Snow, holidays mean business for the valley
by Jack Deming
Jan 10, 2014 | 2730 views | 0 0 comments | 83 83 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sign of the times: Route 100 south traffic waits to get to the traffic light in the center of Wilmington.
Sign of the times: Route 100 south traffic waits to get to the traffic light in the center of Wilmington.
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DEERFIELD VALLEY- From the traffic light at the crossroads of routes 9 and 100, a line of traffic stretched to the entrance of the Wheeler Farm Sunday night. This was not a mass exodus of locals heading California way a la “The Grapes of Wrath,” but instead a line of vacationers heading back to their home states after two weeks of enjoying the valley, and supplying local businesses with a good deal of revenue.

According to weather data kept by Wilmington Wastewater Treatment Plant supervisor John Lazelle, Wilmington received its largest amount of snow since 2008 with 31 inches. While rain would sometimes follow a nor’easter, the snow kept coming, and as the new year was ushered in, another 12 inches followed. This weather pattern had good timing, as a good holiday season of snow always bring the Deerfield Valley more business.

At the area’s largest mountain, Mount Snow, the anticipation of snow did its job in coaxing individuals to come to the resort. “At the beginning of December we had a strong booking for holiday time and naturally the snow made phones ring a little bit more,” said Mount Snow communications director Dave Meeker. “We had a stronger holiday season than last year, and last year was strong. The timing of all that natural snow was awesome and it also gave us time to clean up.”

On Route 9 west in Wilmington, both of Sue and Al Wurzberger’s stores saw a good deal of business. Al’s store, the 1836 Country Store, sells a plethora of tourism-oriented Vermont-based products, while Sue’s store next door, the Norton House, sells fabrics. “My business doesn’t depend on the ski industry like many others do,” said Sue Wurzberger. “But business was a little better than usual this December.

“I would say that for the Country Store in December, business was better then your average December. We’re definitely seeing more people in town and it was mostly out-of-towners and second-home owners.”

Wurzberger attributed the flow of business this year to the re-opening of Dot’s, while other restaurants like Jezebel’s continue to be prime destinations as well. She also said the revamped parking lot behind her store and other businesses on the south side of the street has made a major difference in the flow of pedestrians.

At the Sawmill Inn in Dover, manager Marco Tallini said that business was good for both the inn and Nonna’s Restaurant. While Tallini took over management of the Sawmill this past summer, he said he was prepared for whatever level of business the holidays, and Mother Nature, would throw his way.

“We had some repeat customers as well as new customers,” said Tallini.

For innkeepers, snowstorms can also be a detriment as was the case with a snowfall on Sunday, December 29, which interfered with travel plans, leading to canceled reservations. Tallini said that even with this loss of business, Nonna’s New Year’s Eve gala was nearly sold out to locals and second-home owners alike.

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