Press Kit

Businesses Report Strong Columbus Day

Glorious weather, peaking foliage colors and plenty of Canadian visitors lead to a strong or record breaking weekend for Mt Washington Valley businesses.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - October 11, 2011

Contact:  Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331,


Glorious weather, peaking foliage colors and plenty of Canadian visitors lead to a strong or record breaking weekend for Mt Washington Valley businesses.


North Conway, NH - Visitors from all parts of the U.S., Europe and Canada flocked to Mt Washington Valley this weekend for what was reported to be a strong Columbus Day weekend.  According to an informal survey of members by the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, businesses reported an excellent weekend, with some record breakers.

"The phone calls and walk-ins to the chamber's information booths have been like old times," commented Janice Crawford, Executive Director of the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce.  After a number of less-than-record-breaking holiday weekends, Crawford commented that she was pleased to hear from many attractions that their rides and events topped records for the weekend.  "The leaves were peaking in the northern part of the Valley, but have been slower to turn in the more southern areas of the Valley, which promises to extend Mt Washington Valley's foliage season even longer," said Crawford.  "This will certainly appeal to those looking for a foliage trip that meets their budget," finished Crawford, referring to the fact that many lodging properties lower rates after mid-October.  Crawford finished with kudos once again to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation for all the hard work accomplished after Hurricane Irene to open the roads for leaf peepers.

Many of Mt Washington Valley's attractions responded with enthusiasm for the busy weekend.   Thomas Prindle, Director of Marketing for Attitash and Wildcat credited the great weather for a strong Columbus Day weekend at both attractions. "We had record breaking attendance numbers on both Saturday and Sunday at the annual Attitash Oktoberfest.  Even comparing to last year's favorable weather, overall numbers for the Oktoberfest weekend exceeded last year's attendance record up over 20%." He added "For Attitash, it's been a few years since we operated the limited fall attractions but with this weekend's favorable weather and foliage "peaking" in the valley, visitor numbers for the Mountain Coaster, Alpine Slides, Scenic Chair, and Downhill Mountain Biking were on par with some of our busier peak summer vacation period day visits". He added that Wildcat Mountain enjoyed one of their busier weekends of the entire summer and fall operating season too.

Kathy Bennett, Director of Marketing at Cranmore Mountain Resort, concurred about the strong holiday weekend.  "The Ghoullog had record breaking attendance for Saturday night and we exceeded last year's attendance for Friday and Sunday too", she shared. Cranmore's new haunted mountain coaster and giant swing rides offered at night also did extremely well according to Bennett.

Bruce Hicks, calling himself "marketing elf" for Santa's Village, also credited great weather for an increase in business this Columbus Day over last year.  He commented that the warm temps allowed them to open the water park making this feel much more like a summer than a fall weekend, both temperature-wise and attendance-wise!

Susan Logan, Marketing Director for the Conway Scenic Railroad, commented that most of the trains were sold out for the weekend.  "This was the busiest Columbus Day we've seen in years," shared Logan, also noting that there was an increase in visitors from New York and Asian countries. 

Lodging properties weighed in with equal gusto, sharing that bookings were on par or above last year.  It's hard to exceed sold out conditions, but revenues were up for many lodging properties in Mt Washington Valley.  Tom Spaulding at Hampton Inn and Suites told the chamber that the hotel was sold out for the entire weekend, and that they saw a ten-percent increase in Canadian business this year, plus an increase in motorcoach tours.  Joanne Hastings, Sales Manager for Residence Inn by Marriott, agreed sharing "We had a 15 percent increase in Canadian visitors over last year. People are definitely spending more this year, and the length of stay was longer".

Jason Robinson, Director of Marketing for Mount Washington Valley Accommodations, noted that all of their properties fared well during Columbus Day weekend.  According to Robinson, "This year's Columbus Day weekend tracked pretty close to last year, and we anticipate the foliage season to extend a bit longer this month - extending beyond the holiday weekend and leading to a longer foliage season. Eastern Slope Inn Resort and Attitash Mountain Village Resort continue to be popular destination resorts for families looking for all the comforts of home, and the Oxen Yoke & Attitash Marketplace Motel have been attracting the budget conscious traveler who is not willing to compromise on quality".

The inns and B&Bs reporting to the survey weighed in to say they were sold out for the Columbus Day weekend with guests from throughout the U.S and beyond. "We welcomed several couples from England, Germany, the west coast of the U.S., Colorado, Arizona, Louisiana, and North Carolina," said Ken Lydecker, owner of the Riverside Inn. "The weather has been great, our guests have stayed one, two, or three nights for the most part, with a few staying five to eight days," finished Lydecker.  Mary Ann Meyer, co-owner of the Mt Washington B&B in Shelburne, NH agreed saying "Columbus Weekend was very busy - we were full with folks from the United States, Canada and Europe.  The entire area was busy.  I was fully booked before the end of September for Columbus Day Weekend".

Sandy Allan, owner of Beaver Hollow Campground in Ossipee, shared that campground rentals were up over last year by 20-percent for the weekend, crediting the "phenomenal weather" this year for the Columbus Day weekend increase. 

When asked about the fall foliage season, all those responding to the survey concurred that rainy forecasts and poor weekend weather in September lead to a softer-than-normal fall foliage season to date.  However, many commented on the survey that the strong Columbus Day weekend helped to bring numbers up on par with last year, and that an extended season for color in the Southern parts of the Valley will lead to a strong finish for the quarter.

For more information on visiting Mt Washington Valley, NH, please call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364) or visit  There's still plenty of fall color in the White Mountains.  Leaf peeping season will extend a few more weeks for those who haven't had the chance to visit yet.

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For high-res fall foliage photos, please contact Marti Mayne at  Photo caption:  Wildcat Triple surrounded by fall colors.  Photo by Laura Tuveson.