The Mountain Times

°F Wed, April 16, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Reflections on Irene from the Okemo Valley

How would I describe the Okemo Valley's response to the hurricane? The Chamber immediately called all 400+ members to see how they were and what they needed. The amazing story was they all said "I'll be fine, there's other people worse off than me."  

The inspiring way in which Vermont communities rallied to support one another is what resonates today.

About two weeks after Irene hit, we attended the Big E in Springfield, Mass. (the largest fair in the Northeast, which takes place annually in September) to tell people we were "open for business." We placed videos showing what the roads looked like 10 days after the storm and that it was ok to come up.

Although the communities and resorts that took the brunt of the flood also took the brunt of business loss, as a State, in terms of tourism revenue, we have weathered the storm. People who love Vermont have shown their support with continued visits and our businesses continue to exceed travelers' expectations. Overall, tourism tax revenues indicate tourism in Vermont was up last fall and continues to be up this summer.

Tagged: hurricane irene, reflections, okemo valley