Sun and scheduling mentioned as big contributors to a stellar July 4th holiday weekend in Mt Washington Valley, NH
North Conway, NH – Visitors flocked to Mt Washington Valley for start-of-summer-sojourns, according to an informal survey of members conducted by the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce (MWVCC). After nearly a week of constant rain throughout New England, the sun came out and the temps rose to summer levels to usher in a successful Independence Day weekend for Mt Washington Valley businesses. With the July 4th holiday falling on a Thursday, many travelers scheduled four-day weekends, which boded well for tourism-oriented businesses in the Valley. They came, they played and they stayed throughout the four days starting with July 4th resulting in a strong start to the summer season.
Lodging properties were particularly enthusiastic about the July 4th weekend as the four-day schedule meant longer stays for many.
Steve Lambert GM Fox Ridge Resort/Red Jacket Resort reported business was up by 10-percent over last year, citing pent-up demand from a longer-than-normal school year as a reason for more families visiting his resorts. The reservations department at Eagle Mountain House concurred, sharing they were sold out almost every night of the four-day weekend, and up 15-percent over last year. Tom Spaulding, General Manager of Hampton Inn and Suites also shared that the four-day weekend was a sell-out for the hotel, hosting mostly families. Jessica Zarenko, co-owner of the Cabernet Inn, noted that the weekend was on par with last year, and that July is shaping up to be the busiest the inn has ever had since it opened in 1992. Rod & Linea Hopwood of the Old Field House reported a 19-percent increase in business over last year, making it the best 4th of July holiday since 2006 for the property. It’s not surprising that travelers flocked to campgrounds over the holiday weekend. Sandy Allan, of Beaver Hollow Campground in Ossipee reported that business was up over last year, with the majority of their business coming from New Northern England visitors.
It’s no surprise that Mt Washington Valley’s attractions were busy this weekend. Pent up demand for outdoor fun after a week of rain resulted in increased business over last year for all attractions reporting to the chamber’s survey. At Attitash, the fan guns normally reserved for winter snowmaking were turned on to provide the perfect mist and cooling fans for guests in need of some relief from the heat. According to Thomas Prindle, Marketing Director, visits at Attitash Mountain Resort were up 18-percent and at Wildcat 15-percent compared to the same four-day period last summer. “I would attribute some of this increase to pent-up demand to enjoy the outdoors considering the spring’s challenging start to the operating season weather-wise, including a wet Memorial Day weekend and good part of June,” said Prindle. Prindle also attributed increases at Attitash to the new Air Bag and Slacklines features there. At Wildcat, Prindle credited the gondolas and ZipRider with taking visitors to the “coolest” place in the Valley.
As might be expected, golfers hit the courses over the July 4th weekend also anxious to get back outside after a week of rainy weather. Jonathan Rivers of Indian Mound Golf concurred saying the four-day weekend offered perfect golf weather. “People were ready to play some golf after a rainy June,” said Rivers, who also commented that the rain throughout June did help put the course in beautiful shape. Rivers explained that the course posted an increase in business over last year’s July 4th holiday, explaining that the expanded food and beverage service including breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week contributed to the increase.
Jack Mahany, Assistant General Manager at Story Land shared that business at the park was up over last year for July 3 – 7. “I’d say the 4th being on a Thursday was a bonus!” shared Mahaney.
Susan Logan, Marketing Director for Conway Scenic Railroad, reported that the entire week was up over last year, starting with an influx of Canadian visitors celebrating Canada Day in the early part of the week and continuing through the July 4th weekend. “Our summer is off to a roaring start!” exclaimed Logan.
North Conway Village was hopping over the weekend, with a craft fair at the Gibson Center for Senior Services and the North Conway Farmers’ Market across the street. Elvio, from Elvio’s Pizzeria reported a strong holiday weekend with sales at the restaurant up over last year by nearly 20 percent. Darlene Leavitt at Synergy Sunglasses in the Village told the chamber “We had huge increases in sales over last year. Foot traffic in the Village was amazing.” She shared that the shopping continued well into the evening with plenty of traffic up to closing time at 9pm and weekend sales ended 39-percet up over last year.
Dot Seybold, General Manager of Settlers’ Green Outlet Village, reported that Canadian shoppers hit the outlets earlier in the July 4th week, while shopping traffic picked up even more and was strong throughout the July 4th weekend, bolstered by plenty of sales and promotional events in the stores. Rain on Monday, July 8th was icing on the cake as rain drove visitors inside to shop!
“We’re hearing from lodging members that advance reservations are strong for the summer and fall,” commented Janice Crawford, Executive Director of the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce. “With cooperation from Mother Nature we’re looking forward to a banner summer this year in Mt Washington Valley,” finished Crawford.