LENOX, Mass. (NEWS10) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has discouraged nonessential travel to Massachusetts. Border town businesses could be impacted by the fact that the state meets the criteria for the governor’s travel advisory.
New Yorkers have made their way to Berkshire County for leaf peeping this season in larger numbers. It’s been big business for bed and breakfast owners. The warning could impact tourism.
“October seemed like any other October. And I just talked to one of the restauranteurs here in Lenox yesterday, and he said the same thing. He couldn’t tell the difference,” said Tom Johnson, owner of the Birchwood Inn.
Even though it meets the criteria, Massachusetts is not technically on the travel advisory. Officially, New York only discourages travel to the neighboring state. It stops short of requiring New Yorkers residents to quarantine when they arrive home due to the interconnectivity of the states.
“I don’t really want to get COVID. So if [Cuomo] judges that we need to be locked down, I’m right there with him,” Johnson said. Though he said he’s prepared for any changes that could impact his business, he adds that not all innkeepers are in the same position. “A lot of innkeepers are mortgaged right up to the hilt,” Johnson said.
As he manages the new guidance and guidelines, he’s focusing on what he does best: Hospitality. “This is really enjoyable. You meet so many fascinating people. That’s what really does it for me,” Johnson said.