Mt Washington Valley businesses report strong Victoria Day
NEWS FROM MT WASHINGTON VALLEY, NH – May 28, 2013
CONTACT: Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331, PR@mtwashingtonvalley.org
MT WASHINGTON VALLEY BUSINESSES REPORT STRONG VICTORIA DAY WEEKEND.
WEATHER PUTS A DAMPER ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
North Conway, NH (5-28-13) – Businesses throughout Mt Washington Valley, NH responding yesterday and today to a survey distributed by the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce unanimously reported a strong Victoria Day weekend, but not so for Memorial Day weekend. Rain, wind and snow put a damper on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, causing some attractions to delay opening day to Sunday or Monday. Once the sun came out on Memorial Day, visitors and residents enjoyed outdoor adventure. While rain caused indoor pursuits over Memorial Day weekend, visitors from throughout New England did come to the Valley, as lodging properties generally reported being up over last year or at capacity for the weekend.
The general consensus among businesses responding to the survey was that the majority of the Canadian visitors coming to the Valley for both Victoria Weekend and Memorial Day weekend were from Quebec. A number of survey respondents did add that they welcomed visitors from Ontario (specifically Ottawa) and Nova Scotia too. Kevin Flynn, co-owner of Snowvillage Inn, reported a 25-percent increase over last year for Victoria Weekend, noting “It appears that since the Valley has made a huge effort to welcome our Northern Neighbors, the Canadians are responding.” Similarly, Steve Lambert, General Manager of Red Jacket Mountain View Resort & Waterpark and Fox Ridge Resort, noted a 22-percent increase in Canadian visitors for Victoria Day weekend, noting they came from Montreal and other parts of Quebec. Tom Spaulding, General Manager of Hampton Inn & Suites, shared that 80-percent of guests over Victoria Day weekend were from Canada, specifically Quebec and Nova Scotia. Lynda Schuepp, owner of The Penguin Gallery, weighed in saying that their Victoria Day sales were up 8-percent over last year and other stores noted as much as a 20-percent increase also mentioning anonymously that the Be Kind Festival contributed to bringing visitors to the Valley to shop, especially in North Conway Village. Darlene, the Manager at Synergy Sunglasses, concurred saying that business was up by 32-percent for the four days surrounding Victoria Day weekend. And Corrine Rober shared that business was up by 20-percent for the Victoria Day weekend at Margarita Grill.
Memorial Day was another story. Between the weather forecasts for snow in the mountains, and the actual snowfall, wind and rain, most businesses did not report stellar increases for the weekend, with one exception. Steve Lambert reported that Kahuna Laguna Indoor Water Park had a record day over Memorial Day weekend as visitors took to indoor recreation on the rainy days. Donna Pearce of the Admiral Peary Inn reported 100-percent occupancy for Memorial Day weekend adding “If I had more rooms I could have rented them as well.” Fryeburg Academy graduation was also held over Memorial Day weekend. Hampton Inn and Suites was also at 100-percent occupancy for Memorial Day weekend according to Steve Lambert.
Jack Mahany, Assistant General Manager at Story Land shared, “It’s all about the weather forecast leading in to the weekend. We haven’t had a rainy opening day like Saturday since 2003! All in all with the incorrect weather forecast for Sunday we’re pretty satisfied…Sunday was a good day.” Attitash Mountain Resort was closed both Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend due to weather but was able to open on Monday, debuting the new airbag jump and slack lines features at the resort, according to Thomas Prindle, Marketing Director. Wildcat was closed on Saturday, but was able to open the Scenic Gondola rides and Ziprider on Sunday and Monday, and visitors there got a great view of snow covered Mount Washington, according to Prindle. Becca Deschenes, Marketing Manager at Cranmore Mountain Resort, told Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, “The overall Memorial Day Weekend was impacted due to rain on Saturday and colder than normal temperatures. Cranmore did not open on Saturday due to the weather. Sunday we saw 20-percent less traffic vs. last year’s Memorial Day Weekend Sunday, and Monday was slightly ahead of years Memorial Day Monday.”
According to Lynda Schlepp Memorial Day Weekend brought shoppers inside the Penguin Gallery. She shared, “We were up 21-percent over last year. We were worried that the forecast would cause lots of cancellations, but instead the rain & cold weather brought shoppers inside.” Matt Fusco, owner of The Rugged Mill concurred; sharing that business was up 49-percent over last year for the Memorial Day weekend as shoppers flocked to the racks for sweaters and fleeces to stay warm. “The weather was a major factor for our increase,” said Fusco. “With the rain and cooler temperatures many people decided to shop. We sold a lot of fall weather clothing including sweaters, fleece jackets and flannel shirts from our clearance department,” he finished. Shoppers also hit the outlets on Saturday and Sunday, as evidenced by full parking lots at Settlers’ Green Outlet Village.
Considering the results for the two consecutive holiday weekends, Janice Crawford, Executive Director of the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, shared “We’re pleased to see that our efforts to enlighten Canadian travelers to all that Mt Washington Valley offers are paying off. We expect to continue to welcome Canadian visitors from Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia throughout the coming year,” shared Crawford. Indeed, lodging properties concur, sharing anonymously that advance reservations for the summer are up over last year at this time for both U.S. and Canadian travelers.
For more information on visiting Mt Washington Valley, and a complete online vacation planning resource, visit www.mtwashingtonvalley.org or call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364). For more information on planning a New Hampshire vacation, visit www.visitnh.gov.
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Photo: Attitash Mountain Resort debuted its new Airbag Jump on Memorial Day. Attitash photo.