Summer and Labor Day holiday up over last year for Mt Washington Valley, NH businesses
Good news from Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce – September 3, 2019
Contact: Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331, PR@mtwashingtonvalley.org
SLOW START LED TO STRONG SUMMER FOR MT WASHINGTON VALLEY, NH BUSINESSES
Rain put a damper for outdoor adventure at the end of Labor Day weekend but a bonus for retailers
North Conway, NH – After a rainy spring resulted in a slow start to the tourism season, July and August’s ideal weather contributed to a strong summer for businesses throughout Mt Washington Valley, NH according to an informal survey of members from the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce (MWVCC). While not officially the end of summer, Labor Day signals a change of seasons in Mt Washington Valley and the White Mountain National Forest. The Labor Day weekend started out strong for all, but rain had a negative impact on all outdoor-oriented businesses on Labor Day. Overall, according to MWVCC businesses, business was up over last summer by double digits for many who reported numbers.
“Weather always has the largest impact on tourism in the Valley,” said Janice Crawford, Executive Director of the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce. “Even the forecast for rain will be enough to sway tourists away from coming to the Valley. This summer was no exception. It was too bad rain dampened the Labor Day weekend for outdoor-oriented businesses, but for indoor attractions and retailers, the rain was a bonus. One business’s bane is the others’ bonus. We’re glad that Mother Nature cooperated overall this summer for vacationers to enjoy the Valley,” she continued. “Another positive element we heard from members when talking about the summer was the growth in guests from new markets plus a return of Canadian shoppers over the summer. We’re delighted to hear the Valley’s marketing reach continues to grow. ” finished Crawford.
A number of attractions responded to the chamber’s survey. Jonathan Rivers of Indian Mound Golf Club & River’s Edge Grille & Tavern told the chamber that the course and the restaurant experienced a great summer after a tough start, and he was pleased with how summer 2019 ended up. Rivers attributed a big part of the business’s gain this summer to the restaurant’s year round breakfast, lunch and dinner food and beverage sales.
Becca Deschenes, Director of Marketing at Cranmore Mountain Resort, reported to the chamber’s survey sharing the resort had an overall 13-percent increase this summer over last year. “We had a very strong week leading into the holiday weekend, significantly ahead of last year,” shared Deschenes. “Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend were strong and ahead of last year. Monday’s rain put a damper on the weekend, and we did not open, so overall Cranmore finished behind last year’s 3-day weekend,” she added. However, with the strong July and August numbers, the resort finished well ahead of last year for the summer.
Bob, Owner/Operator of White Lake Speedway, shared that July was disappointing mostly due to weather reports for both weekends which turned out far better than portrayed. However, “August made up for July, saying that it was a very strong month for the business and Labor Day was even better,” he told the chamber. “The last two weeks in August (including Sept. 1'st) were the busiest weeks we've seen in years, “Bob explained, “Labor-Day weekend (both Saturday & Sunday) were stronger than any weekends during July, including both weekends of the 4'th!” he finished, adding that his year-round Laser and new indoor games have helped to weatherproof the Speedway.
Lauren Hawkins, Director of Marketing at Story Land, told the chamber, “Summer went well for Story Land! Consistently good weather made for steady visitation to the park. Labor Day weekend was very strong and compatible to last year. We are hopeful for great fall weather to keep the momentum going!”.
Susan Logan, Marketing Manager at Conway Scenic Railroad, echoed the positive sentiment of other businesses and expanded on the notion that Canadians and other international markets contributed to growth in tourism for the Valley this summer. “We were up about 14-percent over Labor Day 2018 and overall for the summer, we were up about five-percent,” said Logan. “Overwhelmingly, our visitors were from the U.S. with Massachusetts and New Hampshire close to tying for the top referring states, and New York, Maine and Rhode Island, in that order, completing our top five. Internationally, Canadians made up about 3-percent of our summer business, followed by the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, and Italy,” she explained.
Mt Washington Valley’s retail community echoed the positive sentiments from the attractions. Lisa Spadaccini, owner of It’s My Girlfriend’s Consignment Boutique, told the chamber the summer was “crazy busy” after the rain in May made for a slow start, adding that the store’s sales are up overall for 2019 over 2018. “This year summer numbers are up,” she said. “Weather is a huge factor on business. If weather isn’t great, they shop!” she added. “Foliage is always a busy time for us and I hope it will be another great season for people visiting and buying,” she finished.
At Settlers Green, the outlets and restaurants had a strong Labor Day weekend with many stores offering deep discounts for back to school shoppers, said Laura Lemieux, Marketing Director. “As always, weather had a positive impact on our traffic over the weekend. Cool, fall-like temperatures and rain made for strong traffic and sales on Sunday and Monday of Labor Day Weekend. Many stores have reported (throughout the summer) the jump in Canadian shoppers, roughly 20 to 25-percent more Canadian shoppers than last summer,” she reported.
Settlers Green’s restaurants were also packed throughout the weekend. “Black Cap Grille "capped off" Labor Day with a 10-year anniversary party that brought in over 350 people on Monday evening,” finished Lemieux.
Ken, from Priscilla’s Country Kitchen, also weighed into the survey saying that summer 2019 was up over last year, even after the first three weeks of July were sporadic. He also commented that Labor Day was well up over last year and noted that there were many Canadians dining there over Labor Day weekend.
Lodging property owners responded to the survey with similar optimism. Kyla Brustin, Owner, Pinkham Vacation Rentals, explained that this summer was up by 18-percent over 2018. “For us, that was partially due to having more homes available to rent to guests. Some of our homes had more rentals, some were even,” she explained, adding that Labor Day 2019 was up from 2018.
Jen Kovach from the Snowvillage Inn told the chamber the weekend was filled with wedding bliss after a destination wedding booked the inn for the Labor Day holiday.
Looking forward to fall, Jonathan Rivers is optimistic. “We at Indian Mound Golf Course Look forward to a great foliage season. Bookings and tournaments look great for this fall,” he added. Bob at White Lake Speedway added “The extended fair week should be a boost for many!”. Kyla Brustin from Pinkham Vacation Rentals spoke for all businesses when she said, “If the foliage is good, rentals will be good.” Yankee Magazine, fall foliage prognosticators, have forecasted strong color for New England’s leaf peeping season, fueling the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce’s forecast for a very strong fall foliage season for the Valley.
To plan an upcoming fall foliage getaway to Mt Washington Valley, be sure to visit www.MtWashingtonValley.org or call 800-367-3364 (800-DO-SEE-NH) to talk with a vacation planner. To learn more about visiting New Hampshire go to www.VisitNH.gov.
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