Mt Washington Valley businesses post strong summer 2017 and predict another colorful fall season
Good news from Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce – August 29, 2017
Contact: Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331, PR@mtwashingtonvalley.org
MT WASHINGTON VALLEY BUSINESSES REPORT STRONG SUMMER & POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS FOR FALL
North Conway, NH – While the meteorologists tell us that summer technically doesn’t end until later in September, the tourism calendar dictates that peak summer vacation period generally comes to an end with Labor Day. In fact, as students return to school earlier and earlier, for some towns summer season ended in August with the first day of school. An informal survey from the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce revealed that despite a rainy beginning, most Mt Washington Valley lodging and attractions businesses have posted a strong summer. With many important weather and tourism indicators pointing to a robust fall foliage season, the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce predicts that the summer tourism levels will continue to thrive throughout fall.
Conrad Klefos, General Manager of the Royalty Inn in Gorham, NH, reported that the property has posted an excellent summer. “Last year we had a terrible first six months including the month of June,” shared Klefos. “This June was up in revenue by 24-percent; July and August of 2016 were the biggest in Royalty Inn's history and we will beat both this summer,” continued Klefos. He also shared that he’s noted an increase of Canadian visitors over the summer, and credits the growing popularity of the ATV recreation in the area drawing people to the trail network there.
Similarly, Mary Ann Meyer of the Mt Washington B&B in Shelburne, NH reported that summer reservations are up over last year for June through mid-September. She observed an increase in both single night bookings and four-to-five day stays too. Unlike past years, summer-level bookings are continuing right into mid-September for this B&B.
Thomas Prindle, Marketing Director, reported that Purity Spring Resort has experienced a very busy summer, posting approximately an 11-percent increase in sales over last summer. While repeat business is the norm, Prindle shared that increased marketing and advertising in points south of New Hampshire, resulted in an increase in first-time visitors. Purity Spring Resort also continues to see strong wedding and group business with current numbers pacing ahead of last year, according to Prindle.
While it’s difficult to exceed sold-out summers, Prindle also reported that Danforth Bay Camping & RV Resort and The Bluffs RV Resort also had a strong summer with numbers there even with previous summers. “With many "seasonal" rentals and a set capacity of general sites available often sold-out well in advance of summer or booked the prior summer as guests check-out, this campground and RV Park operates at 100-percent capacity for much of the summer and continued to do so this year,” revealed Prindle.
Yet, some of the smaller B&Bs and lodging properties, which asked to remain unnamed, did not report in with such optimism, lamenting that summer business was down due entirely to the proliferation of Airbnb and short-term vacation rental opportunities in the Valley. These new players to the lodging field have increased competition in an already crowded lodging field, according to some innkeepers.
Greg Fisher, VP of Marketing for Peak Resorts, reported that summer sales at both Attitash Mountain Resort and Wildcat Mountain were up over last year. “After a slow start, August has been exceptional,” shared Fisher who noted that many families have enjoyed the attraction, especially the water parks at Attitash. Attitash’s ZipTour experienced many sold-out days too, said Fisher. “Wildcat has seen an even bigger increase in visits year over year,” said Fisher, attributing this increase to adding the Wildcat Gondola ride to the Attitash Attractions Park ticket.
Liz York at Black Mountain also told the chamber that sales were ahead of last year for the summer. She too speculated that there were slightly more Canadian visitors than in past years.
Thomas Prindle of Purity Spring Resort reported that Camp Tohkomeupog, the resort’s summer boy’s camp, also experienced a strong summer with many of the age groups full for the weeks available and a full Family Camp week in the late summer. In a trend that bodes well for 2018, Prindle shared, “Increasingly, parents are reserving camp space earlier than in year's past and next year's Family Camp is already 100-percent booked and full.”
According to fall foliage experts at Yankee Magazine, a mild summer and long-term weather forecasts for foliage season indicate a strong season for fall color coming up. Recently, White Mountain Attractions sent a press release indicating bookings in the White Mountains were up for fall season. Attitash’s fall sales are another indicator that fall foliage sales will be up over last year according to Greg Fisher. “The foliage forecast sounds great from the media and our lodging is currently pacing ahead of last year, including sales for our Oktoberfest which is in October and online for sale already,” shared Fisher. Thomas Prindle concurred, telling the chamber that numbers are on par with last year at Purity Spring Resort and Danforth Bay Camping & RV Resort, indicating a strong fall season.
Fall foliage season is among the busiest for Mt Washington Valley businesses, especially from mid-September to mid-October. The Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce advises visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of this year’s brilliant foliage to book now or forever hold their peep! Leaf peeping holidays draw visitors from throughout the world to the Mt Washington Valley, surrounded by 880,000 acres of White Mountain National Forest. Be sure to visit www.MtWashingtonValley.org to plan your fall foliage getaway or call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364) for up-to-date availability at lodging along with scenic drives and foliage outlooks and additional area information. To learn more about a fall getaway to New Hampshire, go to www.VisitNH.gov.
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Beautiful summer and fall foliage photography is available. Contact Marti Mayne to request photos or visit the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce online Flickr library.