Opinion: Impact of trucks on Vergennes tourism substantial

My husband Bill and I, owners of the Emerson Guest House Bed and Breakfast, located on Main Street in Vergennes, could not be more supportive of the proposed northerly Vermont Route 22A/Vermont Route 17 truck bypass.
As innkeepers and residents on Main Street, we have first-hand experience of the destructive nature of the 18-wheelers freely using our Main Street as a major highway. As the trucks pass by, our historical 1850 Second French Empire home shakes. We have had multiple pictures fall off the walls, and our foundation is continually crumbling.
Concerning our business: The description that draws tourists to our tiny city proves to be misleading. Bar none, the truck noise and their presence is the number one complaint that we receive and is the number one reason why tourists will not return to our fair city. Many guests leave after commenting on not sleeping very well. In fact, guests will book for two nights, but after one have to leave because of the constant truck noise throughout the night.
Example quotes from real customers: 1. “We walked downtown, counted six Mack trucks, sat outside the Black Sheep Bistro, could not hear ourselves talk, and counted 12 trucks that went by. On our return home, we counted eight. You folks live on a major highway. We have never seen anything like it.” 2. “We went down to the village green to hear the Little City Band, but could not hear it because of all the trucks.” 3. “Have you people ever tried staying in one of your guest rooms?” (This was a guest we found sitting in our living room one summer morning at 6 a.m., awakened all through the night due to excessive truck noise.)
When we serve breakfast in the morning, we have gotten to the point where we are embarrassed to even ask how they slept. Bill and I have spent thousands of dollars insulating the front of the house in hopes of remediating this issue. White noise machines have been placed in the rooms, etc. We need more help.
Bill and I moved to Vergennes and invested in this town because of its wonderful charm. There is nothing charming about the trucks. After 11 years of trusting that this serious truck issue would be fixed, we are praying that this time it will go through, not just for us but for the good of our whole city.
Bill and Sue Walsh

Share this story:

No items found
Share this story: