Northeast Kingdom communities included in 'Stay to Stay' weekends

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NEWPORT, Vt. (WCAX) Newport is one of the newest towns added to the Vermont Stay to Stay Weekend. They will be hosting visitors the weekend of July 27.

Vermont has been doing its best to encourage people to move to the state. One way is by paying people $10,000 to move here and work from home. The other is to get people to spend a weekend in Vermont in the hope they fall in love with the Green Mountain State.

Newport officials say their hope is to show visitors everything they have to offer tucked away in the Northeast Kingdom.

"The Northeast Kingdom itself is an emerging destination even regionally, not just Newport," said Jessica Booth, the director of Newport Parks and Recreation.

Booth says by offering the Stay to Stay Program in Newport, it's a chance to showcase a different side of Vermont that's not one of the cities.

"If you are going to be in any cold climate, this is the place to be," said Booth.

Ice skating, ice fishing and cross-country skiing are just some of the recreational activities available in the area. Visitors on July 27 will also be able to experience Newport's Aqua Fest, complete with a grand parade, street dancing and Northeast Kingdom Swim.

"There's also a welcome banquet Friday night where they will get to meet with local professionals and business owners and community members that might be of interest and help show them around the community if they are interested," said Booth.

Newport is one of six communities participating in the Stay to Stay program.

Erin Bombard with the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce says a weekend they hosted in October was successful.

"We've had about three or four families that have actually relocated here and we have quite a few families that are in the process of relocating and are looking at houses right now," she said.

That's from the almost 65 families who participated. Bombard says the biggest challenge is getting people to see that Burlington is more urban than what you'd expect.

"We do have a thriving entrepreneurial sector here. We have a thriving arts community here in Burlington and that we are this really unique place," said Bombard.

Bombard says that's what people are looking for when they consider thinking about relocating to Vermont.

Burlington's next Stay to Stay will be Nov. 8-11.