Businesses in Foothills Could See Slump in Spring Tourism after Daffodil Hill Closes

AMADOR COUNTY -- Small businesses all around the Sierra foothills have relied on tourism dollars from Daffodil Hill for years.

In the tiny foothills town of Volcano, business isn’t always booming, except when the daffodils are blooming.

“To all of a sudden you have, you know, a thousand people coming in through a weekend and that’s lovely for business,” said Dena Hurd, an employee at The Country Store.

Every spring, tourists flock from far and wide to get a glimpse of the bright bulbs that fill Daffodil Hill.

But after more than 80 years of welcoming visitors, free of charge, the hill is closing indefinitely.

“It was tough to make that call but as we went through the options, we ran out of options,” said Amador County Sheriff Martin Ryan, who co-owns Daffodil Hill with his brothers. The land has been in Ryan’s family for generations.

However, as the hill grew in popularity, so did the safety concerns.

“I think it really came to a head this year when we were open for two days and we just saw a crush where we had people waiting in line on the roads for up to two hours just to get into the parking lot,” Ryan explained.

The winding road leading up to Daffodil Hill was regularly jammed with traffic.

“Impeding first responders, fire, sheriff’s deputies, ambulance services, all of those things that needed not only to get to the hill but get past the hill to service our neighbors as well,” Ryan told FOX40.

Their success ultimately led to their demise.

Local businesses know they’ll feel it too.

“It’s going to slow things down,” Hurd said. “A lot of people have spring fever and want to get out and enjoy. That’s been a real positive place for families to go for many generations.”

Hurd is hoping tourists will still come back to Volcano to enjoy everything else gold country has to offer. She’s confident their window into the past will still have a bright future.

“Explore what’s here in Amador County, and I’m hoping that maybe someone takes up the mantle and creates another Daffodil Hill or peony hill or whatever it may be,” Hurd said.

Sheriff Ryan said they do plan to continue to plant daffodils on the hill just to keep the tradition alive.

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