Spring Cleaning-Expert Style

It’s spring cleaning time again here at the Royalty Inn, and what better way to get started then with a Top 10 list from our housekeeping department. The list comes from one of our heads of housekeeping, who specializes in checking all the little things so that our rooms are clean and beautiful:

  1. Wipe down walls and ceilings – Get rid of the germs and spider webs that have accumulated while the windows have been shut. For home use, we recommend using a gentle cleaner or mild soap. Remember to always do a test patch when dealing with bold colors of paint. With some paints a moist cloth will be all you can use.
  2. Heaters and AC Units – Make sure to take out the filters and give them a good scrubbing or replace them. The same goes for your vacuum cleaner. If you haven’t replaced that filter in a while, now is the time! Spring is also a great time to have your home’s duct work cleaned by professionals.
  3. Lights – Remember to take down all light fixtures and scrub inside and out. This includes your outside lights that have been collecting snow and bugs all winter. Soaking in soapy water is always a good option for the tough stuff, and if you have a dishwasher, most glass shades will go through a regular cycle.
  4. Scrub Carpets – rent a carpet scrubber and give it a good shampoo! The key to keeping a freshly scrubbed carpet clean is in the rinse. Soap left in a rug will attract more dirt. By running 1 or 2 rinse cycles you can ensure that you have gotten all the soap out, and if you are on the second rinse and are still seeing a lot of dirt in the water, you can easily wash again.
  5. Toilets – Our staff recommends using an old toothbrush to get around the tabs on the bottom of the toilet. Also remember the underside of the tank and bowl. These areas sweat all year round and can be hot spots for mold.
  6. Curtains – Sure we dust all year round, but now is a good time to take down curtains and wash or dry-clean them. Remember to give the Rods a good washing as well.
  7. Pictures – Family photos and loved paintings should be wiped down and cleaned well. If you have photos or paintings that are in the bright sun light all year round, consider rearranging to give them a longer life and postpone fading.
  8. Furniture – Make sure you remove all the cushions and vacuum the crevices of all furniture. It is also good to vacuum the cushions themselves, and there are a couple of techniques. My children’s favorite method is when to put each cushion in a large black garbage bag and use the vacuum to suck all of the air from the bag. The kids ride the bag down to the ground and cheer as it swells back up with air.
  9. Television Sets – Remember to clean the tops, backs, and speakers in the television. Look at the recommendations from your manufacturer, some Televisions should not be cleaned with a vacuum, so a soft damp rag will have to do.
  10. The CAR – My personal favorite is cleaning the car! It’s been through the winter with you, getting salt in the carpet and dirt and grime everywhere. Take it to a good car wash that provides an undercarriage wash. Then wax and polish. Many floor scrubbers come with a hand attachment so give the carpet and seats a good scrub as well. If you have a garage, the car can be left wide open to dry, or do it on a day that is sunny and let mother nature warm and freshen things up.

Once you are done cleaning take a break and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Plan a rewarding dinner and maybe a night out at a hotel. When you return in the morning, the carpets will have dried and everything will have that fresh and clean smell!

From,

Roxanne at the Royalty Inn

Royalty Inn
130 Main St
Gorham, NH 03581
603-466-3312
1-800-437-3529
603-466-5802 (fax)
www.royaltyinn.com
innkeeper@royaltyinn.com
Planning a vacation to the Orlando-Disney area?
Check us out at www.royaltyvacationhomes.com

The 10 Ways to Celebrate Spring in Mt. Washington Valley

Spring Skiing!

As old man winter leaves us for another year, come celebrate spring with us!

This mini-blog series will be highlighting the Ten Ways to Celebrate Spring in Mt. Washington Valley. Each day we will be posting a new and fun way to enjoy Spring in Mt. Washington Valley.

North Conway NH Spring Skiing

#2 Celebrate Spring with Skiing!

Spring skiing means warm, sunny days spent cruising the soft ski slopes. Spring also means fun après ski parties, BBQ’s and events.

For the more advanced skier, there’s nothing better than spring skiing in Tuckerman’s Ravine on Mount Washington in Pinkham Notch, NH, where die hard skiers flock to hike up and ride down the highest peak in the northeast.

Book a spring skiing getaway today!

Power Outage Due to Snowstorm? Enjoy….

North Conway NH Power outageWith the storms of snow that ran wild through New Hampshire, many homes were left without power.  Some people took refuge at local hotels including here at the Royalty Inn. When storms and power outages occur, there are a few steps that you can take to make the day more comfortable.

1. Protect the family by staying warm: If you have no power, and in turn no heat, try to find a place to stay. Some hotels will provide discounts to individuals who have experienced this loss, and others provide discounts for extended stays. Think about neighbors and friends who may be in need of help as well.
2.  Utilize what’s around: Perishable items in your refrigerator and freezer can go bad quickly when the power goes out. With this last storm, Mother Nature provided a very natural remedy. snow. Place your cold food items into coolers and fill plastic bags with firmly packed snow. If you want to keep the food in the refrigerator then move items to the lower shelves and line the top with bags of snow, lining the bottom with towels will catch drips. This will act as a natural and inexpensive way to keep the cold stuff cold. Also keeping the refrigerator closed as much as possible will also aid in the effort. Staying at a hotel that offers refrigerators in their rooms can be another great option.
3.  Make it enjoyable: Power outages can be a scary experience for small children, and so as the grownup it’s your job to make it fun. Staying one night at a hotel like the Royalty Inn can give the family a chance to warm up, and do free snow tubing or snow shoeing at the Great Glen Trails. Give yourself a break at a place like the Adventure Suites and make a night of it.

Storms don’t have to ruin your day! Keep these simple tips in mind and the next winter storm that rolls through may find you basking in a hot tub watching flakes fall.

From the desk of “Roxanne at the Royalty Inn”

Royalty Inn
130 Main St
Gorham, NH 03581
603-466-3312
1-800-437-3529
603-466-5802 (fax)
www.royaltyinn.com
innkeeper@royaltyinn.com
Planning a vacation to the Orlando-Disney area?
Check us out at www.royaltyvacationhomes.com

Maple Syrup – Celebrate Spring in Mt. Washington Valley!

As old man winter leaves us for another year, come celebrate spring with creative competitions, sweet maple syrup and even sweeter savings

This mini-blog series will be highlighting the Ten Ways to Celebrate Spring in Mt. Washington Valley. Each day we will be posting a new and fun way to enjoy Spring in Mt. Washington Valley.

maple syrup in new hampshire#1 Maple Syrup…how sweet!

The warmer temperatures of spring makes the sap rise in maple trees, where once tapped it takes some 35 to 50 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of maple syrup. If you are one of the many who can’t get enough of the sugary sweet treat, plan to attend the March Maple Madness inn to inn tour on March 27 and 28. Here, historic inns of Mt Washington Valley will create maple treats both savory and sweet, teach participants about maple sugaring and test their wits during the ‘sapenger’ hunt.  Afterwards visit Weston’s Farm in Fryeburg, Maine where they have been making maple syrup every spring for over 150 years. For a complete ‘sweet’ getaway, book a Maple Sugaring stay and play package.

Chilly Chili Cook Off in Mt. Washington Valley

The ‘Best Chili’ in Mt Washington Valley, NH determined during most successful MWVCC Chilly Chili Cook-Off event to date!

NORTH CONWAY, NH— Over 30 contestants competed on Saturday, February 27th during the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 7th Annual Chilly Chili Cook-Off at the Eastern Slope Inn and Flatbread Company. Boasting the best turnout to date, the cook-off event drew in upwards of 600 attendees ready to taste their way through the event and cast their people’s choice votes.

A panel of judges comprised of local celebrities and culinary professionals were on hand during the event with the belly aching task of tasting and evaluating all 34 chili submissions. After much deliberation, the judges awarded the Appalachian Mountain Club Highland Center at Crawford Notch with the first place prize in the chili competition, and second place to individual contestant, John Vescera from Worcester, MA.

The people’s choice award for best chili, as determined by the public, went to the Mt. Washington Valley HOG Chapter, with the award for ‘Best Presentation and Theme’ going to Tuckerman’s Restaurant & Tavern.

New to this year’s cook-off were the cornbread and crazy hat competitions, where the Appalachian Mountain Club Highland Center at Crawford Notch again rocked the competition taking home the award for best cornbread. Sarah Goldstein, family member of owners Linda and John Rafferty of Rafferty’s Restaurant & Pub, took home the prize for craziest hat.

The Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce would like to thank event sponsors; Eastern Slope Inn Resort, Flatbread Company, Lakes Region Coca-Cola, The Met Coffeehouse, Sizzlin Sauces LLC, Waste Management and Zeb’s General Store as well as all 34 contestants for making this years cook-off such a successful event. A thank you also to Coldstone Creamery, The Met Coffeehouse and White Mountain Cupcakery for  providing delicious sweet treats and samples as well as Frank Hastings of SOUND-FX for providing the entertainment.

A momentous thank you goes out to the cook-off judges; Carey-Ann King, Tom Eastman, Trudy Kasianchuk, Richard Mattei, Tim Remillard, Lisa Somerville, Audley Williams, Corinne Whitaker, Carol Craig and Maureen Seavey as well as the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce volunteers who helped with the event.

For more information about the 7th Annual Chilly Chili Cook-Off or other fun activities, and events as well as Mt. Washington Valley lodging, dining and attractions visit http://www.mtwashingtonvalley.org or call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364).

A Rating By Any Other Name

What is a rating exactly? I know that many people ask themselves that simple fact when they are shopping online for hotels. Do you want a 1 star, 2 star, 4 star or no star hotel? Have you looked up reviews of the hotel, and if you have are they recent?

When selecting where you and your family want to stay on trips it is important to look at more than the bottom line price of the room. Now don’t get me wrong, price is important, however, if it is a matter of $10 then go with the higher rating.

Hotels are rated by their guests and often by AAA. These ratings help to establish the quality of hospitality and comfort you will receive during your stay. TripAdvisor, Travel Yahoo.com, and the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce are several great places to find out more information on hotels where you would like to stay at.

Here are 3 tips for making sure you have a great stay:

#1. Check the price and pick at least 2 options.

#2. Go online to Trip Advisor, Travel Yahoo.com or the like and read what other people are saying about the accommodations. If there is nothing said, check several sites, if there is still nothing, you may not want to stay. Isn’t the old saying. “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”

#3. Call the hotel before you book online; if the conversation with the receptionist isn’t up to your standards you may want to explore other options.

All in all, remember that ratings are there to help you and your family to get the most out of your stay. Never be afraid to call a hotel and ask about their ratings, and their reviews. If you notice more than one bad review on the same topic then a simple phone call may help you determine if that same problem will be an issue during your stay.  And remember, there is power in leaving comments, so if you’ve had a great stay or a mediocre one, share that experience with others so that they to can know what to expect.

From the desk of “Roxanne at the Royalty Inn”

Royalty Inn
130 Main St
Gorham, NH 03581
603-466-3312
1-800-437-3529
603-466-5802 (fax)
www.royaltyinn.com
innkeeper@royaltyinn.com
Planning a vacation to the Orlando-Disney area?
Check us out at www.royaltyvacationhomes.com

Planning 101 NH Vacation Style!

NH White Mountsain Vacation PlanningMany events in your life require planning, from going to school, weddings, birthdays, graduations and especially big purchases. So here, for your planning pleasure, are the six steps to planning a wonderful vacation!

1. Make a list of dates that will work for your family. Whether it is during school breaks, winter, spring, summer, or fall, having optional dates is the first step in planning.
2. Have each family member make a list of the top 3 activities they would like to do on their vacation. This is the most important part. No influencing each other. If Mom really wants to go somewhere with a hot tub, but Dad really wants to go to a MMA fight, then it is important that they both be able to express this openly. Even the kids need to have input!
3. Take a blank piece of paper and put a column for each family member on it. Write the three things that each one wants on that paper. If any of them are the same then that one thing becomes your number one activity for vacation. If they aren’t, which is probably the case, then you need to take everybody’s number one and begin the planning.
4. Now that you have picked the top priority in activities for your vacation, begin looking for places that can accommodate all of them. For example, say you have 4 family members and the top activities came out to be. Mom – shopping, Dad – fishing, Big Brother – working out, and Little Sister – wants to see a play. Mt. Washington Valley has all of these things, and if you stay at the Royalty Inn, your exercise buff can work out in a top of the line gym facility for no extra cost. Dad can walk behind the hotel and fish up and down the Androscoggin River Reservoir. Mom will find some great deals shopping in downtown Gorham, and then even more with a short trip to North Conway and the Settler’s Green Outlet Village, and for little sister, a visit to Arts in Motion Theatre in North Conway will have her watching a live production. There are some other options for accommodating everyone, and they should all be explored.
5. Now that you have established areas that can accommodate everyone’s wishes, look for dates, times, and pricing. Often phone calls to the local Chamber of Commerce can go a long way to helping things get going. Most people forget this valuable resource when making arrangements.
6. So now you’ve got the activities, you know the prices, and the best times to visit. All that’s left is matching that with your schedule and booking your dream vacation.

When using these steps to book your vacation, another handy thing to remember is ask about prepaying for discounts. Since it is tax season and some of you are getting a refund, now is the perfect time to prepay, and then you can look forward to vacation all year, knowing that all the big expense has already been handled.

From the desk of “Roxanne at the Royalty Inn”

Royalty Inn
130 Main St
Gorham, NH 03581
603-466-3312
1-800-437-3529
603-466-5802 (fax)
www.royaltyinn.com
innkeeper@royaltyinn.com
Planning a vacation to the Orlando-Disney area?
Check us out at www.royaltyvacationhomes.com

The Value of Vacation in NH

Need to a Vacation to NH?“Times are tough”, “There is too much month and not enough money”, “I’ll take a break when I’m dead”, Americans’ are saying these things.

The leading cause of death in the United States is heart attack, and one of the primary factors is stress! Can you name the last time you took a 3 day weekend to break away from the tedium and look at life around you? How about a Mental Health Day? The White Mountain Region in New Hampshire has so much to offer that costs so little. Employers will see the rise in  productivity from a day or two spent on exercise and relaxation.

Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, all of the seasons; all of the beauty; and so many options for activities. Isn’t it time you spent a little on yourself, and your family? Ski Resorts like Wildcat and Great Glen Trails; offer special packages throughout the year that include low cost outdoor fun and food. Mountain biking, cross country skiing or snow shoeing at Great Glen Trails is great for both your health and your pocket book. Hotels like the Royalty Inn and The Bartlett Inn, offer packages that encompass a room and some outdoor fun! It’s a “NO BRAINER”, this package branded by the Royalty Inn is named for its low cost and amazing value.

Remember, stress is a big factor in making life miserable, so slow the progress of stress, and take a load off your mind. Vacation in the White Mountains today, one of the truly beautiful places!

From the Front Desk of

Roxanne at the Royalty Inn

Royalty Inn
130 Main St
Gorham, NH 03581
603-466-3312
1-800-437-3529
603-466-5802 (fax)
www.royaltyinn.com
innkeeper@royaltyinn.com
Planning a vacation to the Orlando-Disney area?
Check us out at www.royaltyvacationhomes.com

Snow Goddess- Back Country Skiing in NH?

GODDESS (n.) -A goddess is living and in some cultures a goddess is commonly associated with the earth, motherhood, love, and the household. In other cultures a goddess is one that promotes healing or salutes to a higher divinity.

DEAR SNOWGODDESS: My buddies and I will be heading north for a weekend of back country skiing.  I’ve heard through the grapevine that you hang with the Shred Betty’s of the Mount Washington Valley. Do you or any of your rippin’ girlfriends have any ideas of where to catch some fresh? MASSACHUCETTES MATT
DEAR MASSACHUCETTES MATT: Thank you for your interest in back country skiing.  The Mount Washington Valley offers the finest above tree line skiing of the east.  Indeed, I spend a lot of my time with the local girls, finding the unbroken trails, however the Shred Betty’s, much like the Hells Angels, have secrets that do not leave the pack. Try calling up International Mountain Equipment (IME) for the beta.  Hire a mountain guide to assist you up the highest peak of the North East. When it comes to backcountry skiing and mountaineering, do not underestimate the power of Mother Nature.  Allow the guide to show you the way up to the steep and deeps and have a blast! Contact Info. www.ime-usa.com 603-356-7013

DEAR SNOWGODESS: My husband and I are looking to stay at a quiet place for the weekend. R&R is one of our top priorities, along with a bit of skiing. Where do you suggest for some peace and quiet? MARY WHITEWATER
DEAR MARY WHITEWATER: There’s no better place to experience peace and quiet than at the Peace With Inn, located down a country road towards Evans Notch. The inn offers posh country style accommodations in a restored 1800’s farmhouse; along with ski and stay packages.  The laid back atmosphere, finely decorated rooms and full country style breakfast, is surely the way to relaxation. While you’re here, pack your backpack with some extra gloves, two warm hats, H2O, two plastic wine glasses, corkscrew and a bottle of wine,  some crackers and cheese, and spend your Saturday date night at Shawnee Peak http://www.shawneepeak.com  for some classic New England style skiing.
DEAR SNOWGODDESS: I came skiing a couple weeks ago, but being so early in the season, many resorts had closed terrain.  I thought it was strange, especially because they were mostly covered with natural snow.  I wanted to ski it all, but ropes and signs told me not to.  Is it wrong if I duck ropes in search of untouched stashes?  L.S. DAVIDSON
DEAR MR. DAVIDSON: I’m not sure if ducking ropes is the smartest thing to do, since you never really know what you might run into on a trail that isn’t patrolled.  By this time, most mountains have enough open terrain to play with.  Attitash http://www.attitash.com  has some great skiable terrain, and Wildcat http://www.skiwildcat.com  got about 18” in the last storm that swept through the valley.  I went to both last week, and had a great time!  I’m sure you will too.
Dear SnowGoddess is written by Carlene Sullivan, owner of SymmetreeYoga. Write the SnowGoddess at snowgoddess@mtwashingtonvalley.org.

North Conway NH to Ireland–or Bust!

Chamber Executive Director to see Green during Preliminary ‘Shades of Ireland Tour’

NORTH CONWAY NH– Janice Crawford, the Executive Director of the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce will depart on February 23 for a 10 day preliminary tour of Ireland to be offered to the public this fall. This executive director’s tour will offer insight as the directors follow the same action-packed itinerary offered during the ‘Shades of Ireland’ tour to depart from North Conway on November 2, 2010.

The ‘Shades of Ireland’ tour, presented by the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce and Collette Vacations, is a 10 day comprehensive tour of Ireland guided by Gary Sullivan, longtime Mt. Washington Valley resident and owner of the White Mountain Hotel. Gary, who has personally guided more than 10 trips to Ireland, will unveil its charms by providing stops in Dublin and Limerick, a visit to the medieval city of Kilkenny, the Cliffs of Moher, an overnight Castle stay and more.

For $2,499 per person, this trip includes 8 nights lodging, round trip airfare from Logan International Airport including air taxes and fees, 13 meals including 8 breakfasts and 5 dinners, hotel transfers and round trip transportation directly from North Conway, NH. This exclusive tour offers guests the best of Ireland, without the hassle and all at an unbeatable price.

The Shades of Ireland itinerary at a glance:

Day One: Depart from North Conway, NH to Logan International Airport for an overnight flight into Dublin, Ireland.

Day Two: The tour begins in Dublin. Guests will enjoy a fun-filled Irish dinner with traditional entertainment (dinner included), before spending their fist night at The Burlington Hotel in Dublin.

Day Three: (Breakfast included) A sightseeing tour of Dublin will visit the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, O’Connell Street, Grafton Street, Phoenix Park and the stately Georgian town homes before ending the day with personal time to explore Dublin’s cultural offerings individually. Guests will enjoy an overnight stay in The Burlington Hotel in Dublin.

Day Four: (Breakfast and dinner included) Travel to Kilkenny to explore the medieval city before visiting the world-famous Waterford Crystal Factory. Later, guests arrive in the historic city of Waterford and enjoy a leisurely walking tour before spending the night in the Granville Hotel.

Day Five: (Breakfast and dinner included) Journey to the historic Blarney Castle, home of the famous Blarney Kissing Stone. Later, travel to Killarney, where guests will be treated to an Irish jaunting ride *weather permitting. A tour of the Muckross House will round out the day’s itinerary, before spending the night at the O’Donoghue Ring Hotels in Killarney.

Day Six: (Breakfast included) Travel along the Ring of Kerry noted as one of the most beautiful coastal routes in the world. A stop at the Gap of Dunloe will allow time for shopping for traditional Irish goods, before passing through picturesque villages, rugged mountain passes and along lakes and coastline. Guests will enjoy an overnight stay at the O’Donoghue Ring Hotels in Killarney.

Day Seven: (Breakfast included) In the morning, guests will experience a traditional Irish farm, by visiting the Molanna Dairy Farm before traveling on to Limerick. Once in Limerick, a city tour will showcase King John’s Castle and the Treaty Stone. Guests will enjoy an overnight stay at the Radisson SAS Limerick.

Day Eight: (Breakfast and dinner included) The tour will journey to the stunning 700 foot high Cliffs of Moher, before traveling through the vast limestone landscape of Burren and through the Galway countryside. Guests will enjoy a brief tour of ‘The City of Tribes,’ before ending the day with an overnight stay at the Radisson SAS Limerick.

Day Nine: (Breakfast and dinner included) The tour will travel from Limerick to Tullamore, where a visit to the Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre will teach guests how traditional Irish whiskey is made before they enjoy a sampling. A farewell dinner will be celebrated on the magnificent grounds of Cabra Castle in Kingscourt, where guests will enjoy their last night in Ireland.

Day Ten: (Breakfast included) The tour will end in Kingscourt, where guests will be delivered to the airport for their return flight home. Guests will be picked up at Logan International Airport where they will be brought back to North Conway, NH.
*On some dates, alternate hotels may be used and the days of features are interchangeable.

Upon returning from her visit, Janice Crawford and Colette Vacations will be offering an informational travel night on April 15th at the White Mountain Hotel and Resort for those interested. This travel night will discuss the details of the November trip as well as Janice’s experiences while on the tour. In addition, The White Mountain Hotel and Resort will be offering an Irish dinner special to set the mood. For $19 per person (plus tax and gratuity), this three course meal includes a choice of Traditional Sheppard’s Pie, Jameson Roasted Salmon or Irish roast of pork all served with root vegetables, Irish colcannon and specialty Irish brown bread. Guest can chose from Irish vegetable soup or a garden salad and top off the night with a dessert of Bailey’s Irish Cream cheesecake.

For more information on the ‘Shades of Ireland’ tour or to book your seat, call Laura Moorman at Travel Agents International at 603-356-5400. This trip will book quickly and limited spots are available, so reserve your seat today by calling 603-356-5400.

Dear Snow Goddess – Fun in the North Conway Sun!

DEAR SNOWGODDESS: I enjoy winter sports, but find that I get the shivers before the day is done. I have been wearing layer upon layer of clothing, but continue freezin’ for some reason.  What do you suggest? COLD AS ICE
DEAR COLD AS ICE: The good news is that you enjoy winter sports and motivating yourself to any activity is a plus for your physical, mental, and spiritual being.  The bad news is that being cold in the winter months is not very fun. Try limiting your layers to three. Avoid wearing cotton, which can be a winter buffs worst enemy. Turn over a warming trend by dressing light and comfortable.  Start with a rayon/polyester blend long john top, followed by a zip up fitted wind breaker. Finalize with a gortex sealed jacket and you should be warm and cozy for temps as low as 15 degrees. Remember to wear a wool/rayon blend hat to cover your noggin and ears and don’t forget your long john bottoms with a wind/waterproof pant.  Head over to Ski & Snowboard Liquidators in North Conway for great deals and up to date fashions or call 603-356-6999
DEAR SNOWGODESS: Who died and made you the Snow Goddess? T’D OFF
DEAR T’D OFF: Good news; no one has to die in order to be a goddess. A goddess is living and in some cultures a goddess is commonly associated with the earth, motherhood, love, and the household. In other cultures a goddess is one that promotes healing or salutes to a higher divinity.  In this case I implore Ullr for snow. I promote healing through the art of teaching yoga and natural health.  I am capable of loving and find solitude in household chores and keeping home. So turn on your love light baby, because you along with every other female in the world are a Goddess too!
DEAR SNOWGODDESS: I am a beginner snowboarder and I have had great difficulty loading on and off the chairlift. I realize that you are a downhill skier however would appreciate any tips that may assist a smoother ride onto the lift.  BOARDERING ON FRUSTRATION
DEAR BOARDERING ON FRUSTRATION: Don’t fret! You along with many beginner snowboarders have this same common concern. Prepare to load the chairlift by skating up to the “staging area.” The staging area may be located by a simple line in the snow. While you wait for the riders in front of you to load, watch how they get on the chair. When the chairlift in front of you has been loaded, the lift operator will wave you down to the loading line. Slide to the line, positioning your front foot over the line. Look over your outside shoulder to spot the chair as it comes around, then sit down, keeping your board straight until it is off the ground. Lower the safety bar and be sure to check out the snow conditions below you on your way up while taking in the picturesque landscapes of the White Mountains. When the time comes to depart the chairlift, raise the safety bar. While unloading the chairlift keep the tip of your board up, wait for the board to contact the ramp. Once the board hits the snow, stand up and place your back (free) foot in the middle of the board. Try to keep your weight distributed evenly between your front and back feet, and glide straight down the ramp. Once you’ve stopped, make sure you’re out of the way of the riders and skiers unloading behind you, then strap in and shred!

Dear SnowGoddess is written by Carlene Sullivan, owner of SymmetreeYoga. Write SnowGoddess at snowgoddess@mtwashingtonvalley.org.

WINTER WEATHER SET STAGE FOR BUSY CHRISTMAS VACATION WEEK IN MT. WASHINGTON VALLEY, NH

North Conway, NH: A survey of the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce (MWVCC) membership comparing Christmas Vacation Week and New Year’s Eve 2009 with 2008, revealed cautiously optimistic results for area businesses. While responses were mixed, a slight majority of businesses responding to the survey were positive about the outcome of the Christmas/New Year’s week, despite the unpredictable New England weather. A downpour to start Christmas vacation week had many businesses apprehensive of how snow-seekers might respond, however several smaller storms throughout the week provided the snow that fueled visits to Mt. Washington Valley, NH for skiing, snowmobiling and other outdoor adventure.

According to the MWVCC survey distributed on Friday, January 1, more than half of the survey respondents (52 percent) claimed that business either stayed the same or increased over last year. “Our outside dining guests increased over Christmas and New Years,” reported Ibby Cooper, owner of Inn at Thorn Hill & Spa in Jackson, NH.

Additionally, 61 percent of the survey respondents stated that the number of paying guests either increased or stayed the same during Christmas Week 2009 as compared with 2008, with 53.8 percent of those respondents reporting an increase. Additionally, 50 percent of respondents stated that business during New Year’s Eve 2009 was either up or stayed the same from last year, 29 percent of which stated that business increased over last year. Catherine Smith, owner of Wine Thyme located in North Conway Village commented; “We doubled our sales for this day in both the retail store and restaurant.” According to members surveyed, 63.5 percent reported that the number of paying guests for New Year’s Eve 2009 either increased or stayed the same compared to 2008, with 27 percent reporting that paying guests increased. Howard Stanten from The Met in North Conway Village commented; “We were up 30% over last year at The Met”. “We were steady all day, had a great draw for our live music, and then of course got really busy between 8:00 and 9:30pm. At 8:00-8:30 p.m., people started really streaming into the village, many with ski tags on their jackets from Cranmore Mountain Resort. The Wine Thyme outdoor “ice bar” started slowly but the patio eventually appeared packed. It looks like that was very successful at least from appearances,” he finished.

Other businesses noted a slower start on New Year’s Day, attributing the decrease in morning customers to late night partying on New Year’s Eve. Peter Gagne at Northern Extremes Sports and Recreation also commented on a slower start New Year’s Day but noted they had great snowmobile rental business in the afternoon.

According to the survey, 61.7 percent of lodging businesses reported that room occupancies either stayed the same or increased over last year’s holiday week, additionally 38.5 percent of businesses reported that paying guests increased over last year. “Our occupancy rate at the inn was approximately the same [compared to 2008] but we are busier with our sleigh rides than last year as well as winter horseback riding,” commented Charlene Browne, Co-owner of Farm by the River B and B with Stables.

Some lodging members reported as much as a 9 percent increase in 2009 over Christmas vacation week 2008, attributing increases in overnight guests to offering “stay and play” packages as well as New Year’s Eve parties. Those businesses reporting a decrease in spending for the week attributed decreases to unpredictable weather conditions, forecasted storms, and continued decreases in spending due to the economy.

Siiri Grubb, Communications Manager of the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce reported that traffic throughout vacation week was heavy in Mt. Washington Valley and inquiries of New Year’s Eve festivities rang in steadily in the days leading up to the events. “Traffic heading into North Conway Village was steady throughout the week, however we did notice an increase on Wednesday and Thursday leading up to New Year’s Eve,” observed Grubb. “This year, North Conway Village welcomed back its New Year’s Eve festival with help and support from area businesses, and I think this really gave visitors a reason to stay here through the New Year,” She finished.

The threat of major snowstorms increased calls to the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce’s offices in the days leading up to New Year’s Eve. “The snowstorms seemed to excite visitors more than deter them, as I think visitors and residents alike were ready kick off the winter season, said Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce Visitor Services personnel, Janet Durkee-Prescott. “Mt. Washington Valley is known for some of the best skiing and riding in the East, in addition to the multitude of winter activities we have to offer and I think that was a determining factor in why so many visitors chose to stay in Mt. Washington Valley this Christmas vacation week,” said Durkee-Prescott.

In general, businesses seemed cautiously encouraged with Christmas Week, and attributed any downshift in business to the unpredictable weather and nagging economic conditions; 40 percent of the survey respondents observed that less favorable weather was a factor for changes seen from vacation week 2009 compared to last year. Terry O’Brien, Owner of the Red Parka Steakhouse and Pub commented, “The media’s hype on the “blizzard” for Saturday hurt our business. Many people left a day early.” Other businesses echoed the sentiment that the predicted blizzard for the weekend ending vacation week precipitated an early leave for vacationers who wished to beat the storm. While the Mt Washington Valley received snow, especially in the notches, roads were clear and travel conditions were easy. Area business also reported that increased marketing, “stay and play” packages as well as the North Conway Village Association’s New Year’s Eve festivities and fireworks led to a more successful vacation week. “Some of our success this week was attributed to our first full year of operation, our web site was launched in November also helping to attract additional reservations. The [MWV] Chamber website was helpful, village branding, North Conway Village advertising, hard work and of course fireworks New Year’s Eve,” commented Catherine Smith of Wine Thyme.

When asked what changes respondents observed for Christmas vacation week 2009 versus 2008, 54.4 percent of respondents said they welcomed more families and groups, where the amount of international travelers remained about the same as last year. Comments showed that there were less young singles in the Valley, but families remained constant. In fact large family groups were cited among a number of respondents as contributing to an increase in business.

Looking forward, 59 percent of the survey respondents forecasted that sales will either increase or stay the same as last year for the upcoming Massachusetts and New Hampshire February vacation weeks, based on advanced reservations, new events, special sales, packages and promotions developed. After a largely successful Christmas vacation week, Mt Washington Valley’s seven alpine resorts and six cross country are open for the season, offering a 2010 events calendar full of family friendly activities and the promise of more snow. Yet, with the tight economy, and a season dependent on the cooperation of Mother Nature, businesses remain cautious. Survey respondents noted that visitors are looking for the best deals and money saving offers to get the most out of their vacation funds. In fact, 22 percent of the survey respondents predict that business will decrease over last year’s winter season, and many concur that it’s just too early to predict, according to the MWVCC survey.

The Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce will continue to entice visitors with wallet-saver midweek ski packages and a plethora of winter activities that won’t break the bank. For more information about these packages, vacation planning resources or on visiting Mt Washington Valley , visit www.Mtwashingtonvalley.org or call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364).

Anything is Possible!

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