(Host) The numbers aren’t all in yet, but state tourism officials say preliminary data indicates fall foliage visits were up this year.
VPR’s Nina Keck has more.
(Keck) Remember all that rain at the end of September and in early October?
Bruce Hyde, Commissioner of Tourism and Marketing for Vermont, says that wasn’t all that helpful for tourism. But he says the fact that the leaves held on longer this year was.
(Hyde) "I use a gauge in the Mad River Valley of Oct 10th – most of the leaves are down and this year they weren’t. They hung on quite a bit longer than that. Almost seemed like there was a lull and then they went crazy."
(Keck) Hyde says revenue from September’s meals and room tax was up 2 percent from last year and he says he’s optimistic October’s numbers will be up as well.
(Hyde) "We do have some traffic counts that show October traffic down in Guilford was up almost 3 percent and Fairhaven was up 4.5 percent just with traffic counts for October and those are good signs that business was strong."
(Keck) And it’s not just traffic coming from New York and Massachusetts. Hyde says Vermont is hosting more Canadians as well.
(Hyde) "We have seen strong increases coming down from north of the border and Canada – some of the businesses have actually been up double almost from what they have in the past – especially the northern part of the state – Stowe, Jay Peak they had an awful lot of traffic this fall."
(Keck) He thinks that’s partly due to the value of the US dollar – but he says the state has been much more aggressive in promoting Vermont in the Montreal area. Marketing, he says, which seems to be paying off.
For VPR news, I’m Nina Keck.