The store has been in operation now for three months, and Gilpin says of the nearly 40 vendors listed on greenmountainvermont.com, half are now selling products on the site, and that number continues to grow. “It’s a new way of shopping for those who don’t live here,” said Gilpin. “Up until this store launched, the valley’s economy was entirely based on those who physically step foot in the valley. You had to be here to spend money, and even though some of the businesses were online, people had to come to the valley to support it.”
Gilpin says that along with the website, the online store continues to grow and gain more interest as the winter season approaches. Items and services for purchase on the site include everything from mugs and artwork to lodging and dining packages. Gilpin says this generates business from the outside for the Deerfield Valley. “The site is meant to put the valley on a national stage in terms of commerce. The valley now has a way of selling its goods and products to people who may never visit here, but it still generates value. Customers and business owners alike have been asking me, ‘Where has this been?’”
Consumers on the website have already made purchases from as far as Michigan and California. When an order comes in, Gilpin ships the products from the store, his group acting as a middleman for local businesses. Gilpin says the group’s website is like Google in that it has all the information one might need about local businesses and destinations, as well as Amazon, providing a place where consumers can support the local economy, and buy gifts.
Gilpin also said turning the Deerfield Valley into a four-season resort is an achievable goal. “There’s always this talk about how seasonal it is here,” said Gilpin. “Whether or not it snows, whether we have foliage in the fall, this gives us an opportunity to not have a seasonal-based economy because we can sell things and participate in commerce across the nation regardless of the weather.
“Once it grows companies will be selling in April and summer and not worry about whether they’re driving through the valley or not,” added Gilpin.