Christmas tree lot remains a Newport mainstay despite longtime owner's death

Tom Mitts Christmas Trees is still a fixture in Newport for the holidays despite owner's death (WKRC)

NEWPORT, Ky. (WKRC) - Business is booming for Christmas tree lots but it also means spreading the wealth when it comes to neighboring businesses and that's the case for Tom Mitts Christmas Trees.

Anyone familiar with Newport knows Monmouth Street. Every year around this time, one place in particular sets up shop and breathes a little extra life into this historic region. "When that truck first pulls up out front, and you open up that door, and you get that first smell of the Christmas trees, you're like, ok, here we go," said David Dennis.

The unassuming pine plot sits tucked away on Monmouth Street. It's a hidden gem, frozen in time. "You see the urban background with this small little tree lot. I've had customers tell me this is almost like one of those Hallmark movies. You walk in and it feels like Christmas."

David Dennis began working at the lot when he was just eight-years-old, pulling trees from trucks. When longtime owner Tom Mitts passed away unexpectedly earlier this year, David took over. "Tom was just a quirky, all around great guy."

Tom Mitts may be gone but he left his own special touches on the lot. "He was an artist. A phenomenal artist and painter. Most of the sings that you see are hand made signs. That's all Tom."

It may be a seasonal business but it's also a shot in the arm to the other shops in the neighborhood. "It's just something you don't want it to end," said Angie Peluso of Peluso's Market. "You want it to be all year round. And we do pick up a lot of new customers from just having the Christmas tree lot."

The lot is a legacy continued, the torch has been passed and memories are made for generations to come. "It's just that Christmas feel to me now," said David. "It's not Christmas if I'm not working the Christmas tree lot."

The tree lot stays open all the way through Christmas Eve. They sell anywhere from five to ten trees on that day every year.

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