August 1, 2018
In case visitors to Vermont don’t get hit with enough maple syrup and cheese marketing during their stay, they will now get a giant reminder to buy more on their way out of the state — if they happen to be flying out of Burlington International Airport.
The state’s largest airport will now feature what are perhaps the state’s largest maple syrup jugs and cheddar cheese blocks in both its north and south terminals.
The installation will remain in the airport for at least one year, the airport announced Thursday, in a promotional partnership with Dakin Farms, the Ferrisburgh-based Vermont gourmet foods retailer, and Cabot Creamery, the Cabot-based dairy cooperative.
The maple syrup and cheese join Woodchuck hard-cider (the real thing, not giant models), a Smugglers’ Notch zip line, and Vermont-made rocking chairs to complement the airport’s theme of “Vermont reinforcing Vermont.”
To be clear, neither the maple syrup nor the cheese is edible, but an airport spokesperson estimated that if the 150-gallon jugs were filled with maple syrup, they’d have a $10,500 price tag.
Dakin Farms said in an Instagram post that it hopes the installation will remind travelers that they can order Vermont’s food staples online and ship them anywhere in the country without the hassle of putting them in carry-on luggage.
However, the giant models won’t be any help if people packed more than 3.4 ounces of maple syrup in their carry-on luggage.
“It’s after TSA,” Gene Richards, the airport’s director of aviation, said of their location in the terminal. “It’s more about as you’re reflecting on your vacation and you go ‘you know what, I’m gonna order some of that when I get home.’”
Passengers trying to bring liquids through security is a problem, Richards said, but the airport is trying to offer as many reminders as possible before people pass through security, so that throwing out maple syrup is not visitors’ final memory of their trip to Vermont.
“Between Heady Topper and maple syrup, it happens a lot here, but we do our best to make sure people get on the outside whole,” Richards said.