created to recognize outstanding individuals who through their leadership, dedication and professionalism have made significant and sustained contributions to the tourism industry in Maine. Every year one member of the association is chosen to be inducted at the organization's annual meeting, which took place this year on May 11 at the Agora Grand in Lewiston.

Cyndi Robbins started her hospitality career at 16 working as a waitress at Poland Spring. She later served as a short order cook, food and beverage manager and head chef, and supervised housekeeping and maintenance. In 1982, she and her husband Mel Robbins bought the resort and began restoring all 32 buildings at Poland Spring as well as the historic golf course.

Over the last 10 years, she has added Cyndi's Dockside Restaurant, a boat rental facility, a driving range, disc golf, mini golf and an ice cream shop. After the opening of the nearby Oxford Casino, the Lodge at Poland Spring was returned to a year-round hotel.

"Cyndi is a great example of what can happen in the tourism industry," said Chris Fogg, CEO of the Maine Tourism Association. "She began in an entry level job, worked hard and learned every aspect of the business and now she owns an historic, highly regarded resort. Cyndi is an exceptional person but her story is not unique. I hear similar stories all the time. The majority of those who find success in the tourism industry did so by doing any task they were asked, offering great customer service, learning the industry and working their way up."

Legacy of ‘giving back’ to community

For 40 years, the Poland Spring Resort has given 100 turkeys to the Poland Food Bank for area families. After 9/11, Maine servicemen and women have received free vacations at Poland Spring. Robbins also hosts an annual fundraising dinner for Poland Fire Rescue.

She is currently on the board of directors of the Friends of Shaker Village, treasurer of Golf ME, a director of the LA Metro Chamber, vice president of the Poland Spring Preservation Society and chairman of the Poland Community Economic Development Committee.

Robbins also has served on the Androscoggin Home Care Hospice board.

"The Maine Tourism Association is proud of Cyndi and all the volunteer and community service time and money she contributes," Fogg said. "We are honored to have her in our Hall of Fame."

The Maine Tourism Association represents more than 1,500 members across the state promoting the tourism industry. Members include small and large businesses that provide traditional tourism interests such as accommodations, restaurants, sporting camps, camping, retail establishments, and cultural and heritage attractions.

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