Valley Businesses Report Strong July 4th Weekend
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 5, 2006
CONTACT: Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MT WASHINGTON VALLEY BUSINESSES REPORT STRONG JULY 4TH HOLIDAY WEEKEND
Many businesses report seeing more Canadians
North Conway, NH - According to an informal survey of businesses in Mt. Washington Valley, neither gas prices nor the threat of inclimate weather kept visitors away from staying and playing in the Valley. Overall, the sentiment from those responding to the survey was positive. Many, although not all, businesses reported seeing increases in visitors and revenues over 2005. The general sentiment was that there are more Canadians visiting the Valley than in past years, which contributed to increases. Presumably, with exchange rates evening out, Mt. Washington Valley is an attractive destination for Canadian travelers, and they are traveling to the region. Additionally, the sentiment was that while consumers are concerned about gas prices, the cost of driving to the Valley did not ground people for July 4th weekend, and they came with either advance or last minute reservations.
Lodging properties weighed in with many reporting anywhere from a 5 to 35-percent increase in visitors over last year. Don Bilger from the Inn at Jackson reported a 35-percent increase in room nights for June 30-July 4 over last year. Bilger reported that 15-percent of his customers were Canadian over the July 4th weekend. Similarly, Lucy Van Cleve of the Kearsarge Inn reported a $2000 increase in revenues for the July 4th week. Martha Wilson of the Mount Washington Hotel reported a sold-out weekend at the hotel, the Lodge and the Bretton Arms Country Inn, accounting for a 10-percent increase over last year. Similarly, Luxury Mountain Getaways in Jackson and Snowvillage Inn in Eaton and Sunny Brook Cottages in Albany all reported either sell-outs or increases over last year's room nights for this July 4th weekend Jerry Jacobson of the Eagle Mountain House reported a 5-percent increase over 2005 for the July 4th weekend, and noted a similar influx of Canadian visitors both this weekend and throughout the summer.
All those lodging properties responding to the survey reported that the average stay was two-to-three days. Guests tended to arrive on Saturday and leave Monday or Tuesday, to celebrate July 4th at home, indicating that the holiday falling on a Tuesday did not tend to keep people in the Valley longer.
However, Valerie Boatwright at the Eastern Slope Campground noted that campers are booking longer stays this summer. She noted, "...over 50-percent of our guests aren't just here for the obligatory holiday weekend, we have people staying a week to ten days and making this their summer vacation venue!" Boatwright reported that virtually all guests were families with a number coming from New Brunswick, Canada.
The restaurants responding to the survey offered positive comments about business over the weekend. Terry O'Brien, owner of the Red Parka Pub, said business was brisk, noting an increase over last year in both families and Canadians visiting the restaurant. Ben Williams of Horsefeathers agreed, noting business was "definitely up" over last July 4th weekend. He also commented that "sketchy weather on Sunday was a real plus for restaurants," sending customers looking for inside entertainment. Some of the attractions also noted that food and beverage purchases were up over last year too.
Weather plays a huge factor for attractions, which along with restaurants tend to see the largest numbers of day-trippers. Threatening severe storms for Saturday and Sunday may have kept some people home, according to a spokesperson for the attractions who asked not to be mentioned. However, with fabulous sunny weather on Monday, July 3rd, many of the attractions exceeded their expectations, with some seeing record numbers of visitors for the year. The Mount Washington Hotel welcomed a large crowd to their Gala Celebration on July 3rd, and July 4th festivities in Schouler Park were similarly busy.
Early indicators from lodging properties show that people are already beginning to think about booking for fall foliage. Most of those making advance reservations are coming from the U.K, European countries, and Canada.
For more information on Mt. Washington Valley, please visit http://www.mtwashingtonvalley.org/ or call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364) to request a free vacation planning guidebook.
# # #