Whether it’s hiking Mt. Greylock, visiting MASS MoCA, or enjoying a night at Tanglewood (starting later this month), Berkshire County remains a popular destination for tourists.

According to a study done last year from 1Berkshires, the average age of a Berkshire County tourist is 41 years oldAnd, according to the Berkshire County Visitors Bureau, about 2.6 million tourists come to Berkshire County throughout the year.  I was surprised (in a good way) to see the average age of 41 years old.  Hopefully, those tourists have a good time, and keep coming back through the years.  Maybe their kids after that.  I was also surprised to see that number of 2.6 million tourists on average.  That’s no small number for a county that only has around 135,000 in total population.

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Growing up in Lee, I experienced some long lines of traffic through town as people came and went on the turnpike, and I’d sometimes hear residents grumble about a long line at the grocery store, how it took forever to get through town, or something of the sort.

While there’s always exceptions, I usually enjoy tourists or out-of-towners coming here!  When I was growing up and working on High Lawn Farm, I actually liked getting visitors, showing them around, and letting them pet the cows.  Likewise, I usually enjoyed talking with the out-of-towners when I was working retail or at the local video store.  I grew up in a loving but…money challenged family.  We never took vacations nor traveled, so talking with people that traveled here always interested me, as I got different views, or different takes on things.  Sure, you’ll get the rude New Yorker here and there, but by and large I found most people to be pleasant…or at the very least neutral.

So, how about you?  What do you think about Berkshire County being a tourist destination, and how have your general experiences been over the years?  I have a feeling the answer to that question will depend on if you work in the retail or service industry or not...

In any case, the bottom line is that tourism is part of the lifeblood here in Berkshire County.  Many of our industries, from skiing in the winter to the arts in the summer, would suffer without the influx of people coming here, and choosing to spend their time and money with us.

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