Thanksgiving 2013 Business Wrap up in Mt Washington Valley
NEWS FROM MT WASHINGTON VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE – December 2, 2013
CONTACT: Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331, PR@mtwashingtonvalley.org
THEY CAME, THEY ATE, THEY SHOPPED OVER THANKSGIVING WEEKEND
IN MT WASHINGTON VALLEY, NH
North Conway, NH – Mt Washington Valley was mobbed with holiday revelers and shoppers over Thanksgiving weekend, according to an informal survey distributed by the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce. According to retailers, lodging, restaurant and winter attractions/ski resorts, business was brisk as shoppers hit the stores and skiers hit the trails. “We lit the tree in Schouler Park and celebrated a busy start to the holiday weekend in Mt Washington Valley,” commented Janice Crawford, Executive Director of the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce.
In a press release distributed by Settlers’ Green on Black Friday, Laura Tuveson, Marketing Assistant for OVP Management, Inc. shared that more than 35 stores were open by midnight on Thanksgiving Night at Settlers’ Green Outlet Village, and many stores reported it was a successful evening. Some stores even opened earlier than planned because of eager Black Friday shoppers waiting at store doors including Journeys, Tommy Hilfiger and Pacific Sunwear. White Mountain Cupcakery, which planned to open from 9 pm to 12 am. on Thanksgiving Night, remained open two hours longer than planned before opening again at 5 am because of strong demand for coffee and baked goods.
Kay Jewelers reported great business when it opened its doors at 10 pm on Thanksgiving Night “Many stores made the corporate decision to open earlier than our required 5 am Black Friday opening time this year, which appeared to be a national trend,” said Tuveson. “There are six less shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year compared to last year, and many stores are hoping to capitalize on Thanksgiving Weekend to make up for that.” On Black Friday and the days that followed, parking spots at Settlers’ Green were at a premium from open to close. “I saw lines out the door at Wilson Leather in Settlers’ Green on Friday afternoon,” commented Marti Mayne, PR Manager for Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce. When asked, the sales staff at Wilson Leather, Old Navy and Bass Shoes said that business had been brisk and sales were strong for the Black Friday holiday, according to Mayne.
In North Conway Village, the Framed Art Superstore, which has always been tied to the housing market, finished November up year over year for the first time in several years, according to co-owner Michael Kline. “The art store has been sold to the Handcrafters Barn, and will be moving Dec 15th. The moving sale lowered revenue by about 20-percent, and the net sales still outpaced 2012,” observed Kline. The Funky Bubble, which sold as of Nov 30th, enjoyed a record setting sales day Saturday, beating 2012 by about 20-percent, said Kline. Additionally, Soyfire Candle just missed the 2012 sales numbers for Thanksgiving weekend, but the bar was very high, with 2012 being a particularly good year, as the stores first year in N. Conway Village. According to co-owner Michael Kline, who floated between stores over the weekend, “Customers were relaxed and enjoying a festive, not frantic village experience, in spite of the heavy traffic” and many mentioned and demonstrated their enthusiasm for the shop-small movement.
Matt Fusco, Owner of The Rugged Mill in North Conway shared that sales were up over last year for every day of the Thanksgiving weekend. “Compared to last year’s Thanksgiving, Friday was up 15-percent, Saturday was up by 14-percent and Sunday was up by 40-percent over last year’s sales,” reported Fusco. “For the specialty stores, like us, Small Business Saturday is a much busier day than Black Friday,” said Fusco who observed there were 33-percent more in sales on Saturday than Friday at the Rugged Mill. “More shoppers seemed to be supporting the small businesses on Saturday, after shopping the "Big Box" and Outlet store deals on Thursday & Friday,” observed Fusco.
And if visitors were not shopping they were skiing. Cranmore Mountain Resort reported a record breaking Thanksgiving weekend. According to Marketing Manager, Becca Deschenes, “We had an absolutely amazing Thanksgiving weekend here at Cranmore”. Not only did Cranmore have a busy weekend, the resort also had record breaking open terrain for the weekend, with 17 trails on Sunday, and three trails off of the summit. “Although we were open last year, skier visits, we were up 251-percent compared to last year for the three days, and year-to-date skier visits were up 100-percent. Tubing was close to double what we did last year for the same weekend, and our Mountain Adventure Park was also significantly up from last year,” reported Deschenes. Even Jackson Ski Touring got in the fun, with limited skiing open. Jackson Ski Touring Foundation Executive Director, Thom Perkins, shared “Season Pass Sales are up 13-percent from last year through November and junior season passes are up 160-percent,” said Perkins who credits a focus on marketing the junior program for the increase in junior pass sales.
A few lodging properties also weighed in on the chamber’s survey. Steve Lambert reported a sold-out weekend at the Bernerhof Inn where shopping was the main activity for guests there. Farm by the River Bed and Breakfast with Stables, Charlene Browne also reported that bookings at the inn were up over last year due to families enjoying Polar Express packages and couples taking advantage of the romantic sleigh and carriage ride packages. In fact, Charlene shared that there were a lot of carriage ride proposals and elopements this month, so love was in the air!
Terry Obrien from the Red Parka Steakhouse and Pub also reported that it was a good weekend with Friday’s restaurant and bar sales up significantly over the previous year and Saturday’s sales up too. Here, the main weekend activity heard in conversations was skiing! Unlike the trend from respondents, Elvio Decilla from Elvio’s Pizza reported that sales were down by 5-percent for the weekend.
Tis the season for holiday fun, festivals and ski getaways. For more information on vacations in Mt Washington Valley, visit www.mtwashingtonvalley.org or call a vacation concierge at 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364). For information on New Hampshire getaways, visit www.visitNH.gov.
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Photo caption: The women shopped and the men were along to carry the bags at Settlers’ Green Outlet Village on Black Friday. Photo by Marti Mayne.