I absolutely loved this story on CNN about how, ever since the Twilight series hit the shelves, the little, rainy town of Forks, Wash., has seen an increase in visitor activity. Forks is where Bella moves to live with her sheriff father in the beginning of the first book. It’s where she meets Edward and Jacob. It’s where the books end.
When researching real towns for the setting of her stories, Meyers was looking for a specific place. What did this place need? Well, for vampires to be comfortable there and able to walk around amongst mortals, it needed to be a place with the least amount of sunlight possible. In truth, Forks is one of the rainiest places on the planet—more than a foot of rain falls each month. Ideal for vampire inhabitation.
At the time, Meyer couldn’t have known what her books would do for Forks. She had no idea Twilight and the following sequels would be so popular, but ever since those books first started topping the charts, Forks, a town that was losing steam and watching its citizens leave for brighter horizons, has seen an influx of new life.
Thousands of visitors have traveled to Forks, hoping to see in front of their very eyes, some of the magic they read about in the books. And town residents are taking notice. As the article says, one guy has taken it upon himself to find houses that match the description of Bella’s and the Cullens’, found a spot on the beach that matches that of Bella and Jacob’s favorite hangout, and the local hospital even has a spot reserved for Dr. Cullen. How frickin’ cool.
As someone who has a large understanding of hospitality and tourism because of my job, I know how important it is for small towns to find that specific draw. I know how important it is for local chambers or visitors centers to hype themselves in an effort to bring in more tourists. Tourists = $$$. So, because of this understanding, this story touched my heart and made me so happy for Forks. So proud for this little town I’d never even knew existed before two months ago. Maybe someday I’ll be able to check out Forks, too. For Meyer’s personal experience during her first visit to Forks, and a slideshow of photos, see here.
(Map courtesy of Stephenie Meyer's Web site.)