Cast and crew from Tarantino's new film "The Hateful Eight" seem to have had a very successful "ski burn," since Telluride got 2 feet of new snow over the weekend. Lucky them, since their film takes place during a blizzard.
But the snow has also been good for the automotive shop Telluride Tire.
Owner Stuart Armstrong says that since the first film crews arrived in November, they've spent more than $140,000 at his shop. He estimates his staff has put more than 200 studded and snow tires, in addition to other equipment, on vehicles ranging from rental cars to shuttle buses to dually trucks.
"Today we put on five sets of chains, one more set of tires, and a couple of tows," Armstrong said Monday. "It’s been a very good increase in business for us, a bunch of business we normally don’t see."
Thanks to the shoot, Armstrong says business is up about 25 percent this year, resulting in by far his best January and February since opening the shop in 1997. The filmmakers have even hired the mechanics to work during the weekend, when Telluride Tire is typically closed.
"I can’t say enough about how wonderful it’s been, but at the same time it’s been really challenging trying to keep up with it all," Armstrong says. "They’re demanding. When they have to have it, they have to have it yesterday."
Telluride Mayor Stu Fraser says "The Hateful Eight" has boosted the entire town's economy, including businesses ranging from restaurants to hotels.
"With a large operation moving into a small community, it’s been highly favorable," Fraser says. "From a financial perspective, it has been very beneficial."
By the time shooting wraps, city officials expect more than 9,000 lodging nights booked in the region as a result of the movie and that the overall economic impact could reach as high as $9 million.
"They’re tourists and they’re spending money, but they’re also really nice people," Fraser says.
"The Hateful Eight" is eligible to receive as much as $5 million in incentives from Colorado's film commission.