First Signs of Foliage Excite Many

Published 08/27 2014 04:40PM

Updated 08/27 2014 06:24PM

RICHMOND, Vt. - This is one of the warmest weeks of summer, but the buzz isn't about heat. It's all about the first splashes of fall.

For Frank Stewart, it means big business is on the way.

"The last two weeks of September, first two weeks of October is your main peak time," he said.

Stewart and his wife, who run the Richmond Victorian Inn, depend on leaf peepers to buoy their business throughout the slower winter months. And seeing a few hints of color helps spur autumn reservations.

"We actually have a weekend where we're completely full- someone's actually having a foliage wedding," he added.

Throughout the fall, some 3.6 million visitors flock to the Green Mountain State. That injects more than $400 million dollars into the local economy.

"We try to get them a nice room with a full breakfast with local products, so we're not trying to compete with the big hotels. It's usually about four weeks of the foliage season that are really, really busy."

Even though these first glimpses of fall color may be just a little bit early, it's actually not all that unusual to see some color in late August.

There are two things that really bring it out in local trees: one is chilly nights, and we've seen those lately, and the other is a loss of daylight.

Day to day weather, such as rainfall, can also impact foliage. State officials say so far rainfall has been just about right, meaning trees are in good shape for the upcoming season.

So while Stewart enjoys the final days of summer, he can't help but look forward to what's next.

"You just look out our window here across the Green Mountains here, and each day in September and October it just changes. It's really pretty."

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