IT’S boom time around Mitta with an influx of tourists for the Christmas and New Year period.
They have flocked to the banks of the Mitta River and Snowy Creek for the relaxing lifestyle in some idyllic surroundings.
The Mitta caravan park is the busiest it has been for years with a similar scenario at the store.
Annette Hill took over the store just a month ago after a eight-year stint from 2002.
“Everyone around here is happy. There are a lot of campers and day-trippers,” she said.
“In all the years I have been here, I think this has been the busiest Christmas I have seen.”
Seven friends who have links with the Mitta Valley bought the hotel in May and have since been busily renovating it.
They regarded the hotel as the heart of the community and wanted to enhance it.
A cool room at the front of the hotel has been removed and replaced with a large window that provides more light in the bar and extra space.
Improvements are planned for the dining room and outdoor eating area, along with a new kitchen.
All the work is expected to be finished by Easter, another busy period for the town.
The hotel’s licensee, Sally Simpson who comes from Albury, runs the hotel with her English husband Tom, who loves the area because it reminds him a little of where he was raised around Nottingham.
Tom spent the past 10 years in Canada where he met his wife four years ago.
He said yesterday it had been an exceptional Christmas period for the hotel.
“Every day we are breaking records. It is going bananas,” he said.
He said the large influx of visitors was great for the area and community.
It also enables him to employ more locals at the hotel to meet demand.
The caravan park is run by a committee with a caretaker.
All its powered sites were full with a similar situation for non-powered sites plus there are many more campers in nearby bush along the river.
A large crowd of young people with swags arrived for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
“It’s the biggest Christmas we have had for quite a few years,” the caravan park’s office worker Michelle Turner said.