DEERFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Some Franklin County businesses missed out on the foliage season last year because they were still re-building after Hurricane Irene.
22News spoke with business owners Friday night about this year's Columbus Day weekend.
The state Department of Transportation says expect some delays on Interstate 91 and the Turnpike this weekend as people drive up to Franklin and Berkshire Counties to see the peak of the New England foliage.
Business owners say they are ready for one of the busiest weekends of the year.
Scott Ferguson of Williamsport, PA told 22News he drove up to western Massachusetts with his family. “Thought we'd spend the weekend with our kids. Get them outside. See the leaves,” he said.
It’s the Columbus Day weekend. Thousands of people are expected to visit western Massachusetts to enjoy the peak of this year's fall foliage.
That means people are checking into local hotels, shopping at western Massachusetts stores and eating at nearby restaurants.
Alexander Sall, bartender at Champney’s Restaurant and Tavern in Deerfield, said, “We are fully staffed and ready for a crazy weekend. We should do about 200 people a night on weekends for the month of October, so it's going to be good.”
Local business owners told 22News people travel from all over the world to come and see the leaves. In fact, the Columbus Day weekend draws more people to Franklin and Berkshire Counties than Memorial Day and Labor Day.
For places like the historic Deerfield Inn that remained closed for more than a year after Hurricane Irene caused extensive damage back in 2011, this year's foliage season means getting back to business.
Innkeeper Jane Howard said, “Restaurants reservations. Room reservations. Wonderfully busy. Been here since 1884, and 130 years, had to restore it, and we hope to be around another 130 years.”
Several hotels and inns in Franklin County are completely booked this weekend. They said they expect to remain just as busy the rest of this month.
If you taken a nice fall foliage picture or you plan to take some this weekend you can send them to us at email@example.com.