Press Kit

Business report strong summer and Labor Day not completely washed out by Hurricane Irene


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 7, 2011

CONTACT:  Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331,


North Conway, NH - While the majority of businesses responding to an informal survey from the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce glowed about summer, most felt that Irene put a damper on the end of the summer season, certainly impacting the last week in the summer for businesses.  Yet, among those reporting, Labor Day was surprisingly solid, with some businesses reporting increases in revenues over 2010.  Reports of road and bridge washouts, flooding and downed trees throughout New Hampshire, not to mention clean-up efforts for businesses in the Valley combined to make for a challenging Labor Day holiday for most. Looking ahead, businesses are cautiously optimistic about fall, with most concurring that travelers will continue to maintain the trend toward last minute travel planning.

Sue LeFave, co-owner of the Old Red Inn and Cottages reported that Labor Day 2011 was on par with last year and the was  summer was strong with an increase in revenues over last year for the summer months.  Linda Trask, co-owner of the Glen Oaks Inn told the chamber that Labor Day was actually a little ahead of last year and that the hurricane had no impact on bookings or travel plans.  Trask credits new marketing approaches with an increase in business for the summer months this year. 

Jonathan Rivers, Owner of Indian Mound Golf Course said the hurricane forced the course to close for four days while crews worked feverishly to get ready for Labor Day weekend.  Rivers commented that the summer was strong as evidenced by increased spending in the restaurant and loyal customers.

"We were pleased that our facilities were in no way impacted by Hurricane Irene and we had 100% of our rides and attractions open this Labor Day weekend including our mountain coaster and aerial adventure park," said Kathy Bennett, Marketing Director at Cranmore.  According to Bennett, the first summer for Cranmore's new Adventure Park was strong, especially the month of August.  "Overall our first summer operations were successful and now launches us as a year-round resort," finished Bennett.

Thomas Prindle reported that Attitash crews were able to quickly recover from the hurricane and re-open for business, yet the Mountain Coaster was disabled for an undetermined time.  "Wildcat Mountain, mostly unaffected by Tropical Storm Irene, had only the weather this year to prevent higher visitor numbers over last year," stated Prindle.  According to Prindle summer revenues were up at Attitash until the most recent hurricane setback; the Mountain Coaster proved to be a great new attraction for Attitash Mountain Resort and was contributing to greater visitor numbers and higher revenues for the peak summer operating period.

Cathy Smith at Wine Thyme in North Conway reported July was a very strong month with revenues up over 20 percent from last year.  August was following with the same pattern for the restaurant and wine shop until Hurricane Irene.  However, Labor Day weekend was strong for Wine Thyme, ending up with revenues posting higher than last year. 

Matt Fusco, owner of the Rugged Mill store in North Conway reported a strong summer followed by a good Labor Day weekend, despite the interruption from Hurricane Irene earlier in the week.  "I was pleasantly surprised under the circumstances how many people were around and were willing to spend," stated Fusco referring to the Labor Day weekend.

Looking forward to fall all of those responding to the survey were optimistic.  Lodging properties state unanimously that they expect travelers to continue the trend toward last minute planning, waiting to insure the weather and travel conditions will be ideal.  Like most of the other Mt Washington Valley attractions, Kathy Bennett explained that Cranmore will continue to be open weekends through October with Mountain Adventure Park, the annual Halloween Ghoullog plus the addition of a haunted mountain coaster and giant swing ride.

NH DOT crews are working feverishly to re-open parts of the Kancamagus Highway and Route 302 washed out by Hurricane Irene.  Already large sections of both roads have been re-opened with the goal to be completely open in plenty of time for fall foliage viewing. For more information on visiting Mt Washington Valley and for complete vacation planning, visit or call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (1-800-367-3364).

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