Fall is one of the busiest times of the year for tourism in central Virginia. Leaf peepers come from all over the country to see all of those vibrant colors but will the leaves be as brilliant as in years past? Gregg O'Donnell is spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Forestry and said every year it is difficult to predict how colorful each autumn will be but so far things are looking good.
"Last year we had a pretty good season. I think we might see a little bit more color than we did last year," O'Donnell said.
That could be thanks to a wet spring, no summer drought and a fall with warm sunny days and cool nights.
"With the forecast that we have for right now with days sunny and 70, 40's at night is really a magic combination for brilliant fall color," O'Donnell said.
In central Virginia fall colors peak in late October into early November. Kurt Burkhart is executive director of the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau and said it's a busy time of year for leaf peepers visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Shenandoah National Park.
"October is always very busy for us. We have lots of festivals going on. We've got, for example, Adventure Farm out in Albemarle County, Carter Mountain with the apple orchard. Lots of things going on that draw people to central Virginia," Burkhart said.
That draw brings lots of tourism dollars to Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
"In 2009, there was $423 million of direct visitor spending in Charlottesville and Albemarle County which is huge and it's that tourism could be the 3rd largest employer in our region," Burkhart said.
A popular time of the year that's promising another beautiful fall season.
Jennifer Von Reuter joined the NBC29 news team in June 2009 as a general assignment reporter. Prior to joining NBC29, Jennifer worked as an anchor and reporter for WHAG-TV in Hagerstown, MD. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story