Shumlin said it was too early to tell what impact the wet weather has had on tourism-dependent state revenue streams like taxes on sales, rooms and meals; the new fiscal year just began July 1. But he said it was likely to be felt.
Tourism-related tax and fee revenue totaled nearly $275 million in 2011, equal to about a fifth of the state's $1.3 billion general fund budget. Tourism spending also supports nearly 40,000 jobs, with more than 13 percent job growth in the hospitality and recreation sector since 2009, officials said.
Craig Whipple, director of the Vermont State Parks, said combined visits by campers and day users hit a record 920,000 last year and appeared to be off 20 to 25 percent so far this year.
Tom Stuessy, executive director of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association, said nearly 100 percent of trails overseen by the group's affiliates had been closed for some part of May and June due to wet conditions; nearly 100 percent are open now, he added.
Although the Church Street Marketplace, with its brick-lined pedestrian walkway and outdoor restaurant and pub tables lining the thoroughfare, is a key tourist destination, Bishop said she hoped visitors to Burlington also would venture out to other parts of Vermont.
A few yards up Church Street, Daniel and Melissa Nathan and their three young boys, visiting from Columbus, Ohio, said they were planning on doing just that, beating the heat in the Lake Champlain valley by heading up to camp in the Green Mountains.
"We got into Burlington yesterday, but we're heading up to go camping at Smugglers Notch," Melissa Nathan said.
www.VisitVT.com or www.VermontVacation.com