Businesses ready for this year's peak fall foliage - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Businesses ready for this year's peak fall foliage

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Peak colors are already appearing in far northern New England, and local businesses are ready for the upcoming spike in tourism to hit western Mass.

Susan Flaccus owns the Kenburn Orchards Bed & Breakfast in Shelburne Falls with her husband Larry, and they see tourists come in from Europe year after year.

"They expect it to be brilliant red and yellow all the time." said Flaccus. "Sometimes when we are disappointed and say that it's not such a great year, they'll say 'oh, it's so beautiful' because if you are not sort of entitled to it the way we are, it all looks wonderful."

Warm afternoons and cool calm nights lately have many experts believing this will be a wonderful year for fall foliage, and a brief cold snap, such as a few of the frost advisories to already hit the Berkshires, can further enhance the red-colored maples.

"I think a good year has lots and lots of reds in the maples and some yellow to go with it but mostly I think they're all beautiful one way or another." said Flaccus.

The month of October alone is responsible for about 20 percent of their annual business at Kenburn Orchards. While their inn was spared from any damage from Tropical Storm Irene last year, many businesses in the area saw a loss in numbers due to concerned travelers from around the country.

"People would call and say we can't get there from here, that the Mohawk Trail is closed," said Flaccus.

While no weather disasters have hit the region hard this year, Franklin County overall looks to see an improvement in business for this year's leaf watching season.

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