PLYMOUTH (CBS13) — Many of the small towns in Amador County rely on tourist dollars. But with the closing of Daffodil Hill, there’s one less attraction in the area to draw in visitors.
“I grew up here, Daffodil Hill has been a part of my life my whole life,” said Anne Sprague.
Like bees drawn to flowers, people have swarmed to visit Daffodil Hill for years. Visitors were attracted to its vibrant colors and beauty, free entry, and it’s popularity blossomed in recent years through social media.
Though they were only two open days this year, the flower fields attracted thousands of visitors.
“I’m thinking around 5,000 per day,” said Martin Ryan, co-owner of Daffodil Hill.
But popularity brought problems. Narrow roads like Shake Ridge, that lead to the park would get jammed, with little room for emergency vehicles. And there wasn’t enough parking and other infrastructure in place.
So, the family that owns the land decided the only solution was to shut down.
“It makes me sad because I think it’s a neat tradition,” said Elizabeth Lukes.
Many of the visitors here come through and stop at small towns like Volcano, one of many places that may feel the financial impact of fewer tourists.
“The businesses up here really rely on it. It’s one of the few things that really bring in a lot of people,” said Bill Caputo.
Businesses like Volcano’s general store relies on tourism business.
“It will slow down significantly,” said a worker at the general store.
Ryan’s family owns the land. He said they looked for workable solutions to keep the park open but found none.
“No matter what we did, the road structure, the parking structure and the size of the hill just wouldn’t accommodate the numbers of people we were seeing,” Ryan said.
When asked if this was possibly just temporary, the family said no. So as one person put it, “it’s the end of an era.”