While those of us unfortunately in the path of winter weather this year are hunkering down, anxiously awaiting the snow to end, some people are just getting started. The Bachelor: Winter Games premieres this week, and with it will showcase some of our favorite familiar faces of the Bachelor franchise, not only from the U.S. version, but across the international iterations of it as well. The landscape in which this new spinoff takes place certainly had to be scouted out and made to be fit for reality stars, and the necessary snow must have narrowed the possible filming locations. So, where was The Bachelor: Winter Games filmed?
Apparently the stars were whisked off to the tiny town of Manchester, Vermont, which, according to The Hollywood Reporter, boasts a population of just 4,391. THR also featured a first-hand account of a Manchester resident who was reportedly able to participate in filming as an extra. "When I first heard the news [that the show was filming in Manchester], I assumed it was a joke," Courtney Weir wrote for the outlet. "The idea that ABC's The Bachelor would be filming in our tiny town seemed impossible. The closest airport is an hour away. We have just two stoplights in town."
Not surprisingly, such a huge production apparently rocked the small town, which Weir said has few claims to fame other than "the American Museum of Fly Fishing and Hildene, the former estate of Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln." Respectable establishments, to be sure, but definitely not the same as an internationally recognized reality show that's chock full of people who have become bona fide celebrities. Weir continued:
"Town was buzzing. In front of the Manchester Country Store on Main Street (Pure Vermont Maple Syrup for sale here!) were cameras, microphones, lights, flags and a cast of characters very different from the typical flannel-shirted townspeople I see every day. Flags of different nations were hastily being distributed to the crowds. We were herded here, then ordered to gather there."
Despite the crowd, the small location could have allowed the production more privacy than if they had filmed in a more high profile winter destination like, say, Denver or Aspen. It was probably a smart choice to choose a location where they would (mostly) be away from the prying eyes of the world. Bachelor fans would likely be grabbing at any sneak peaks they could get, and a secluded small town probably allowed Winter Games to escape that possibility.
"You're going to do some things you haven't done before and some of them are going to be great and unexpected and some of them will not work and that's OK, too," the show's executive producer Bennett Graebner told E! News. He also said that the show is even bigger than The Bachelor in some ways, especially as they bring together people who definitely would never have encountered each other in the real world. "How can we put all of these people together in some fashion and see if there's not just a Bachelor Nation out there but kind of a Bachelor World and maybe we can find love for two people who live on opposite sides of the globe," Graebner continued.
Though the physically competitive aspect of the show might be new and intriguing for audiences, Winter Games remains about one thing at its core — finding a soulmate. "Even though it's fun to watch our cast tumble their way down a hill and skiing for the first time, it really needs to be about romance and relationships and falling in love," Graebner said. It seems like Bachelor Nation can expect to be wowed by the gorgeous landscape while still nestle into the comfort of the franchise they know and love.