DOVER -- Most summer weekends, Joe Kruszwski and his wife, Wanda, spend their time tending the needs of 10 to 20 guests at their inn.
But when more than 20,000 people showed up for last weekend's Tough Mudder event at Mount Snow, Kruszwski and every other business owner in the Deerfield Valley were "beyond busy," posting record or near-record sales for that time of year.
The Kruszeskis, who own the 30-room Matterhorn Inn along Route 100, were booked solid and as more and more people drove up asking if there were any vacancies, the husband and wife duo worked frantically to find them a bed.
"We were trying to find rooms for people all the way to Brattleboro and Bennington," Kruszwski said. "We eventually had to start sending people to Greenfield."
As the "mudders" and their entourages converged on the ski village, it seemed as if every inn, hotel, motel, restaurant and grocery store within 30 miles was packed with shoppers, he said.
Erika Holland and Ramie Demers, owners of the Valley View Saloon in Dover, said they were at capacity every night and most afternoons.
"We were packed Friday night till close, and we've been busy all day today and I'm sure we'll be packed again tonight and tomorrow," Holland said Saturday. "We love the mudders."
Although it may seem like a "shot in the arm" to the local economy and business owners, Kruszwski said there'll be long-lasting economic benefits.
"A lot of guests
David Meeker, communications manager for Mount Snow, said he too heard from many restaurant and local shop owners about how busy they were.
"It's our goal at Mount Snow not only to help our friends at Tough Mudder execute a great event, but also to make lasting, positive impressions on the thousands of people that might not have otherwise visited our area during the summertime," he said. "Mount Snow has a lot going on during the warm season and having this event here really opens the eyes of a lot of people to that fact.
The Tough Mudder event, which pits people against a 10-mile obstacle course ranging from carrying logs up a steep incline to running through an electrically charge field of wires, held its first course in Vermont in the spring of 2011 and it was so successful organizers decided to hold two events this year.
In May, more than 10,000 people were registered for the Saturday event and another 8,500 for Sunday, Meeker said.
Last weekend's numbers weren't as high but again the Saturday event brought more than 10,000 while Sunday had more than 2,500 registered participants.
"The people that come to Tough Mudder events are fantastic," he said. "Everyone is so positive and so upbeat about what they are here to do. It really makes the event a lot of fun to be a part of."
Kruszwski said the two events this year brought in about $10,000 each, and offered a huge relief to all the business, especially those trying to recover from a winter that mostly lacked snow and the damage caused by Tropical Storm last August.
"We just hope they mountain keeps bringing them back," he said.
Josh Stilts can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311 ext. 273.