Rental Cars and RVs Scarce in Lead Up to Phish Concert

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(Host) For Vermont businesses not in the immediate vicinity of Coventry, the impact of 70,000 people arriving for Phish’s farewell concert on August 14-15 may not have a dramatic affect. But as VPR’s Steve Zind reports, car and RV rental companies are doing a booming business thanks to Phish fans from afar.

(Zind) Organizers will create an instant city in Coventry on the weekend of August 14. The concert site will be complete with a radio station, a U.S. Post office and a 24-hour general store. Scores of motor homes will complete the effect. In fact it seems Phish fans have laid claim to nearly every recreational vehicle and pop up camper for rent in the region.

(Amanda Covey) “I personally have called down to Massachusetts and Connecticut and they were booked at this point when I called them.”

(Zind) Amanda Covey is with Mekkelsen Trailer Sales in East Montpelier. Covey says the RVs and campers available for rent have been booked for months and the calls keep coming.

(Covey) “We’ve had them from Colorado and California, Arizona, Alabama – all over the place.”

(Zind) Covey says rates run as high as two thousand dollars to rent a large recreational vehicle. Web sites for RV rental companies in New York City and Boston say they are all booked up due to the Phish concert.

Vermont car rental agencies are also doing a brisk business with people flying into Burlington for the concert. Burlington offices for Avis, Hertz and Thrifty rentals say they have no more vehicles available for the weekend of the show. Dave Torrey of Thrifty says it’s unusual to have this situation even in peak tourist season.

(Torrey) “To this degree, not very often. Vermont doesn’t very often see something where you have 70,000 people aimed in one direction.”

(Zind) So far the car and RV rental companies seem to be the businesses benefiting most from the influx of fans. Hotels say they haven’t seen an appreciable increase in reservations as a result of the concert.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Steve Zind.

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