Store and restaurant owners all over New Hope, PA are preparing for the fall. Cold weather means one thing for these small business owners: less business. All summer long the town is booming with tourists looking for a weekend getaway and locals looking for a night out on the town. New Hope is filled with outdoor seating at restaurants (a must for people watching) and outdoor clothing displays to bring in the tourists for the various overpriced merchandise.
Everything changes in New Hope for the winter. Now, with the start of cold weather, restaurant patios that were filled with patrons all summer long are now empty. Instead of sundresses on outdoor mannequins, there are coats and scarves draped in windows that display the hottest trends for winter. The dog bowl that once sat outside of Bitter Bob’s BBQ is now stored away in the basement ready for next summer. Outdoor furniture is piled away in the corners of the patio in an attempt to protect it from harsh winter storms. As the streets fill with leaves, the menus seem to change. Specials that used to be fresh, flavorful salads filled with seasonal fruit are now warm soups and homemade chicken potpie loaded with hearty vegetables.
It’s no secret that the town of New Hope experiences a lull in business during the winter seasons. Many businesses even go to the extremes of conserving electricity and cutting down on staff. Which isn’t much of a bother since many of the staff members are college students or other seasonal employees. With shortened hours, restaurants and shops do everything they can to cut back on costs all winter long.
It can be a tough time to overcome, but business owners are constantly coming up with new ways to attract customers. The summer is easy, with fireworks every Friday and the fourth of July to attract customers. For many it is tradition to visit New Hope in the summer. There is a lot of history and many annual events, like the Gay Pride Parade that kicks off the summer season. Tourists from all over come for the annual celebration. It can be a struggle for businesses to keep the flow throughout the winter.
Despite the dwindling crowd, New Hope is a prime spot for Ghost junkies to adventure during October. A great way to celebrate Halloween is by booking a tour with New Hope Ghost Tours. The tours explore the many locations in New Hope that are rumored to be haunted, specifically the Logan Inn. The Inn’s room #6 is thought to be haunted by several ghosts, including “Emily” the mother of the former owner of the inn. Emily supposedly haunted a lone traveling businessman who left in the middle of the night after waking to a white mist hovering over his body. Many female guests have also reported the reflection of a man in the bathroom mirror, who, after startling them, disappears as soon as they turn around. For information on Ghosts of New Hope see http://www.ghosttoursofnewhope.com.
In the spirit of Halloween, New Hope will also be hosting a series of annual events that began this past Saturday, Oct. 15 and will continue until Halloween night. Events include the Third Annual Mischief March, the Time Warp Masquerade and live performances of The Rocky Horror Show. To end the series of Halloween celebrations, there will be a High Heeled Drag race on to Oct. 30.
- Trophy taken home by the winner of the High Heeled Drag Race
Photo from New Hope Chamber of Commerce