Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another small town thriving on (niche) tourism

Read the NYT travel feature on Forks, Washington, population 3,120, and on the Olympic Peninsula. Here's a description of the town and its new found attraction for tourists, from Jane Magolies' story.
“TWILIGHT” mania has made each of the four Stephenie Meyer books about a romance between an accident-prone teenager, Bella, and a dazzlingly handsome vampire named Edward into a best seller; created heartthrobs out of the little-known actors Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, who starred in the first movie in the series; and made the second movie, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” perhaps the most anticipated film of the fall season among tweens and Hollywood moguls alike.

It has also turned Forks, Wash., a two-stoplight town on the western end of the Olympic Peninsula that Mrs. Meyer used as the setting for her books, into an unlikely tourist hot spot.

* * *
Visitors to this rainy town, whose main industries are logging and two correctional facilities, have more than tripled for the first eight months of this year, compared with the same period last year, according to the local Chamber of Commerce.

P.S. I was stunned to see this story on the NYTimes 10 most emailed list on the day it first appeared on the web. Must be a lot of folks reading those Twilight books, because I doubt the widespread interest is in Forks itself.

1 comment:

Slice of Pink said...

As a child, I absolutely loved Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I can remember desperately wanting to visit Avonlea, on Prince Edward Island, where Anne lived with the Cuthbert siblings.

I hadn't thought much about Anne until reading this post, but with a quick search on Google I was able to discover that there are, indeed, tourist attractions on PEI based on Anne's adventures, including the farmhouse that inspired Green Gables and a museum.

I wonder if I could convince my husband that we need a visit to PEI? I bet I could: USA Today reports that, while Anne still rules PEI tourism, a sophisticated food scene, a 167-mile biking trail, and more that 30 golf courses also draw many visitors.