‘Twilight’ DVD release fills the tills of Forks

FORKS — And there was no room for them in the inns.

The fans who flocked into Forks over the weekend to celebrate the release of the “Twilight” movie DVD might have been out of luck if they didn’t make reservations early.

Fans who came to town had a tough time finding places to stay, said Marcia Bingham, Forks Chamber of Commerce director.

“I haven’t spoken with every single motel in town, but people coming into the visitor center couldn’t find a place to stay,” she said.

“And there are still fans all around here — it is spring break in some places, so we’ve had more [visitors] this month.”

Booked up

Already fans of the Twilight book series — which tells the love story between human Bella Swan and vampire Edward Cullen — have booked up two lodges for Sept. 12 and 13.

Sept. 13 is Stephenie Meyer Day, in honor of the books’ author.

Events celebrating the books will span two days.

Last year’s event drew 1,000 people, and this one is expected to draw even more, Bingham said.

About 600 fans in the 3,200-population town showed up to celebrate the DVD’s midnight release Friday.

The movie was released just after midnight on Saturday.

Dazzled By Twilight, a Twilight-themed store in the heart of the town in which the saga is set, sold 460 copies of the film.

Leppell’s Flowers and Gifts nearby sold about 40.

“It is so much fun and so wonderful for the town,” Bingham said.

Dazzled By Twilight put on party at the Rainforest Arts Center in downtown Forks with a fountain of red-colored chocolate, music, prizes and dancing.

“I think my favorite part of it all was meeting people who are like me and are really passionate about these books,” owner Annette Root said.

“I felt bad people had to wait outside, but I think most people had a great time.

“We will for sure throw parties again for the other movies, and we’ll continue to improve on it.”

“New Moon,” the second movie of the saga, is now in production in British Columbia.

Neither “Twilight” nor “New Moon” has scenes filmed on the West End.

By the end of the night, shelves were growing bare as fans grasped all the memorabilia they could.

Bingham said restaurants and other stores in town also feel a boost when large numbers of fans stop in.

Leppell’s held a scavenger hunt Saturday in which fans were sent all over the area — including LaPush — to hunt for Twilight-related clues.

In addition to getting fans acquainted with the area and introducing them to businesses they might not have known about, owner Charlene Cross said Leppell’s hunt was created to make sure fans had a good time.

“We’ll for sure make sure we do this again,” she said, adding that about 100 people participated.

Last summer, Forks saw a big increase in lodging tax revenue, mostly attributed to the “vampire tourism” from Twilight.

The taxes last summer were $85,159, a 48 percent increase over the 2007 figure of $57,467 during the same time period — a trend Bingham believes will continue this year.

__________

Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at paige.dickerson@peninsuladaily news.com.

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