Fall Foliage Means Big Bucks

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JIM THORPE -- Businesses in one community in Carbon County are gearing up for a big event next month.

From a business standpoint, it's a bigger money-maker than Christmas!

It's not hard to find the leaves on some trees changing. Gina Gargano if the Schuylkill County Visitors Bureau said looking at the colors is big business in the Keystone State.

"Pennsylvania is right up there with New England and New York for the most visited for leaf peepers, fall foliage watchers," said Gargano.

In Jim Thorpe, business leaders welcome the fall colors in a big way. They host a fall foliage festival on the first three weekends in October. Business owners said during that time they make the most money, more than even during the Christmas season.

"We can get 2,000 people in a day. The train rides bring in a lot of people. We can handle the visitors and we welcome them," Maggie Smith of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau explained.

Mike Guy owns an ice cream and gift shop.  He recommends that visitors get there before 10:00 a.m.

"We recommend that they come early because parking is an issue here, the earlier your get here the better chance of getting a parking space. We are working on that. We know that`s a problem," Guy said.

Tom Lux owns the Mauch Chunk Five and Ten Cent store. Lux said businesses in Jim Thorpe have a lot to offer.

"As an independent store, we're not limited to buying from one channel or what sells for the whole country. We can pick and chose from all over instead of dealing with one buying office that has to uniform everything for 5,000 stores," said Lux.