Category Archives: Life in Mt. Washington Valley NH

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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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.

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.

 

Personal Automobiles for Business Use

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 240 million registered motor vehicles in the United States, and an estimated one-fourth of those are used for business in some way. If you have employees who use personal vehicles for business use, you could be exposing your business to a significant liability risk.

Even if your employees have Personal Auto Policies (PAPs) for their personal vehicles, in the event of a serious accident that occurs during business use, your business could be sued to collect additional damages.

Hands on the wheel

What is “Business Use”?

Activities that constitute general business use include visiting customers, picking up supplies, attending conferences, and commuting to and from work. For activities like this, the general business use of a personal vehicle is usually covered by a PAP. This is because a policy purchased for a specific vehicle is considered the primary insurance, which covers damages before any other policy takes effect.

An exception to general business use is livery, or carrying goods or people for a fee. Livery includes the delivery of items such as food, flowers, or wholesale or retail items to customers, as well as chauffeur services. Carpooling or ridesharing is not considered livery and is covered under a PAP.

Employees that work from home can still pose a risk if they use personal vehicles for business use. It may be more difficult to ascertain the driving habits of employees that work from home or the operational status of their vehicles. Communicate regularly with these employees concerning your company’s policy for the use of personal vehicles.

Employee PAP Coverage

For employees using their personal vehicles, the primary insurance on the vehicles will likely be their PAPs. You should know how your employees are covered for the business use of their vehicles. Encourage your employees to speak with their PAP carriers to be sure of their coverage and to make it clear to the insurance agents what business activities the vehicles may be used for.

Some PAPs appear to exclude coverage for business use, but they may include broad exceptions for a private passenger automobile, or pickup trucks and vans. However, some policies may be stricter depending on the circumstances. Clarification may prevent complications if a claim must be filed.

Four Ways to Reduce Risk

Though employees’ use of personal automobiles may pose a risk to your business, there are steps you can take to help protect both your employees and your business from liability.

  1. Review driving records and create an approved-driver list: All employees that use a vehicle for business use should be cleared to drive by a manager. This process should include reviewing motor vehicle records and PAP coverages regularly and maintaining records to help reduce risk exposure.
  2. Establish standards for personal vehicles: Even employees without any incidents on their motor vehicle records can be a risk to your business if they are driving personal vehicles that are not properly maintained. Establish company guidelines for maintaining personal vehicles. If employees are compensated for time spent driving or if they routinely use their personal vehicles for business, consider regularly collecting maintenance reports to gauge the reliability of personal vehicles.
  3. Make the company policy clear: After you create guidelines for the use of personal vehicles at your business, be sure to communicate them to your employees in a clear and timely manner. Although it is common to have policies against the use of intoxicating substances or mobile devices while driving, reminding employees of all of your company policies is an effective way to mitigate risk.
  4. Establish rental vehicle policies: The use of rental vehicles for business also presents exposure to risk. It may be beneficial to establish a relationship with a particular rental vehicle agency to determine which vehicles best suit the needs of your business and employees while traveling. You should also give your employees guidelines on which rental vehicle insurance coverages to accept during the rental process.

Obtaining Appropriate Liability Insurance

Additional coverage may be needed if any potential risks from personal auto use threaten your business. A standard Business Auto Policy (BAP) will protect your business from any additional liability after an employee’s PAP has paid for damages related to personal auto use.

Although employees who have personal vehicles should be required to have PAPs, obtaining liability insurance should be a priority to protect your business. In the event of a serious accident, your employees’ PAP coverage may not be adequate to pay for all the damages. Be sure to prepare a list of vehicles that may be used by employees and the type of business they may be used for, and contact Chalmers Insurance Group 800-360-3000 in order to discuss your coverage options.

Visit Tuckerman Brewing Company for music, friends and beer!

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

Just recently we visited Tuckerman Brewing Company to enjoy the  band Dark Train Express. The atmosphere is very comfortable with picnic tables, cornhole games and, of course, their great local beer. Personally, we really like the Rockpile IPA.

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Starting in 2015 Tuckerman Brewing Company has hosted a concert series and each summer they have some of the top regional acts entertaining the crowd outside under the tent in warm weather. And every Saturday they feature great local musicians in their Tasting Room.

Check out their event calendar for future tasting room and concert events. The brewery is also available for private parties, rehearsal dinners and birthday parties.

Next up – 21st Birthday Bash! The brewery turns legal!
January 19th, 2019
Doors open at 7:00
This is a 21+ show (legal ID required)

Photo Credit – Shem Roose

Band: Kat Wright Band plays from 8-10pm
Cover Charge: $15
Food Provided by: Magic Foods Catering

Limited tickets are available online or can be purchased in the Tasting Room during regular business hours.

For more information >

 

Memorial Hospital Supports Ski Helmet Safety for Local Children

Memorial Hospital once again has ensured that every child in its community that wants a ski helmet, gets one, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. It’s all part of a helmet safety initiative to ensure that local school children have appropriate helmets for their participation in elementary ski programs including the Eastern Slope Ski Club’s (ESSC) Junior Ski Program in the Conway School District and, new this year, the Fryeburg Junior Ski Program.

Memorial Hospital Foundation created the Roger C. Clapp Memorial Ski Helmet Fund to help put “a lid on every kid.” Clapp, who passed away in 2013, was a hospital trustee for many years and a passionate lifelong skier. Family and friends make memorial donations to the fund and continue to encourage contributions to it. Special thanks this year go to former hospital trustee Phil Davies, who served alongside Roger Clapp for many years and this year made a generous gift to ensure that the program continue again this year. Additional contributors to the program include many employees who give through a special employee giving program.

The National Ski Areas Association reports on their website that while skiing or boarding responsibly is the first priority for safety, helmets are an important second line of defense. The group reports that wearing helmets can decrease the risk of head injury by 10 to 50 percent. It can also mean the difference between a major head injury and a minor head injury, or between a minor head injury and no injury at all.

Conway Elementary School students Mattie Macomber, Cami Newton and Jillian Howland pose at Cranmore Mountain with Jessica Stewart, Athletic Trainer at Orthopedics at Memorial Hospital. The students are wearing helmets received through the Roger C. Clapp Ski Helmet Program.

“Memorial Hospital provides many healthcare services to help injured skiers and snowboarders, from fixing broken bones to physical therapy, athletic training and concussion care, but our preference is to help skiers and riders to prevent injuries in the first place,” said Jessica Stewart, Athletic Trainer at Orthopedics at Memorial Hospital. “We are lucky that we have the Roger C. Clapp Helmet program to help local children prevent head injuries.”

Many families face difficult financial situations at home which can make it hard for them to find the funds for equipment. As families may struggle to pay for basic necessities, things like skiing equipment may not be a part of their budget. That’s what makes this program so important for students who may not be able to afford it on their own.

This year, over 200 helmets were distributed to students in December, prior to the start of the youth ski program season. To qualify for a free helmet, students must be enrolled in the school’s free/reduced rate meals program while others have the opportunity to purchase helmets at a significant discount.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Roger Ski Clapp Helmet Fund may find more information at www.memorialhospitalnh.org/ways-to-give/make-a-donation or call 603-356-5461, x2269.

Insurance For Your Vacation Home

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

Owning a vacation home has many benefits that both you and your family can enjoy for a lifetime. However, many don’t realize that insuring vacation homes is complex and often very different than coverage for primary homes.

In fact, the way you utilize a property and how often it’s occupied has a direct impact on the kinds of insurance you will need. Vacation property insurance is typically provided as a “named perils” policy. This essentially means that coverage for vacation homes is not comprehensive, and owners must secure coverage for specific risks, like fires or explosions.

In order to properly protect their investment, vacation homeowners should consider the following types of coverage:

  • Contents coverage—Typically, standard home insurance policies protect any property that you transport back and forth between homes. Contents coverage fills in the gaps and protects any items that are permanently kept at your vacation home.
  • Replacement cost coverage—This type of insurance works in conjunction with contents coverage and reimburses the cost of repairing or replacing an item.
  • Coverage for detached private structures—Many vacation homes have private structures like boathouses and sheds you’ll need to account for.

Coverage for certain risks, like water damage, sewer backup or vandalism, may be difficult to secure or excluded altogether.

If you rent your home out to others as a Vacation Income Property, business insurance may be needed to protect against varying exposures. This goes for long and short term rentals, Airbnb, HomeAway, and other sharing services.

For example a homeowners policy is designed to protect against risks associated with a homeowner occupied dwelling whereas a landlord policy is protecting against the risks of others living in your property. Those are two very different uses of a property.

As such, it’s important to contact a qualified insurance agent to help assess your needs and build a custom policy for your vacation home. Chalmers offers homeowners, secondary, seasonal, and CVIP – Chalmers Vacation Income Property insurance.

Great Day at Great Glen Trails

By Kathy Bennett

One of the best things about skiing in Mt. Washington Valley is the sheer number of options you have within a very reasonable driving distance. A snowy November continues here so there were several choices for alpine and Nordic skiing options this weekend. I was undecided on my direction when I left my house Saturday morning, so I tossed both downhill and cross country gear in the trunk and decided to wait for inspiration to guide my car.

The inspiration came at the intersection of Route 302 and 16 by Dairy Queen. A bright new billboard beckoned me to Great Glen, home to the new Glen House hotel. It had been about 2 years since I skied there last so it was time for a return visit.

Great Glen TrailsAmazing views great skiers from the base lodge

Driving past Wildcat, which has been open for weeks and looked to be in fine form, I felt a twinge of regret for not choosing downhill. But too much turkey and stuffing made the cardio blast of XC the right choice for me.

Great Glen Trails
Mt. Adams looms large

Any regret quickly dissipated as I arrived. The day was crystal clear and Mount Washington and Mount Adams gave a silent white welcome to those arriving to ski. I was in good company, as a large holiday craft fair was going on, and a competition of some sort brought many young folks to the Notch. All in all, it didn’t feel like November, either by snow conditions, head count or energy level.

I changed out my gear in the convenient and well appointed locker room – changing rooms, bath rooms and space to change made it comfortable to get ready for the day. I asked what was open and groomed and was delighted to hear the answer … “Everything.” How often can you expect this in November?

Inside the Great Angel Cabin

I headed out under the bridge and around the new Glen House. Its huge wall of windows point to the Presidential Range. I made a mental note to return to try out their restaurant, which is gaining a great reputation for both its views and its cuisine.  I skied several loops, across fields, uphill and down, until I came to the Great Angel Cabin. A picnic table outside and Adirondack chairs inside beckon to weary skiers. I stripped off my jacket and relaxed for a bit – the ski uphill definitely got my heart rate up!  After my break, I enjoyed the long turny downhill back towards the lodge, across fields, streams and another view of that lovely new hotel.

Thanksgiving Weekend was a skiers’ dream. What areas were not open are planning on doing so in the next few weeks. Given the natural snowfall, cold temperatures, and the arrival of another foot of snow Tuesday, they should have no problem doing so.

 

 

All About Automobile Policy Coverage

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

An automobile insurance policy is designed to provide you with a level of protection against property, liability and medical costs if you are involved in a wreck:

  • Property coverage pays for damage to or theft of your car.
  • Liability coverage pays for your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage. Most other states require car owners to purchase a minimum of bodily injury and property damage liability insurance.
  • Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

Collision: Covers damage to your car when your car hits, or is hit by, another vehicle or other object. This coverage is not required by a state, but if you have a loan or a lease, then the lien holder will require it.

Comprehensive: Covers your vehicle, and sometimes other vehicles you may be driving, for losses resulting from incidents other than collision. This coverage is not required, but a lender may insist that you carry it until your loan is paid off.

Types of Liability Coverage

Bodily injury liability (BI): This covers injuries that you, the designated driver or policyholder cause to someone else. It does NOT cover the cost of damage to your vehicle, or to you or other people on your policy. It is mandatory in most states.

Property damage liability (PD): Covers you or someone driving the car with your permission if the car damages someone else’s property. It also provides you with legal defense if another party files a lawsuit against you.

Medical payments (MP) or personal injury protection (PIP): This no-fault coverage provides medical expenses to you and your passengers injured in an accident.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM or UIM):  This coverage will reimburse you if of you are hit by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver or when an at-fault driver has insufficient insurance to pay for your total loss.

Top Ways to Save on Your Auto Premium:

  • Consider raising your deductible.
  • Keep up your good driving record.
  • Drive a car with safety features such as anti-lock brakes and airbags.
  • Install an anti-theft device.
  • Ask about our multi-policy discounts.

We’re Here to Help

Did you know that you need specific coverage when vehicles are used for business use? Or that ride-share and taxi services are usually excluded under personal insurance? Call Chalmers Insurance Group today at 800-360-3000 to learn more about all of our automobile insurance and risk management solutions.

Shirley and Richard Van Dyne are White Mountains Treasures

Shirley and Richard Van Dyne are described as mainstays of Memorial Hospital’s entrance for 10 years – and that’s just the beginning. The list of Shirley & Richard Van Dyne’s combined service is extensive, and includes (but is probably not limited to) helping with Tin Mountain Conservation Center, North Conway Community Center, MWV Mud Bowl, Volvo Tennis Tournament, RSVP of Carroll County, The Salvation Army, Boy Scouts of America, John Fuller School reading programs, Madison Elementary School, the Albany Historical Society, Girl Scouts of America, Meals on Wheels, blood drives with the American Red Cross, the Albany Civic Group, and Memorial Hospital.

Shirley and Richard Van Dyne, center, receive the White Mountains Treasure Award from Lee Myles, Interim CEO, Memorial Hospital and Kathy Bennett, VP Community Relations.

The Van Dyne’s have logged in over 2500 hours of service to Memorial Hospital alone over these last ten years, and their service to the community through the aforementioned organizations spans more than 50 years.

2018 Entrepreneur of the Year – Coldwell Banker Wright Realty

Entrepreneur of the Year is awarded each year to a business in existence for seven or more years which fills a need within the community and demonstrates creativity, innovation and community involvement. Additionally, the business must be people-and-principle oriented as well as profitable.

This year the Entrepreneur of the Year Award goes to the team at Coldwell Banker Wright Realty. Owners Antonella Bliss, Lindsey Maihos and Rose Robinson took over leadership at Coldwell Banker Wright Realty during the same year as the economic crisis, and though the company has experienced ups and downs, 11 years later it has more than doubled its sales volume. In addition, they now have 19 agents and 4 support staff with future plans to expand their office space in Conway.

Lindsey Maihos, Antonella Bliss, and Rose Robinson, Owners, Coldwell Banker Wright Realty.The company has been recognized as the Premier Bronze Office by Coldwell Banker.

Their commitment toward the industry pushed them to host a real estate course in Conway. In the past young professionals interested in a real estate career had to travel outside the area to take the course and obtain a real estate license. Now, they can do that right here in the Valley. This program was instrumental in helping THRIVE recipient Theo Charles successfully become a licensed REALTOR®.

As a business team, they give back to the community through time and donations, encouraging others within the company to also give back to the community.