Hurricane Earl Chases Travelers to Mt Washington Valley
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 7, 2010
CONTACT: Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331, firstname.lastname@example.org
HURRICANE EARL SENT VACATIONERS TO MT WASHINGTON VALLEY ACCORDING TO CHAMBER SURVEY
While coastal towns throughout New England reported massive cancellations, vacationers headed to the mountains to avoid the hurricane.
North Conway, NH (9-6-10) - While Hurricane Earl's threat caused vacation plans to fizzle for beach and seacoast towns throughout New England, Mt Washington Valley businesses reported a boon from the storm that never happened. In an informal survey distributed by the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, 90 percent of businesses reported that spending increased or stayed the same during Labor Day weekend 2010 when compared to 2009; 70 percent said spending increased. Most respondents concurred that good weather, an influx of Canadian, British and outside-New England travelers, and a slowly improving economy strongly contributed to a successful weekend. Comments among survey respondents showed that while travelers are still careful with spending, they are responding to good local products and hospitality, and value.
According to Terry O'Brien of the Red Parka Pub, "The hurricane that never happened scared some guests away for the first part of the weekend". Ken Lydecker at the Riverside Inn concurred saying "the threat of the hurricane drove everyone from the beach to the mountains".
Retailers offered comments indicating that shoppers are discriminating but are beginning to spend on quality and local items. Deb Jasien at Fields of Ambrosia noted "The visitors were shopping more discriminatingly and intelligently; looking for bargains, but willing to spend on locally crafted goods at full price." Likewise at The Penguin Gallery, Lynda Schupp added "Sales are up 19 percent over last year. I think the economy is starting to get stronger; we are seeing people buying more higher end items and traveling from a farther distance".
At the area's attractions, Thomas Prindle reported that Wildcat posted its highest single day revenue of the summer on Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Erik Corbett, owner of Good Tail Lobster Pound concurred, saying Sunday was the strongest day of the weekend for sales.
MaryAnn Mayer owner of the Mount Washington B&B had very positive comments to add commenting "we've seen a huge increase in British guests, Canadian Guests, and guests overall - this has been our best summer in 11 years!" Nearby Thomas Prindle concurred noting that the summer counts were up about 40 percent over last summer for gondola rides and disc golf course. Prindle also noted that the ZipRider attraction was sold out almost every day throughout the summer. Prindle attributes some of Wildcat Mountain's success this summer to increased efforts with social networking, including a special Foursquare promotion and extended Facebook reach.
Nearly 40 percent of respondents noted increases in Canadians, international visitors and outside-New England travelers. Deb at Fields of Ambrosia reported an increase in Midwestern and Great Lakes region customers. Terry O'Brien noted "we definitely saw an increase in Canadian guests due to exchange rates" and Lynda Schupp concurred saying "we welcomed many Canadian tourists this year along with lots of couples from outside New England."
Richard Lefave of the Old Red Inn concurred that travelers are feeling a pent up urge for vacations and are responding to value, noting " I feel that people did not do a lot of travel last year . They now seem to feel a little better about the economy. Our 200th anniversary special helped." Concurrently, Erik Corbett at Good Tail Lobster attributed a strong weekend to a "2 for $12" special for his smaller lobsters. Fields of Ambrosia is offering more choices on discounted items, according to owner Deb Jasien. Yet Terry O'Brien notes that travelers are still being extremely careful with spending on dining, noting a slight decrease in spending over last year.
When asked about a forecast for a strong fall foliage season, more than 80 percent of survey respondents noted they felt spending would increase or stay the same during fall foliage season 2010, with 64 percent predicting that spending would increase. Businesses throughout the Valley are working hard to attract business from offering free shipping on purchases over $25 for motocoach groups at Fields of Ambrosia to clambakes at Matty B's catered by Good Tail Lobster, and seasonal specials at Red Parka Pub.
Janice Crawford, Executive Director of the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce summarized the survey results by noting, "Overall, it looks like tourism in Mt Washington Valley is on a gradual upswing, based upon comments from businesses throughout the Valley. Last year, 64 percent of businesses reported an increase in spending over the year prior for Labor Day weekend. This year, 70 percent of businesses reported an increase for the weekend over last year. We are looking forward to a strong foliage season, as savvy business owners throughout the Valley adjust to a consumer seeking value, local quality and hospitality."
For more information on visiting Mt Washington Valley, visit http://www.mtwashingtonvalley.org/ or call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364).
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