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.