New Hampshire's White Mountains has “Crazy Busy” Start of Summer Season

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Summer officially got off to a great start in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, with reports that activity and spending is up at lodges, shops and attractions.

Summer officially got off to a great start in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, with reports that activity and spending is up at lodges, shops and attractions.

"This was one of the best Fourth of July weekends we've had in years," said Jayne O'Connor, president of White Mountains Attractions in North Woodstock, the marketing organization for New Hampshire's White Mountains. O'Connor reports that some businesses had record days and nearly all stated that visitors were out and about more than in past years.

Josee Cote at the Israel River Campground called it the “biggest holiday weekend we have ever seen. Crazy busy, and we were at 100% capacity. Spending was up tremendously.”

Polar Caves in Rumney had the “largest day in our 94-year history,” according to general manager Rob Arey. Polar Caves recently added the Polar Ascent, a climbing and repelling feature on the natural cliffs at the attraction that Arey feels is also drawing a younger crowd.

Alpine Adventures and Whale’s Tale Waterpark also both reported visitor numbers have been up so far, with the zip line business up over 7%, and the waterpark showing a 34% increase over last year. Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves in North Woodstock is up 14% for the year, and The Cog Railway reported that Sunday was a record day. Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway is continuing to track ahead of last year, according to Becca Deschenes, marketing director.

Lodge owners noticed visitors were out doing more activities and visiting more attractions than last year. Cheryl Gorbich of the Twin Mountain Motor Court & RV Park said most of her guests at both the cottages and campsites “went out all day, each day,” rather than staying put at the property. She called the holiday a “successful weekend.”

People were “looking for mountain fun and river excursions,” said Brian Baker, of the Merrill Farm Resort in North Conway, which posted increases over the recent holiday weekend with a new dining room on-site. “Business was up in a great way.”

Lori Alderin of the Beal House Inn in Littleton had the “No Vacancy” sign out for the weekend, and “enjoyed lovely guests from both near, like Massachusetts and Vermont, and far, like Washington, DC and Germany.” She said the restaurant saw more people who came later in the evening as it “seemed folks were enjoying the beautiful weather. We were happy with (the weekend) and are excited for the rest of the summer.”

“We were full to capacity all weekend,” said Mike Petrosus of the Profile Deluxe Motel in Twin Mountain.

Barbara Marion at Ames Book Campground in Ashland noticed people staying longer, even up to a month, and seeing more visitors from Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Tarry Ho Campground in Twin Mountain reported lots of diversity in their campers this year, many also from the Midwest, and many new recreational vehicles at the sites. Jim Kelly at the Lost River Campground in North Woodstock echoed the diversity comment, saying he had more foreign visitors than usual for this early in the season. He also reported that this year he sold out far in advance, and spending at the store was up 15%.

Even the ice cream parlors noticed people coming from far and wide. Bryan Flagg at Moose Scoops Ice Cream Shop in Warren has people from all over the world, and noticed “a major influx in the diversity of people from all walks of life and ethnicity. He said the shop doubled its sales over last year, with people “more freely spending than last year. People were getting ice cream, but they were also purchasing shirts and New Hampshire souvenirs.”

"All in all, we see it as a sign of strong summer season to come," said O’Connor about the positive reports she received after the weekend.

White Mountains Attractions, founded in 1958, operates the White Mountains Visitor Center in North Woodstock, and is the marketing association for 17 attractions within the White Mountains region, including Alpine Adventures, Attitash Mountain Resort, Cannon Mountain, Clark’s Trading Post, the Conway Scenic Railroad, Cranmore Mountain Resort, Flume Gorge, the Hobo Railroad, Loon Mountain, Lost River Gorge, Mt. Washington Auto Road, the Mount Washington Cog Railroad, Polar Caves, Santa’s Village, Story Land, Whale’s Tale Water Park and Wildcat Mountain.

For information about New Hampshire’s White Mountains, visit visitwhitemountains.com or call 800-346-3687

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Charyl Reardon
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