Y2K fever has spawned yet another market niche, but this one has
nothing to do with racing against time or being in one of the
dozens of destinations that claim to be the first place scheduled
to greet the millennium. The latest wrinkle for agents and
operators to get their mitts on is what I call "dropout travel."
This little-known market sector's highest-profile home of late
lies in a small Virginia county named Floyd. Nestled high in the
Blue Ridge mountains, Floyd has long been home to the dropout
crowd, which primarily consists of jaded city-dwellers seeking
their own private Walden. With the millennium looming, Floyd is
picking up steam as the place to forge a whole-grain existence that
depends more on hard work than on hard drives.
Quick thinking travel pros could have a Y2K-No Way package put
together in no time: Bus tickets, commune reservations and a couple
of side trips to see the local generator or the chicken coop are
about all you'd need. The place runs on a barter system, so I'd
advise potential dropouts to pack a couple extra bottles of
What's in it for you? Take the long view. Come Jan. 2, you'll be
able to name your price when the folks you sent up the mountain
want to come back down to earth.