SALEM (CBS) – Days away from Halloween, Salem was mostly spared during its most profitable and busiest time of the year. The Nor’easter caused some downed trees and power outages in the area, but the rain and wind were not enough to keep visitors away from the city, costumes and all.
Eric Barro, visiting from Rhode Island and dressed in costume, said, “You see I got some protection here. I’m protected from the elements. I’m nice and warm and dry – than a lot more people here are. It’s actually great. It adds to the spook factor, I think.”
Executive Director of Destination Salem Kate Fox said, “It’s been remarkable. A lot of our businesses are reporting their best October numbers ever, both for visitation and for spending. We have seen visitors from across the country.”
Some businesses were affected by the weather Tuesday and Wednesday, including the Salem Ferry, which canceled services both days. Others were still enjoying large crowds.
“It’s been a little slower, but honestly, I was really surprised by how many people came out given that there’s a genuine Nor’easter happening. We’re fully business as usual,” said Samantha Searles with History Alive.
“This is our honeymoon. We haven’t skipped anything really. We’ve been walking around in the rain; we went to restaurants; we have a tour later,” said Lori Discala, who was visiting from New York.
According to Destination Salem, in a typical year, an estimated 500,000 people visit the city in October during Haunted Happenings, but this year Salem is seeing even more tourists than usual.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if our numbers are close to 1 million this year. Weekend over weekend has been stronger than 2019 numbers and it’s been a strong summer coming into October,” said Fox.