All posts by MWV Chamber

Men like to Soak, Sip, and Relax, too, at The Soaking Pot

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Stress relievers come in all forms but a  spa day is one of my favorites. It is always a great way to allow myself an hour of peace and serenity, to just float away from the world and completely relax.

I have been to many spas but they are not often considered male territory. I think that is changing. Men suffer plenty of stress and worse, they can bottle it up, or not see it as being worth revealing. There can be countless little anxieties that they keep hidden as they perseverate on them.

When I first heard of The Soaking Pot I was a bit skeptical. What, I asked, is this? Just foot soaking?

I was surprised. The Soaking Pot was a wonderful experience.

SOAK
Their philosophy is to relax the whole body from the inside out using botanical infusions of the finest salts, herbs, florals and essential oils to relax sore muscles and calm a busy mind,
SIP
Nothing gives you permission to relax like a soothing cup of tea and The Soaking Pot has partnered with some of the finest tea artisans to offer deliciously satisfying teas.
RELAX
To infuse deeper relaxation The Soaking Pot offers a menu of add-on treatments. You can add a head-neck-shoulder massage, lower leg-foot or lower arm-hand to enjoy while you soak.

My visit to The Soaking Pot was heavenly. I chose a calming soak, the Cedarwood Hops. It is meant to alleviate anxiety, insomnia, and an overactive mind. They also offer Invigorating, Balancing, and Soothing Soaks.

It was so relaxing to just sit back and turn off any worries. At first, it may seem silly or even intimidating for a man to open up to something that seems so soft, but that feeling will pass. After all, it’s just taking off your shoes and socks.

For more information visit The Soaking Pot for their menu of services.

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Still Skiing in Mt. Washington Valley

By Kathy Bennett
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

While the ground is brown south of here, the snow base is still deep and white at the ski areas in and around North Conway. The end of March usually sees some ski areas call it quits – due to a lack of skiers, not a lack of snow.

But there is still plenty of skiing left here into April.

Yesterday I skied the popular Ellis River Trail Loop at Jackson Ski Touring. As you can see from the photos, the snow is still deep. The rivers and streams were flowing but the trail was groomed with coverage edge to edge.  JSTF former Executive Director Thom Perkins confirmed that their mid-November open date is among their earliest and manager Deb Deschenes said it was a great season right up until the end, which takes place on March 31.

Those wishing to continue xc skiing can continue fun on skinny skis at Bear Notch Ski Touring. They have not published a closing date yet, but the Garlands usually keep the groomers going as long as they can. Last year on Easter Sunday I enjoyed skiing there, taking advantage of their higher elevations and shaded trails which keep their snow longer than most.

Sunday brought me to Wildcat. The fog and forecast of rain scared off most folks, which left the deep, soft-turning snow for those of us who were more intrepid. The warm air was a treat and I skied without googles. The fog was not an impediment as visibility was reasonable and the fog was off and on skiing down through the elevations. What was consistent was the snow quality, with only a few areas showing more variable/spring conditions. They will easily make it to Easter, when they have fun events scheduled on April 21.

Cranmore ends daily operations today but will reopen April 6-7.  Wildcat has not published an estimated close date on their website. Bretton Woods has posted an April 15 close date. 

Check here for the most recent listing of closings and end of season events.

Closing dates are subject to change so visit each resort website for the latest and greatest. But don’t put those skis away just yet!

Skiing and Lunch and Fat Biking, Oh My

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

If you can come back from a day proud of just how much you ache, then it’s been a good day.

If any other sentence so sums up our outing at Great Glen, I can’t think of it. It started after a morning of skiing at Wildcat, as we decided to go relax with lunch at the Glen House Hotel at Mt. Washington. It proved to be wonderfully relaxing as we sat, nursing flatbreads and a beer in plain view of the Presidential Range.

It is the kind of restaurant where we could comfortably sit for hours. That is until we decided to go fat biking! Exploring Great Glen’s miles and miles of trails on bikes specially made for the snow was… difficult. Very, very difficult. But it was incredibly fun to do something so unique and get out into nature to appreciate the jaw-dropping vistas all around us.

If you miss spring, summer, or fall biking, then we recommend trying fat biking. It hurt – a lot – but it was an ache we could be proud of, for we had accomplished a lot. For more information contact Great Glen Trails.

39th Annual Memorial Hospital Open Golf Tournament Moves to New Course, Supports New Cause

Now in its 39th year, the Memorial Hospital Open Golf Tournament will be moving to a new course and supporting a new cause, continuing its legacy of raising funds to support North Conway’s community hospital.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at the North Conway Country Club, located right in the heart of North Conway Village. Golf pro Kevin Walker will welcome golfers to the storied course.  Established in 1895, the North Conway Country Club is known for its views of Mt. Washington and the Presidential and Moat Ranges. The event’s Grazing on the Green dinner and awards will take place in its restaurant, with an exceptional menu golfers have come to expect from this long-running event.

But the location isn’t the only thing changing. This year the tournament proceeds will be directed towards an emerging need at Memorial Hospital, one that impacts many individuals in the community.

Director of Behavioral Health, Lorinda MacDonald, APRN-PMHNP explained the situation.  “Due to the increasing number of behavioral health patients seeking treatment in our Emergency Department (ED), we have an immediate need to expand the number of beds. The ED is always the point of entry for those in crisis seeking psychiatric care. Our mission is to provide the highest level of care for all patients who enter the ED, whether they are in need of medical care or in a psychiatric crisis.”

Due to the lack of available space in psychiatric hospitals, patients in the ED can wait for days or weeks for a bed. This situation also delays care for other community members seeking urgent treatment in the ED. The proceeds of this year’s tournament will be the beginning of a community-based effort to support the needs of this vulnerable population.

Last year the event raised over $52,000 which supported Community Health for a Lifetime, providing funds for childhood wellness and other population health initiatives. The event has raised over $850,000 over its long history, purchasing many pieces of life-saving equipment and supporting community health programs.

Golfers from presenting sponsor The Coleman Companies enjoying the day at the 2018 Memorial Hospital Open Golf Tournament.

The tournament has already secured its Presenting Sponsor, with The Coleman Companies once again taking the top spot. Other sponsorship opportunities are available for local businesses and individuals. Many sponsorship packages also include golf teams for the event. For those wishing to play in the tournament, golfers may join the event as individuals or in teams of four.

The tournament offers one exclusive afternoon flight with play limited to 128 players. Sponsors and golfers are encouraged to sign up early as the tournament sold out last year and is expected to do so again in 2019.

This year’s Golf Tournament Committee members include: Bayard Kennett, Kathy Bennett, Gail Paine, Peter Waugh, Rachael Brown, Corrine Ray, Kathy Sanderson, James Love, Melody Nester, Ed Harrigan, and Mary Vigeant, APRN.

The Memorial Hospital Open Golf Tournament was founded in 1980 by former US Congressman Bill Zeliff and Jackson businessman Lee Harmon.  The tournament is known for its famous Grazing on the Green food extravaganza the evening of the event.

For more information, or to sign up for golf or sponsorship, visit the golf event page online at www.memorialhospitalnh.org/golf  or call Melody Nester at 603-356-5461 ext. 2264 for more information.

Northway Bank Promotes Channele Wingrove to Branch Manager

Campton, N.H. – Northway Bank is proud to announce the promotion of Channele Wingrove to Branch Manager of the bank’s Campton location.

In her role, Channele will be responsible for cultivating and strengthening relationships in the greater Campton area and offering outstanding customer service and solutions to Northway Bank customers.

Channele’s valuable experience will be a tremendous asset as she leads her new team. She joined the bank with more than 10 years of customer service experience and most recently served as Assistant Branch Manager of Northway Bank’s Plymouth branch. Prior to that, Channele served as a Senior Financial Specialist and Employee Mentor at UW Credit Union.

NorthWay Bank promotes Channele Wingrove

A California native, Channele holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from California State University, Stanislaus. She currently resides in Campton and enjoys experiencing cultures around the globe with her husband, whom she met on a trip overseas. Channele can be reached by email at cwingrove@northwaybank.com or by phone at 603-342-1420.

Northway Bank is one of the largest independent commercial banks in New Hampshire, operating 16 branches and employing more than 200 associates throughout the state. It’s New Hampshire roots date back more than a century, establishing a long heritage of local commitment. Northway Bank serves individuals and businesses, combining the neighborly approach of a community bank with the extensive products and services you might expect to find only in a big national bank. At Northway Bank, community still counts. Call 800-442-6666 or visit northwaybank.com to learn how the right bank makes a real difference.

Ghost Hunters Weekend Coming to Bernerhof Inn

Are you a fan of paranormal activity and would like to be part of the fun and mystery of a ghost hunting adventure? Central Maine Ghost Hunters and the Bernerhof Inn of Bartlett, NH are coming together to offer an exclusive Ghost Hunters Weekend, March 29-30, 2019. A complete lodging package including breakfast, dinner, lodging and ghost hunting activities is offered for just $749 per couple.

The event takes place at the Bernerhof Inn, the distinctive historic inn located on Route 16 in Bartlett, NH, just minutes from Attitash Mountain in the heart of Mount Washington Valley and close to North Conway activities and outlet shopping.

Guests at the Ghost Hunters Weekend have their choice of rooms at the historic inn. Shown here, the Jackson Village Room.
The crew from Central Maine Ghost Hunters. Photo credit: Central Maine Ghost Hunters

Guests will enjoy a pre-investigation orientation meet and greet and discussion on understanding paranormal investigating. Innkeeper Nick Panno explained, “Guests will be invited to learn how to use the equipment you’ve seen on TV, including K-II EMF detectors, spirit boxes, voice recorders, dowsing rods and more. After the meet and greet,  you’ll get to use these pieces of equipment in a group investigation. This is going to be an amazing experience! We are so excited to work with Central Maine Ghost Hunters to bring this exclusive event to the Bernerhof!”

But the ghost hunting is just part of the experience at this luxurious bed and breakfast. Guests will be welcomed Friday night with a three-course meal prepared by the Inn’s executive chef. Saturday night’s dinner will be served family-style before kicking off an evening of ghost hunting festivities. Each day will begin with a scratch-cooked breakfast in the Inn’s cozy dining room.

When booking, guests can select among the Inn’s 12 unique rooms, many with in-room Jacuzzi tubs, electric and gas fireplaces, flat screen TVs and free wifi. The rooms feature many fine traditional antiques and European styled touches, with a dose of modern elegance and many state-of-the-art amenities.

Ski season is still in full swing in Mount Washington Valley so guests can ghost hunt at night and ski all day at the many ski areas minutes from the Inn. Ask about how to access discount ski tickets when making your reservation.

Due to limited availability, reservations for this special package are only available by calling innkeeper Nick Panno directly at 603-383-4200. Room choice is on a first-come-first-served basis. The Bernerhof Inn was recently rated as the #1 Inn in Bartlett, NH by TripAdvisor.com and is well known for its high level of customer service and personal attention. For more information, visit them online at www.bernerhofinn.com.

Great Night Skiing at Shawnee Peak

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Do you like skiing, but find that it’s hard to get up and go some mornings? Well, night skiing may be for YOU!

Shawnee Peak hosts a standout example of this, boasting the most night skiing in New England with 5 lifts servicing 19 trails and two terrain parks from 3:30 until 9:00 pm. You can (literally) ski the night away and their Monday Night Madness is a great deal for just $15


And, if you’re hungry, Shawnee Peak also has Blizzard’s Pub, which boasts some delicious cheesesteaks.

If you’ve been busy all day and want to get on the slopes, and save some money, this post goes out to you.

Protect Your Key Assets with Key-person Life Insurance

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

Most organizations employ at least one individual who is essential to the company’s success. This person may be a partner, majority stockholder or an individual with expertise that’s unmatched throughout the rest of the company. If this person’s exit from the company is planned, such as through retirement or voluntary termination, then you can prepare for the loss and take the necessary precautions to minimize the impact.

However, if the departure is unplanned due to a death, disabling accident or sudden resignation, then the company is exposed to financial risks. If your organization employs individuals who are vital to its success, consider key-person life insurance to offset your risk. This coverage can protect your organization’s solvency in the event that you lose the key person or people without warning, and also the investments made by lenders and investors to the company.

How Does Key-person Life Insurance Work?

It’s important to know how key-person life insurance works while you consider if it’s the right fit for your company:

  • The employer purchases key-person life insurance on the key individual(s).
  • The employer is the beneficiary of the policy and applies for and owns the coverage. If the key employee dies prematurely, the policy pays out to the employer.
  • In some cases, IRS guidelines allow for tax-free dollars from the policy to be put towards finding, hiring and training a replacement employee, compensation for lost business during the transition, and financing timely business transactions.
  • Depending on the specific language in the policy, it can sometimes be transferred to a departing key employee as a retirement benefit.
  • The policy can be used to buy out the key employee’s shares or interest in the company.
  • Premiums are based on several factors, including the key employee’s age, physical conditions and health history. The amount of coverage also affects the premium.

Advantages of Key-person Life Insurance

Key-person life insurance has a number of advantages that can help mitigate your company’s risks:

  • Policies can be easily implemented and don’t require IRS approval. Your business only needs to prepare an annual report for the IRS.
  • If all IRS guidelines are followed, the policy’s benefits may be paid to the company tax-free.
  • Customers, creditors, lenders and stockholders have the assurance that the business has a continuation plan and coverage in place.
  • There’s flexibility when using funds paid by the policy.

Considerations before Purchasing Key-person Life Insurance

The following points should be considered before purchasing key-person life insurance:

  • Estimate the value of your key employees. Think about the projects that would be lost without these people, the amount of sales generated by these people and costs associated with replacing them.
  • Determine if this coverage is necessary, as credit insurance will cover outstanding loans and debts.
  • Create a business continuity plan that outlines how your business will function if you lose key employees.

Chalmers Insurance Group understands that your key assets need protection and we’re here to assist you. Please contact us today at 800-360-3000 to learn more about our key-person life insurance solutions and other ways to mitigate your risks.

Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm’s 16th Annual Ice Harvest & Winter Carnival

Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm’s 16th Annual Ice Harvest & Winter Carnival was held this past weekend in Tamworth. As a family who’s attended the past two years, we were aware of what to expect and what the challenges would be with young kids, especially parking. We made sure to get there early enough to enjoy the whole day so arrived close to 11:30am. The day ahead hardly seemed like it would be long enough for my two, who couldn’t get enough and were sure to be among the last to leave.

It was a great day spent with family and friend, a day filled with fun for everyone. We started with the kids games and scavenger hunt, a visit to the ice house, followed by the interest of harvesting ice ourselves. My 3-year old was very intrigued and determined to push the block of ice her 7-year old brother cut. After watching the huge blocks of ice being hauled by the oxen we were ready for s’mores and some sweet treats as we sat outside of the sugar shack by the fire.

Before we left for the event I asked my kids what they were most excited to see and do. My 3-year old said, “I want to see the pig.” Hmm. Not sure that would happen if I reminded her of everything else we’d see but she seemed satisfied. When we arrived we were happily surprised to find out that this year’s ice sculpture was a pig. After tons of fun and two sleepy kids, I asked them what their favorite activity was. My son took a second and thought, “all of it.” My daughter looked at me with confidence and said, “the pig.” Of course!

What a great day. Thank you to the staff at Remick Museum & Farm.

 

Save Money Insuring Your Teen Driver

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

Insuring a new driver can be expensive. Learn what you can do to keep your premiums as low as possible and your teen accident-free.

Tips to Keep Costs Down

If you’re the parent of a teenager who is getting ready to climb behind the steering wheel, insuring your new driver can be an expensive endeavor. This is because the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16 to 19-year-olds than among any other age group. We’ve gathered some helpful tips to help you keep your premiums as low as possible, and keep your teen safe and accident-free.


Add Your Teen to Your Auto Policy

Rather than setting up an independent policy for your teen driver, consider adding him or her as an additional driver on your auto insurance policy. Also, if you have more than one vehicle, keep costs down by designating which vehicle your child will be driving.

Deductible Considerations

Auto deductibles typically range from $250 to $1,000. By upping your deductible and using your insurance for big repairs, you can significantly reduce your premium.

Ask for the Student Discount

If your teenager maintains at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA), he or she typically qualifies for a rate discount.

Weigh Your Buying Decision

Wanting to get your teenager a new car to drive with the latest safety equipment is understandable, but you may be better off purchasing a safe, used vehicle in terms of premium prices.

Set Your Expectations for Safety and Minimize Distracted Driving

Teens can get distracted easily. To help reduce potential accidents:

  • Restrict your teen’s nighttime driving
  • Do not allow them to drive with more than one other person in the car
  • Ban cell phone use while driving
  • Ride with your son or daughter occasionally to make sure they are keeping up with the safety habits that they learned in driver’s education

We’re Here to Help

Call our office today at 800-360-3000 to learn more about all of our automobile insurance and personal risk management solutions.

Top Ways to Save on Your Auto Premium:

  • Raise your deductible.
  • Ask about a good student discount
  • Have your teen keep up their good driving record
  • Ask about Chalmers Advantage personal lines discounts through your Chamber Membership

The Secrets of Skiing at Attitash

By Kathy Bennett
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Looking forward to skiing in Mt. Washington Valley this upcoming February vacation week? Join the club! You’ll have lots of company as you hit the slopes but we’d like to share some tips on how you can ski like a local, spending more time on snow and less time in lift lines.

  1. Buy Online in Advance – It’s vacation week, so don’t expect big savings at the ticket window. But if you plan ahead and buy online in advance, you can score some savings at www.attitash.com. Buy multi-day tickets and mix and match with their sister mountain, Wildcat, just up the road.
  2. Park at Bear Peak – Skip the Attitash parking lot and continue on Route 302 until you see the sign for the Grand Summit Hotel and Bear Peak.  This big flat lot doesn’t fill up as fast as the one closer to the main lodge and doesn’t require crossing the highway or trudging gear through the tunnel. On a warm day, consider booting up in the car and skip the lodge all together!
  3. Arrive Early – Find out when the bullwheel starts turning and plan on arriving at least 30 minutes prior to lifts opening. Not only will you get first tracks, you can get in lots of runs before many folks roll out of bed at the ski house or condo.
  4. Avoid the Lodge at Noon – Not only should you get there early, take an early (or late) lunch. Whether you are brown bagging it or grabbing a burger at the cafeteria, you’ll have a better chance of finding a seat if you get there before 12pm or after 1pm.
  5. Explore Lesser Known Lift Pods – We all do it. You arrive at a resort and head right to the main lift, which at Attitash consists of the Summit Triple and the Bear Peak Express Quad. You obviously will want to spend some time on these lifts early, but as the lift mazes fill up, check out other lifts that may take you to new territory. I spent much of last weekend riding the Abenaki Quad. No lift line and lots of nice expert and intermediate terrain was available.
  6. Hit the Glades – Under that Abenaki Chair you will find wide-open glades with little to no skier traffic. The masses remain on-piste. Don’t be like them. This week brought up to a foot of snow in the mountains so you’ll find a nice snowpack in the trees.

  7. Apres at the Bear’s Den – Sure, everyone knows that Ptarmigan’s Pub in the Attitash base lodge is the place to go to hear a live band and enjoy the big apres ski scene in all its loud glory. But a smaller and just as fun scene can be found at the Bear Peak Lodge at the Bear’s Den. They feature music by solo artists every weekend and a full bar and snacks from the adjacent cafeteria.
  8. Party Like a Local – Want to capture the true local spirit of apres ski at Attitash? Head across the street from the main base lodge and enter the world of Matty B’s. Live music, great pub food and the local flavor the Valley is famous for.

Winter started early here, with ski areas opening and snow falling in October! We are having a great ski season. Check out lodging, restaurants and more at www.mtwashingtonvalley.org.

 

10 Cyber Security Resolutions to Reduce Your Data Exposures

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

Cybersecurity threats and trends can change year over year as technology continues to advance. As such, it’s critical for organizations to reassess their data protection practices at the start of each new year and make achievable cybersecurity resolutions to help protect themselves from costly breaches.

The following are resolutions your company can implement to avoid becoming the victim of a cybercrime:

  1. Provide security training—Employees are your first line of defense when it comes to cyber threats. Even the most robust and expensive data protection solutions can be compromised should an employee click a malicious link or download fraudulent software. As such, it’s critical for organizations to thoroughly train personnel on common cyber threats and how to respond. Employees should understand the dangers of visiting harmful websites, leaving their devices unattended and oversharing personal information on social media. Your employees should also know your cybersecurity policies and know how to report suspicious activity.
  2. Install strong anti-virus software and keep it updated—Outside of training your employees on the dangers of poor cybersecurity practices, strong anti-virus software is one of the best ways to protect your data. Organizations should conduct thorough research to choose software that’s best for their needs. Once installed, anti-virus programs should be kept up to date.
  3. Instill safe web browsing practices—Deceptive and malicious websites can easily infect your network, often leading to more serious cyber-attacks. To protect your organization, employees should be trained on proper web usage and instructed to only interact with secured websites. For further protection, companies should consider blocking known threats and potentially malicious web pages outright.
  4. Create strong password policies—Ongoing password management can help prevent unauthorized attackers from compromising your organization’s password-protected information. Effective password management protects the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of an organization’s passwords. Above all, you’ll want to create a password policy that specifies all of the organization’s requirements related to password management. This policy should require employees to change their password on a regular basis, avoid using the same password for multiple accounts and use special characters in their password.
  5. Use multi-factor authentication—While complex passwords can help deter cybercriminals, they can still be cracked. To further prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to employee accounts, multi-factor authentication is key. Multi-factor authentication adds a layer of security that allows companies to protect against compromised credentials. Through this method, users must confirm their identity by providing extra information (e.g., a phone number, unique security code) when attempting to access corporate applications, networks, and servers.
  6. Get vulnerability assessments—The best way to evaluate your company’s data exposures is through a vulnerability assessment. Using a system of simulated attacks and stress tests, vulnerability assessments can help you uncover entry points into your system. Following these tests, security experts compile their findings and provide recommendations for improving network and data safety.
  7. Patch systems regularly and keep them updated—A common way cybercriminals gain entry into your system is by exploiting software vulnerabilities. To prevent this, it’s critical that you update applications, operating systems, security software, and firmware on a regular basis.
  8. Back up your data—In the event that your system is compromised, it’s important to keep backup files. Failing to do so can result in the loss of critical business or proprietary data.
  9. Understand phishing threats and how to respond—In broad terms, phishing is a method cybercriminals use to gather personal information. In these scams, phishers send an email or direct users to fraudulent websites, asking victims to provide sensitive information. These emails and websites are designed to look legitimate and trick individuals into providing credit card numbers, account numbers, passwords, usernames or other sensitive information. Phishing is becoming more sophisticated by the day, and it’s more important than ever to understand the different types of attacks, how to identify them and preventive measures you can implement to keep your organization safe. As such, it’s critical to train employees on common phishing scams and other cybersecurity concerns. Provide real-world examples during training to help them better understand what to look for.
  10. Create an incident response plan—Most organizations have some form of data protection in place. While these protections are critical for minimizing the damages caused by a breach, they don’t provide clear action steps following an attack. That’s where cyber incident response plans can help. While cybersecurity programs help secure an organization’s digital assets, cyber incident response plans provide clear steps for companies to follow when a cyber event occurs. Response plans allow organizations to notify impacted customers and partners quickly and efficiently, limiting financial and reputational damages. This can be costly but cyber insurance can help.

Talk to your Chalmers account manager for more information about cyber 800-360-3000.