first_imgWINDSOR, Vt. Vermont and New Hampshire tourism officials today formally announced that the Connecticut River Byway, running from Brattleboro, Vermont to Pittsburgh, New Hampshire, has been named a National Scenic Byway by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Connecticut River Byway, which stretches from the Canadian border to Massachusetts, follows 500 miles of state highways in 53 communities along the Connecticut River Valley in Vermont and New Hampshire. The byway embraces traditional New England historic and cultural sites which tell the story of the nations first explorations into the wilderness, first transportation corridor, and the initial expansion of American culture.The awarding of national designation follows a long and competitive application process, according to Sharon Francis, executive director of the Connecticut River Joint Commissions (Web: www.crjc.org(link is external)), which oversees the Connecticut River Byway Council (Web: www.ctrivertravel.net/(link is external)). We know we have a river valley with outstanding scenery and impressive history, but it is sweet news to hear that we are among the winners in a national competition, Francis said.This is very exciting news and will be enormously important for both tourism and economic development in this region, said Vermont Governor Jim Douglas. In August, Governor Lynch and I toured cultural heritage sites along the byway on both sides of the Connecticut River and renewed our commitment that our two great states would work together to promote the entire Connecticut River Byway. The National Scenic Byway designation will give those efforts an enormous boost.Americas Byways (Web: www.byways.org(link is external)), of which the Connecticut River Byway is now a part, is a distinct collection of American roads and treasured places recognized for their scenic, historic, natural, recreational, cultural and archeological qualities. Congress created the National Scenic Byways Program in 1991 to meet widespread demand that the nations unique places should be preserved and shared while at the same time promoting tourism and economic development by bringing tourists to rural America and much-needed dollars to small communities. Since its inception, the Americas Byways has provided $206 million for 1,495 projects in 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Colombia. In New Hampshire, the program also recognizes the White Mountain Trail and Kancamagus Scenic Byway. The Connecticut River Byway is the first National Scenic Byway in Vermont.The Connecticut River Byway includes nine waypoint centers where visitors may learn about the river valleys history, culture, arts, and recreational opportunities, as well as local lodging, dining, and entertainment. The waypoint centers are in Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, St. Johnsbury, Windsor, and White River Junction, Vt., and Claremont, Lancaster, and Colebrook, N.H. Wells River, Vt. and Woodsville, N.H. share a waypoint center located in Woodsville. ###last_img read more


first_imgVermont is open and the beauty of its fall foliage is more spectacular than ever thanks to the unprecedented recovery achieved in just five weeks, according to the Vermont Country Store.’Vermonters have worked tirelessly to get our great state open again after the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene,’ said Bill Shouldice, president and CEO of The Vermont Country Store. ‘With the all-important Fall Foliage season upon us, we are incredibly proud of the efforts of so many that helped re-build our roads, so folks could enjoy the experience of our brilliant colors, and our genuine hospitality. We have long held that the strength of Vermont is in its people, and that has never been more evident.”The Vermont Country Store is just one of thousands of businesses with the ‘OPEN’ sign out, ready to welcome millions during October,’ former Vermont Commerce Secretary Shouldice said.There was intense media attention focused on the damage to Vermont’s roads and homes so great concern remains that Vermont is inaccessible, he said. Thanks to community efforts, that could not be further from the truth. In fact, roads and businesses are 99 percent accessible across the state, and visitors have been flocking to view the spectacular landscapes only found in Vermont. To help spread the word, The Vermont Country Store has created a website, www.VermontIsOPEN.com(link is external), which links to well-established Vermont vacation sites and recommends events and attractions to visitors. A companion Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/vermontisopen(link is external), has been created to help businesses link up with customers who need the latest information about attractions and hospitality, along with directions and open road information.Vermont Is OPEN is complementing the efforts of the State of Vermont, Vermont Chamber of Commerce, regional chambers, and attraction organizations to help get visitors the latest information about what’s open and available. Many businesses, attractions and event organizers have offered their support to Vermont Is OPEN, among them:AAA North America, Killington Resort, Long Trail Brewing Company, Equinox Resort, Rock of Ages Corp, Orvis, Simon Pearce, Shelburne Farms, Danforth Pewter, Hildene, Champlain Orchards, and Stratton Resort.About The Vermont Country StoreIn 1946, Vrest and Ellen Orton printed their first catalogue’just 12 pages and 36 products’and mailed it to the folks on their Christmas card list and sixty-five years later continues to be Orton family owned. As Purveyors of The Practical and Hard to Find, The Vermont Country Store operates as a multichannel merchant through its mailed catalogs, e-commerce web site and two retail stores in Weston and Rockingham, Vermont. For more information, please visit www.VermontCountryStore.com(link is external).  MANCHESTER CENTER, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–10.6.2011last_img read more