Vermont predicts colorful foliage season

first_imgSure, Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep and Robert James Waller can make anyone’s bridges famous. However, without a New York Times bestseller and a big budget movie to back it up, Vermont has managed to carve out a reputation for itself as the place to come for covered bridges. Vermont is home to more than 100 covered bridges and each one has a story to tell.Treasure Hunting in Vermont: Shopping for AntiquesVermont’s countryside is dotted with a treasure trove of collectibles and antiques. Given the richness of history, Vermont has an abundance of interesting artifacts and unique bric-a-brac. Pieces are often displayed on the roadside to lure shoppers inside where hunting among the rooms and rafters is part of the experience. In autumn, there are a number of expos, including the Annual Vermont Antique Dealer’s Association gathering and the Annual Weston Antiques Show. These shows and others make antiquing easy by assembling vendors to display, highlight and sell their wares.Source: VDTM. Vermont tourism officials are expecting another brilliant foliage season this year and encourage visitors to take advantage of midweek deals being offered through the fall.Dozens of inns, hotels, attractions, historic sites and museums are offering a variety of midweek specials during the fall foliage season as part of the statewide ‘Midweek Peek’ promotion organized by the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. Deals range from discounted lodging to reduced admission prices. For details, visit is external).‘Visitors can find a diverse range of options for lodging, dining and activities during Vermont’s legendary foliage season, and midweek is theperfect time to take a trip here,’ says Vermont Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Bruce Hyde. ‘Fall foliage in Vermont is glorious any day of the week, and we hope visitors will explore special ‘Midweek Peek’ deals around the state.’Vermont’s landscape shimmers in red, orange and gold during the fall, drawing visitors from all corners of the globe. Vermont has the highest percentage of sugar maple trees of any state in the nation, and an abundance of red maple trees, which all produce vibrant, bright colors during foliage. Vermont forestry experts agree with the prediction that a beautiful foliage season is on the way.‘We’re on track for another spectacular fall season. Most parts of the state had good summer moisture, and early color can already be seen in some places,’ says Ginger Anderson, Chief of Forest Management for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.  ‘As Vermont transitions into typical fall weather with warm days and cool nights, we expect Vermont’s foliage to display magnificent autumn color.’The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing offers a number of resources on its website at for foliage season visitors. The site includes tips on planning ahead, a Lodging Availability Forecaster, and the Foliage Forecaster, which shows the progression of the colors across Vermont during a typical foliage season. Visitors can also access the Vermont Travel Planner, an extensive database of lodging, dining, events, attractions and recreational opportunities. Weekly foliage reports will begin on Sept.14 and will be available on and also the state’s toll-free visitor information hotline 1-800-VERMONT. Reports will be updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the end of October.Visitors make 14.3 million trips to Vermont each year and visitor spending adds an estimated $1.57 billion to the state’s economy, according to VDTM research. The research shows that 23 percent of those visits, or 3.7 million, are during the fall season.Vermont has some of the best foliage in the world. Autumn is the perfect time to hop in the car and take a drive through the country lanes, winding streets, and scenic byways. With the backdrop of blue skies and a myriad of fall colors on the horizon, Vermont is ready for exploration.Have Car, Will Travel; State Recognized Scenic BywaysVermont has a number of roads that have stood out for their historic, recreational, and natural wonders. To jump-start your foliage viewing, try these routes during your travels. All have easy access parking and/or pullouts for photo opportunities or impromptu rest stops.Scenic Route 108, the Smuggler’s Notch Road, attracts hikers and rock climbers as it passes through Mansfield State Forest and near the Smuggler’s Notch Ski Resort.Scenic Route 131, Cavendish Road, runs through the town of Cavendish and follows the well-stocked Black River where anglers can be found casting for fish.Scenic Route 125, Middlebury Gap Road, is an ideal location to view autumn colors as it passes through the Green Mountain National Forest, a popular camping spot.The Lake Champlain Byway offers outstanding views of the state’s largest lake, surrounding Green Mountains and Adirondacks, as well as the area’s working landscapes.Route 9, the Molly Stark Trail, is named after the wife of New Hampshire’s General John Stark who was the victor of the August 16, 1777 Battle of Bennington.The Connecticut River Scenic Byway is the natural bridge that unites New Hampshire and Vermont for over half of the waterway’s 410-mile journey from the Canadian border to the Atlantic Ocean.Vermont: The Best Way to Enjoy the Best FoliageVermont has the highest percentage of maple trees of any of the New England states, a tree with foliage that turns vibrant orange and yellow in the fall. Foliage progresses from the north to south and from higher elevations to lower elevations. Therefore, the earlier in the season you visit, the more northerly you want to focus and the later you come, more southerly. If you want to do more planning before your arrival, research your trip on is external). Here you can find suggested drives, read foliage reports, learn the insider’s tips, and watch the Foliage Forecaster which helps you strategically plan where and when to visit Vermont based on the natural progression of foliage in a typical year. It is a handy tool if you’ve never been to Vermont before or come from an area where foliage doesn’t change so dramatically.Winding down with Wine Tour: Vermont Vineyards and WineriesStarting in northern Vermont, begin your wine tour at Boyden Valley in Cambridge for a September Harvest Festival. Continue west to the Snow Farm Vineyard in South Hero, a leader in the Vermont wine field establishing the first commercial grape vineyard. At the Grand View Winery in East Calais, sample something decidedly different like elderberry or dandelion wine. Try a few award-winning organic grape wines at Shelburne Vineyard in Shelburne. At the Ottauquechee Valley Winery housed in the Historic Dewey Mill near the Quechee Gorge, enjoy any of their seven wines. End the tour at the southern tip of the state with the North River Winery in Jacksonville, which offers Vermont Harvest dessert wine containing cinnamon and Vermont maple syrup. For contact details, visit is external).An Apple a Day: Farms, Festivals and MoreVermont’s cool climate is perfect for producing apples. Almost 70 percent of the apples grown in Vermont are MacIntosh, a variety good for eating fresh picked, fresh pressed or fresh baked. When apples are harvested in September and October, there are a number of festivals with apples as the centerpiece. These celebrations feature diverse entertainment including music, crafts, cider pressing, pie baking and more. Apple picking at an orchard is a unique Vermont experience and taking home fresh cider makes for a tasty souvenir. For a complete listing of orchards and apple events, visit is external).The Vistas of Vermont: Accessing the State’s Many MountaintopsMany of Vermont’s mountain peaks offer panoramic views, especially breathtaking in fall. Killington Resort has a gondola ride to the state’s second highest peak, where a clear day can provide views into Canada. At Killington and Bolton Valley, you can bring your mountain bikes along for the ride and bike a trail back to the base. In the Northeast Kingdom, rise to the top of Jay Peak in a sixty person capacity tram. In southern Vermont, Bromley Mountain, Stratton Mountain and Mount Snow both have lift services to their summits. The 3816-foot Mount Equinox peak can be reached via a winding drive with views of the Green Mountain range.Take it From the Top: Viewing Foliage from Another AngleFor an entirely different perspective of Vermont foliage, take a hot air balloon ride, go skydiving, or ride the air currents on a sailplane. From the faint of heart to the hearty adventurer, there is a bird’s eye view opportunity for everyone. Soar over the treetops in a romantic sunset balloon ride over the Quechee Gorge. Tandem, static line, and accelerated free fall jumps all are available with professional instructors within a setting of mountains, valleys, and lakes. Enjoy the views on a quiet sailplane tour or take a day lesson and learn to pilot the air currents on your own. Contact the Vermont Outdoor Guide Association at is external) for information on any of these activities.The Bridges of Addison County: Covered Bridges in Vermontlast_img read more

Not all data is big

first_img 25SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bryce Roth Bryce Roth is the Director of Marketing and Social Strategy at CitizensFirst Credit Union and Co-Founder/President at the credit union service organization (CUSO) Chatter Yak!. Born and raised in … Web: Details Big data. It’s one of the latest buzz words flying around these days. I don’t mean to downplay its significance or how it will change how all businesses operate, but when it comes to the finance business, many community banks and credit unions have a long way to go. It’s basic human nature. When a new way to look at, approach or conduct business presents itself, people naturally gravitate toward the implications and all of the possibilities this new approach brings. The problem with big data is that many financial institutions are struggling to harness the power of the data that they already possess and this is a problem.While it is exciting to think about predictive analytics and futuristic decision-making models, most financial institutions would be better off looking at all of the information they already have at their disposal and how they are or aren’t using it. Before we can take the plunge into managing large (I mean really large) chunks of data, many financials can practice by taking the data they have and figuring out how little changes in consumer data can make a big impact on their bottom line.Looking for non-interest income? Why not look at the activity of your current cardholders and figure out how you can generate more income by changing existing consumer behavior? You don’t need a huge data processor to do this. Rather, you need someone to pull reports and run the numbers. Looking for more loans? Why not look inside your consumer base to find those who are most likely in or closely approaching a lending window of opportunity?When financials start to become more data savvy with the information they already have at their disposal, opportunities present themselves. I understand that many banks and credit unions are strapped for time and money, but when we don’t understand that an investment of time can yield more money, we become more and more focused on future solutions rather than creating the solutions that will become the building blocks or bridges to new ways of thinking about and doing things.I’ll leave you with this. One of our clients at Chatter Yak! was recently looking for an uptick in mortgage business. After working with them on their strategic goals, they took a look at the data in their core processor. They were able to identify the most likely candidates for mortgage lending opportunities. By combining that list with their email database and running a loan-lead generation campaign using Yak Tracker, they were able to generate 840 loan leads in 6 days! Many financials would love to have that many loan leads in a quarter.Not all data is created equal and not all data must be “big”. When you start with what you have and do a little work, you create new possibilities for your business. Possibilities are not limitless, so financial institutions large and small must capitalize on every opportunity they get or can create. Start small, then go “big.”last_img read more

Sam Allardyce tells his Sunderland players their battle is not won

first_img The Black Cats eased themselves out of the drop zone last weekend after back-to-back victories over Crystal Palace and Stoke to hand their new manager three wins in his six games at the helm to date. However, he has been at pains ever since to remind people that the job is far from done, and that fact is brought into sharp focus by a December fixture list which starts with a tough trip to Arsenal on Saturday and also includes fixtures at Chelsea and Manchester City and Liverpool’s visit to Wearside. Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has warned his players they are in a marathon and not a sprint as they attempt to drag themselves clear of Barclays Premier League relegation trouble. Press Associationcenter_img Allardyce said: “We have gone a long way towards trying to get out of the position we are in, but we have still an awful long way to go. “At the minute, we have won the sprint, but we are in the marathon, don’t forget, so we have still got a long way to go to pick up more and more points as quickly as possible. “We have slightly helped and relieved the situation, but we are still in deep, deep relegation trouble that we have to make sure we get out of as quickly as we possibly can.” Sunderland have drawn 0-0 on three of their last trips to meet the Gunners, and memorably secured their top-flight status last season with the most recent of them. They have made something of a habit of prospering against the big guns during tense conclusions at the end of the last three campaigns to fend off relegation, but Allardyce admits they cannot rely on similar heroics every year. He said: “It’s been done in the past here, I know, but that is the most difficult way to do it. Pick your points up against the teams in and around you in that bottom eight – that relieves the pressure when you play the Arsenals.” Sunderland are currently scouring the market in preparation for the January transfer window with loans with an option to buy likely to be their approach, and Allardyce knows what happens on the pitch over the next few weeks could impact upon that. He said: “Some players won’t want to up sticks wherever they are and come and join a relegation battle, so you have got to do a lot of research and a lot of finding out what exactly the criteria are for them to come and make you better than you already are. “It’s always been a difficult window to work in, but even more difficult when you are in the relegation zone.” last_img read more