Fall tourism picks up

ABINGDON, Va. - People come from all over to see what southwest Virginia has to offer all year long, but the colors of fall bring tourists in droves.

"Early October into early November are key bed & breakfast and hotel lodging opportunities," Abingdon Visitor Center director Kevin Costello said. "We are very close to sold out and always at 60 to 70 percent occupancy during those time periods."

Summer would run a close second along the Creeper Trail as far as visitors, and ironically the trees, are a major factor in a different way.

"So the temperature is a lot cooler up there than it is down here in the flat," bike shop co-owner Jerry Camper pointed out. "Most of the trail is covered in trees so we are very fortunate to take advantage of that."

"The state tourism office at has a really cool fall foliage chart. So there are 3 or 4 different gauges and they are for the different regions of the state," Costello added.

They tell as the leaves are peaking when they start to change and they work with the forest service on that.

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