Weather, long weekend contribute to strong tourism

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(Host) Warm weather, beautiful foliage and a three-day weekend added up to big business in Vermont this weekend.

Leaf peepers and Vermonters alike hit the highways to take advantage.

At the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, in Waterbury Center, 900 dozen cider donuts were churned out yesterday.

Owner Paul Brown says that made for the second-busiest day ever for the mill.

Temperatures soared, and so did business.

Bruce Hyde is the state’s tourism commissioner. And he says most of Vermont’s 25-thousand hotel rooms were occupied Saturday night.

(Hyde) “It certainly seemed like there were an awful lot of people in the state. There was a lot of walk-in business. I know phones have been ringing all around the state looking for rooms. So, there might have been a room here and there that did not get filled, but overall it was a very strong weekend.”

(Host) Rainy weather has begun to bring leaves down in many parts of the state.

But Hyde says there’s still plenty of leaves on the trees in the Champlain Valley and southern Vermont. So he says thousands of people will still be visiting.

(Hyde) “I would certainly have to hope that we have a couple more good weeks left. Foliage seems to be pretty much on schedule. Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving have come early in October. Some years they’re almost like next weekend. I know next weekend will certainly be strong around the weekend. And then it will start tapering off.”

(Host) Hyde says that’s when innkeepers will start hoping for the first snowfall of the season – and the skiers who will follow.



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