Stellar Summer, Strong Economy Lead Visitors to the White Mountains

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White Mountains Attraction members report strong, steady visitor numbers

Sunny summer days, low gas prices and the strong U.S. economy are among the factors keeping New Hampshire's White Mountains on the itineraries of visitors from around the world, according to the association that promotes the region.

"We started off the summer season with terrific weather over the Memorial Day weekend and that set the tone for the weeks and months that followed," said Jayne O'Connor, president of White Mountains Attractions, which operates the visitors center at exit 32 in North Woodstock. "Our attractions report strong attendance and they expect that to carry through the fall."

The White Mountains have long been a destination for visitors from southern New England, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as Europe and Canada. This year, following marketing efforts in Australia, New Zealand and Japan in the past several years, the region is seeing more visitors from these areas.

The Hobo Railroad in Lincoln reports it had a strong summer season and fall is shaping up better than expected. "Reservations are well above where they were last year at this time and there has also been significant interest for our foliage celebration, the Hobo Harvest Time Express, running Sept. 17 to Oct. 16," said marketing director Paul Giblin.

At Santa's Village in Jefferson, spokesman Jim Miller said the attraction, "has been having a terrific summer with a strong start in May and June and very solid and consistent attendance in July and August."

The White Mountains continue to be a popular destination for European visitors, but the region is gaining popularity further abroad.

"We've expanded the White Mountains National Scenic Byways brochure to six languages - English, French, German, Japanese, Chinese and Hindi," O'Connor said. "That reflects our international visitor base and this is a way to enhance their experience." Anecdotally, a bus carrying Australian visitors stopped at the visitors center and O'Connor said travel writers from that region are exploring the area for future articles.

For many attractions, post-Labor Day will mean a change in operation schedules moving into fall; visitors should be sure to check ahead for dates and times.

The White Mountains Attractions Association was founded in 1958 as a co-operative marketing association for the region and the 17 attractions within the White Mountains region, including Alpine Adventures; Attitash Mountain Resort; Cannon Mountain; Clark’s Trading Post; Conway Scenic Railroad; Cranmore Mountain Resort; Flume Gorge; Hobo Railroad, Loon Mountain, Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves; Mount Washington Auto Road; Mount Washington Cog Railway; Polar Caves Park; Santa’s Village; Story Land; Whale’s Tale Water Park and Wildcat Mountain.

For information about the White Mountains, the visitors’ center is located off exit 32 on Interstate 93 in North Woodstock; visit or call 800-346-3687.

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Charyl Reardon
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