Governor: Vermont ready for visitors - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Governor: Vermont ready for visitors

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Gov. Peter Shumlin Gov. Peter Shumlin

The sun is a signal that the wet spring and early summer weather is over. At least that is what the state is banking on. Tourism officials say visitor spending accounts for $274.5 million in tax and fee revenue for Vermont. So, the governor Monday put the call out not only to tourists, but to all of us.

"It's time now to get out and enjoy summer," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont. "We need Vermonters buying local, spending money, enjoying our recreational opportunities because we did take a hit with the wettest May and June in the history of the state and now it's time to enjoy."

That spending also translates into jobs. The state says approximately 11.5 percent of all Vermont jobs are in the hospitality and recreation sector.

"In particular, we would love when you come to these areas to spend some money, because certainly our vendors, retailers, shop owners, restaurants have suffered over the last six to eight weeks and they certainly could use some expanded revenue. So, anything you can do, come early, shop often, spend wisely but spend a lot, thank you," said Tom Torti of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce.

It is a message that resonates across the state to various degrees. In Stowe, the local chamber of commerce says some outdoor adventure businesses did suffer because of the rain, but overall, so far their summer is right on track.

"We had a very big balloon festival, big turnout for that this past weekend. July Fourth was very large and we are totally full for our lacrosse weekend. In fact, we are putting people in Burlington and other locations because we are out of rooms," said Ed Stahl of the Stowe Area Association.

And in a weather-challenged summer, that is a refreshing problem to have.

The wet weather also took a bite out of visitors to Vermont's state parks. But the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation says there is plenty of time left this summer to recover.

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