Money really does grow on trees in New England, where leaf peepers pump millions into states

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Money really does grow on trees in New England in the autumn — and all six states are raking it in.

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Officials say leaf-peeping tourists will spend upward of $3 billion this fall to catch a glimpse of what's shaped up to be an exceptionally brilliant autumn display.

The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development projects the state will see 8.2 million visitors this fall, and they're expected to spend $1.6 billion. Megan Smith, Vermont's tourism and marketing commissioner, says fall visits to the Green Mountain State have grown between 3 and 6 percent every year since 2009, when the Great Recession bottomed out. Visits to Vermont's state parks are up 8 percent and now at their highest level since 1989.

Maine and Massachusetts also report increased spending.