Edelweiss in Stowe is known for its sky-high New York deli-style sandwiches. The store also sells groceries and wine, items owner Alex Stein says help bring in 450 paying customers during a busy day.
"It's like gold falling from the sky when we get a big snowstorm," Stein said.
Stein estimates tourists account for 85 percent of weekend sales and 40 percent during the week. Add in sales from locals and Stein says the bucks are coming in big time.
"This has been my best year ever," he said. "My January, February, March figures are up 20 percent from previous years, which is phenomenal."
Stein is not alone. Vermont tourism officials say 2011 was a record year when it comes to growth in visitor spending, that includes tourists and residents.
New numbers just released show that in 2011 visitors made about 13.9 million trips to Vermont. That's up from 2009, when there were 13.7 million visits, but still not back to prerecession levels when 14.3 million people visited Vermont.
When it comes to leaving green in the Green Mountains, in 2011 people spent $1.7 billion. That number is up from $1.4 billion in 2009 and even better than prerecession in 2007 when people spent $1.6 billion.
"The number of visitors has grown modestly, but the actual tax revenue has increased substantially in addition to retail spending," said Jen Butson of the Vermont Tourism Department.
Tourism officials say another key number in the study has to do with second homes. Visitors are falling in love with Vermont and buying a part of the state. Twenty percent of all the homes in Vermont are second homes, and those people contribute $125 million in education property taxes each year. And that means more people staying here spending money. But tourism officials say full-time residents are also boosting the bottom line. About a one-third of the visitors in 2011 were from the Green Mountains-- people doing a staycation.
"We've got a lot of instate business and traveling regionally, but we've also seen an increase in Canadian visitors the last few years," Butson said.
Back at the shop, Stein hopes this tourism trend continues.
The study also shows that more than one-third of jobs in Vermont are supported by visitor spending, which is higher than the national average.
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:10:32 GMT
Two New Hampshire communities damaged by storms are getting federal help. Lincoln will get more than $4.5 million for a bridge repair from Tropical Storm Irene. FEMA also awarded Lebanon more than $3More >>
Two New Hampshire communities damaged by storms are getting federal help.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:09:58 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:09:06 GMT
A Ken Burns documentary featuring Vermont students will have its premiere in Brattleboro. The film is called "The Address". It follows the 50 boys at the Greenwood School in Putney who have learningMore >>
A Ken Burns documentary featuring Vermont students will have its premiere in Brattleboro.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:03:58 GMT
New Hampshire police say a man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself. Claremont police tell us that the man was cleaning his gun Saturday night when it went off. He was taken to the hospitalMore >>
New Hampshire police say a man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:59 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:59:53 GMT
This towering ice fortress is dazzling visitors to Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. "Yeah, this is a wow moment," says visitor Millie Gabriel. "It's an incredible feeling to see people really light upMore >>
If you're ready to see one more beautiful thing before we say hello to spring, then we've found the spot for you.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:53:41 GMT
When the Wild Center in Tupper Lake was looking at maple education programs, they hit a bit of a snag. "I took a survey of the 31 acres here at the museum and we only had one maple tree on the property,"More >>
The Community Maple program has been going for three years now, allowing people to take the sap from their backyard and learn how to turn it into syrup.
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:44:12 GMT
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March! PANCAKE BREAKFAST This year is the 20th annual Franklin Fire Dept. Pancake breakfast at the Franklin Central School. They serve more than 2,000More >>
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March!More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>