Survey Shows Mixed Results for July 4 Weekend from Mt Washington Valley Businesses
For Immediate Release - July 6, 2009
Contact: Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331, firstname.lastname@example.org
SURVEY SHOWS MIXED RESULTS FROM BUSINESSES IN MT WASHINGTON VALLEY, NH
Businesses report increased visitors and spending for July 4 weekend, yet recent rainy weather put damper on travel planning
North Conway, NH - The Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce asked businesses throughout the region to complete a survey to measure spending and tourism patterns in Mt Washington Valley, NH for the July 4th weekend. Working with Dr. Mark Okrant of Plymouth State University's Institute for New Hampshire Studies, the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce created a new survey format which will allow the chamber to compare holiday period business patterns for years to come. Members of Mt Washington Valley's tourism community were encouraged to respond to the survey and more than a 6 percent return from retail, lodging, restaurants and attractions was posted within 24 hours. Responses showed that a slight majority of businesses (54.5%) reported an increase in spending for 2009's July 4 weekend compared to 2008. Additionally, businesses reported an increase in paying guests with 56.3% of those reporting claiming an increase in guests and 43.8% claiming a decrease in paying guests.
Lodging members were almost evenly split, with 53.3% claiming occupancy was up and 47.7% noting a decrease over last year's July 4th weekend. Richard Lefave of the Old Red Inn and Cottages mentioned that last minute reservations were responsible for an increase in occupancy this year over last. Ron Krieger, general manager at The Seasons claimed their last minute bookings were also up over other holiday periods, mostly due to people waiting to see what the weather would do. Andrea Walsh, Co-director of the World Fellowship Center said "While we had fewer reservations initiated during the week before the 4th than last year, we noted an increase in the number of individuals and couples, along with families, visiting from within the Northeast". An increase in Canadians and longer stays resulted in an increase over last year's holiday weekend for the Riverside Inn, according to owner, Ken Lydecker. Jessica Zarenko of the Cabernet Inn credits strong positive reviews and repeat business for an increase in bookings this July 4th weekend over last year. Yet Frederique and Thierry Procyk, Innkeepers/Owners of the Cranmore Mountain Lodge saw a decrease over last year, claiming weather and the shorter July 4th weekend (due to the holiday falling on a Saturday) accounted for the changes in bookings this year over last.
When asked to explain differences in spending, occupancy and numbers of visitors for the July 4th weekend, 2009 versus 2008, 42.1% of those responding to the survey claimed there were less families this year than last year for the holiday weekend. Additionally, 21% answered there were more Canadians and 15.8% responded there were more international visitors this year than in 20008. Many businesses from retail to lodging to attractions noted that the rainy weather affected travel plans for the July 4th weekend. One retailer, however, noted that the rainy weather actually drove business to the stores.
Kathy Bennett, PR Director for Cranmore Resort told us that Cranmore opened its new Summer Tubing Park operation on July 1. "Despite the soggy conditions, we saw brisk business and met our visitation goals for the important holiday weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, when the sun came out, were especially promising," commented Bennett. Hazel Ives, owner of Monkey Trunks, the zip line and rope swing attraction, said that spending and visitors were up over last year, although increases might have been higher if inclement weather hadn't played a role in the weekend.
Overall, given the soggy June playing a role in travel planning, Mt Washington Valley businesses were generally positive about the July 4th weekend. For more information and travel planning information for Mt Washington Valley vacations, visit http://www.mtwashinngtonvalley.org/ or call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364).
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