Resorts with off-season activities expand local economies

By Paul MontagnoPaul-vacation-webI spent a weekend camping in the Catskills in June where we attended a weekend long music festival at Hunter Mountain, a ski resort in the town of Hunter NY.Many vacation towns rely on only one season out of the year to sustain the local economy. This is especially true for towns around Michigan ski resorts, even those with golf courses. If it’s a bad winter for snow, these communities can be hit hard by lack of revenue coming in from visitors.Hunter Mountain has found a way to bring in extra people in the off season. They’ve turned their ski resort into a venue for a variety of events throughout the warmer months that include the Mountain Jam Music Festival, Taste of Country Music Festival, a 4X4 off-road event, an international Celtic festival and more. All of these events bring in droves of visitors in a season that would normally be pretty slow. Mountain Jam attracts more than 3,000 people over four days. The town is already setup for tourists, so it isn’t difficult for local businesses, including restaurants, shops, hotels and B&Bs, to accommodate the additional summertime traffic. In fact, the local businesses are seeing revenues that would not be possible without the additional summer time uses for the mountain.