North Conway, NH – In Mt Washington Valley, NH, the forecast of snow brings applause. Snow is white gold here for the 13 ski resorts and XC Centers and all the lodging, dining, retail and attraction businesses that benefit from tourism. With up to 200+-inches of snowfall reported at some of the resorts, this winter has attracted skiers, vacationers and outdoor adventure lovers to Mt Washington Valley in greater numbers from the snow-deprived winter last year.
In a recent survey conducted among members of the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce (MWVCC), 74-percent of respondents reported that business was up over last winter. Additionally, both the February vacation weeks were up over last year, according to survey respondents; 78-percent of whom noted that the first February vacation week showed an increase in sales over last year, and 50-percent of whom noted that the second/New Hampshire vacation week showed sales up over last year. More than 80-percent of respondents credited more snow this year with the reason for the increase in business.
The best news is that 35-percent of respondents reported that sales were up anywhere from 24-to-74 percent, with the majority of those within that group (21%) noting that sales were up by 10-to-24-percent. In fact, only 5-percent of MWVCC survey respondents reported that business was down over last year and 15-percent reported that business was even with last year. The rest of the survey respondents, nearly 80-percent of those who answered the survey, reported that business was up over last year.
Representatives from ski resorts and XC Centers weighed into the survey. John D. Lowell, President of Attitash Mountain Resort and Wildcat Mountain, summed up the ski season to date by saying, “The great early season snowfall regenerated momentum in the marketplace that has continued to grow throughout the season. All three major vacation periods were exceptional with our business levels at both resorts were up significantly over last year. More important is that our business levels were on par with our best vacation weeks of the past several years. We had some record breaking days at Attitash, and Wildcat Mountain saw the largest growth and benefitted greatly from the great vacation week weather. Base depths are strong, conditions are wonderful and we expect to stretch the season well into late April if not into May.”
Becca Deschenes, Marketing Director for Cranmore Mountain Resort, shared comments about the first vacation week, saying, “For February Vacation Week, Cranmore was up 9.3-percent over last year for visits, and for President’s Weekend we were up 64-percent. We broke records for day visits, set a record for overall visits for the entire week, and for our KidsRule Adventure Camp learning program. The Tubing Park was up 76-percent for President’s Weekend and 18-percent for the vacation week and the Mountain Adventure Park was up 166-percent for the weekend and 56-percent for the entire week.”
Crispin Battles, Marketing Director for Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center shared, “Snow and weather conditions are always the key factor in revenues for our business. We had a slow start to the winter, and Christmas vacation was impacted substantially. The snow arrived (and kept coming!) and mid-winter conditions (and revenues) were above average. Overall it has been a good winter season for us.” Great Glen Trails reported their winter revenues are up more than 25-percent this winter.
From lodging to restaurant to retail owners and respondents, all reporting an increase in revenues for the winter season to date, the overwhelming reasoning for business increases was snow.
And the snow wasn’t just a boon for the skiers. Conrad Klefos, General Manager at the Royalty Inn, explained that “Last year we had nearly zero snowmobilers. This year we had many. Natural snow is a must for snowmobilers.” Royalty Inn reported their sales increased by more than 25-percent this winter.
Interestingly, the second most often offered reason for increases in business for winter 2016/17 over last year was a better economy. Throughout this year, Mt Washington Valley businesses have reported that the “better economy” and secondarily, “people spending more while on vacation” was the reason for increases in revenues and sales this year over last year. Genn Anzaldi, co-owner of the J-Town Deli in Jackson, NH, shared impressions about the winter and February vacation weeks, saying, “Snow was huge! We also had a great staff and worked our butts off! Folks were spending more, and seemed happier over all.” The J-Town Deli reports revenues up more than 10-percent for the winter season and up 15-percent for the February vacation week.
The best news of all is that winter season is not over. With up to 207-inches of snowfall reported at Mt Washington Valley ski resorts and XC Centers, the ski and snowmobiling season is sure to continue. According to Janice Crawford, Executive Director of the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, “Winter sports like skiing and snowmobiling plus ice fishing, ice climbing and dog sledding will all add to the winter economy in Mt Washington Valley, and continue to draw visitors who will stay in Mt Washington Valley lodging, dine in the restaurants, shop at tax-free stores and play in the mountains well into April.” Looking forward, the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce plans a series of food, shopping, cultural and outdoor adventure events, starting with the 14th Annual Chili Cookoff and Feeling Good 5K on April 8th.
To plan a vacation to Mt Washington Valley during any season, visit www.MtWashingtonValley.org for complete vacation planning resources or call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364). To learn more about vacation opportunities in New Hampshire go to www.VisitNH.gov.
Story Courtesy of Marti Mayne PR Manager, Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce