CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Traffic through the New Hampshire turnpike system was up for the four-day Labor Day weekend holiday — and so was business for a number of inns and attractions.
For some in the Mount Washington Valley, it was a welcome change from a year ago, when a number of businesses were closed or operated on a smaller scale after Tropical Storm Irene hit the area in late August.
This year, Irene was a distant memory, said Janice Crawford, executive director of the local chamber of commerce. The good weather and recent changes allowing Canadian visitors to bring more goods from the U.S. into Canada also helped visitor traffic at shops, she said. .
Snowvillage Inn owners Kevin Flynn and Jen Kovach in Eaton Center said there were a number of weddings in the region, helping to put "heads in beds." Kovach said there was a wide range of international visitors and domestic guests. She also said a number of travelers are doing a "New England swing" visiting Maine and Vermont, in addition to New Hampshire.
The Department of Transportation said total of over 1.3 million vehicles went through the state's turnpikes over the long weekend, a 3.6 percent average increase. Spokesman Bill Boynton said that's a positive sign. In recent years, the traffic figures have been relatively flat.