Video: Tourists invade ‘Twilight’ town

  1. Closed captioning of: Tourists invade ‘Twilight’ town

    >>> " twilight " books and movies.

    >>> if you have a teenager, you have heard of " twilight ." the books are best-sellers and the movie "new moon" is one of the most anticipated films. it's such a phenomenon, in fact, that the tiny town where " twilight " is set has now become a mecca for fans. here's nbc's lee cowan.

    >> reporter: there's no easy way to get there. it's on the way to nothing, perfect for handsome vampires looking for a little privacy.

    >> this kind of stuff just doesn't exist.

    >> it does in my world.

    >> reporter: it's a fictional world , but it's actually a very real place. forks, washington, population almost 3,200, the epicenter of twi-mania.

    >> i was looking at the map and i read forks, and i was like, no way. turn around. we've got to go there. this is " twilight "!

    >> reporter: this year alone, 64,000 twi-hards have overrun the town, six times the town's average. pretty amazing for a place that the author, stephanie mayer, chose because it was so out of the way. but what does she like best about this part of the pacific northwest ? well, it's vampire-friendly weather. it rains 10 to 12 feet a year here in forks, making it not only the wettest place in the lower 48 states , but also the darkest.

    >> one guy called and said i was going to come camping there, but i hear you have a vampire problem.

    >> you'll see it on the window and the front porch.

    >> reporter: which is why some fans travel in the safety of the " twilight " tour bus.

    >> we have grandmas more excited than the grandchildren on board. it's been amazing.

    >> reporter: " twilight 's" heroine is bella, who has a crush on edward, who leads an odd sort of undead lifestyle.

    >> what if i'm not the hero? what if i'm the bad guy ?

    >> reporter: and everything the characters go, fans want to follow.

    >> every girl wants a perfect love story, i guess.

    >> reporter: so do older fans like annette root. she was so devoted, she actually moved to forks to open "dazzled by twilight ." did you ever think at some point maybe this was a little crazy?

    >> i think that a lot, but i'm happy. i'm happy crazy, so that's okay.

    >> reporter: the fascination has even spread to nearby port angeles to the italian restaurant where bella and edward had their fictional first date.

    >> one mushroom ravioli.

    >> reporter: and not surprisingly, that's the most popular dish.

    >> there were over 5,000 orders of mushroom ravioli this year.

    >> reporter: just this year?

    >> that's a lot of mushrooms, yeah.

    >> reporter: just as it does in nature, forks' residents know that " twilight " will eventually fade. for now, this town's tourism seems to have risen from the dead. for now, lee cowan, nbc news, forks, washington.

    >> you saw the movie, right?

    >> yeah, i like -- i really liked it, i did. i have a teenage daughter, so i wanted to make sure --

    >> what is so attractive about a vampire?

    >> well, if he looks like robert patterson , i think that maybe, you know, i don't need to say much more.

    >> you've got a good point there.

    >>> just ahead, the new big family on the block. i'm talking big.

    >> talking about the hays family.

updated 11/10/2009 8:59:31 AM ET 2009-11-10T13:59:31

A new restaurant set to open next year in Washington state will be called Volterra after a city in the popular Twilight vampire novels, which are set in the town of Forks.

Owners Annette and Tim Root told The Peninsula Daily News it will be a family restaurant, and they have applied for a liquor license.

Forks already has the Twilight Lounge that features concerts and other events for fans.

The Twilight books and movies have brought vampire tourism to the remote former logging town on Washington's Olympic Peninsula.

The Chamber of Commerce says thousands of visitors come asking questions, such as whether it's safe to go camping with the vampire problems in the area.

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