Family Celebrates 25 Years of Reunions at The Inns

The Hinchey/Smith/Burbine family, 2011

On the second weekend of every December, this lakeside village becomes home to an extended family that has been gathering in Meredith for nearly 30 years and began staying at The Inn at Mill Falls the very first year the doors opened. Since then, the extended Hinchey/Smith/Burbine family has continued to meet at the Inns for their annual Christmas get-together, marking 25 years this December. They say they wouldn’t think of doing it any other way.

When Laura Hinchey moved to Meredith from Rhode Island in the early 1980s, she became the catalyst for the family’s regular treks to the New Hampshire Lakes Region.  In the beginning, the group was small enough to stay at Laura’s home, but every year, the party got “bigger and bigger and bigger,” so when the first Mill Falls Inn opened in 1985, they booked some rooms there.

Most of the sisters, cousins, uncles, grandparents, nieces, and grandchildren travel from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Laura’s home state of Rhode Island, and the group now varies in size from about 45 to about 55 family members each year. Of course, some years there are new babies, and sometimes others can’t make it. “My grandmother came for years and years,” says Laura. “We lost her two years ago at the age of 102, but she did make it for her 100th birthday. We have quite an age spread as well.  This year, the youngest one here was my great niece, her name is Sophie, and she’s just 2 months, and the oldest was my mother, who celebrated her 75th birthday that weekend.”

Continue reading

Mill Falls gets INN the Spirit of Giving

For the past eight years, the staff at this Lakes Region resort has been bringing smiles to elders in the community by fulfilling their Christmas wishes as surprise gifts, warming the hearts of everyone around them.

In December of 2004, The Inns & Spa at Mill Falls and the Meredith Station started a wonderful tradition of bringing gifts to the residents of the Belknap County Nursing Home in Laconia, NH.  Pat Wade, Manager of the Meredith Station, visits the nursing home every year and selects several ornaments from their Christmas tree. Each ornament details a resident’s holiday wishes, which might include favorite sweets, a new cardigan sweater, or fun jewelry.  “We have a lot of ladies who like to doll up,” says Ann Kyle, Activities Director for the home.

Out of the 94 current residents and their ornaments this year, The Inns chose 41 for their gift giving.  Ann explained that Sacred Heart and Saint Joseph’s Church also help with the gifts.  “We have very generous people in the community who are wonderful to our residents,” she says. Continue reading

NH Tourism Expected to be Lively This Winter

The New England Pond Hockey Classic will return to Meredith February 3rd

State tourism officials announced this week that winter travel in New Hampshire is expected to show increased amounts of visitors and spending, providing a positive outlook for the 2011 – 2012 season.  This is good news, especially considering that the tourism industry across the Northeast took a big hit at the end of summer when Hurricane Irene passed through.

According to a report prepared for the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development (DTTD) by the Institute for New Hampshire Studies (INHS), an estimated 6.6 million people are predicted to visit during this year’s winter season, up by three percent from last year.  Spending by tourists and business travelers is expected to increase as well, with the projection being seven percent above last winter, possibly reaching about $850 million.  Studies show that December, January, and February see approximately 18 percent of all traveler visits and 20 percent of total traveler spending annually.

The big draw in the wintertime is New Hampshire’s abundance of wilderness and skiing, as well as tax-free shopping.  “Outdoor recreation, including skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling, and shopping are the most popular reasons for visiting New Hampshire during the winter,” said Lori Harnois, Director for DTTD.  “While here, visitors can check out zip-lines, mountain coasters, dog-sledding, and other winter fun.” Continue reading

Meredith Eateries Unveil New Winter Menus

Dinner at Lakehouse Grille

The official beginning of winter is just around the corner, and colder temperatures outside bring longings for warmth and comfort inside.  Thoughts turn to cozy fireplaces, hot cocoa, and rich, satisfying meals.  In this quaint NH village, the partner restaurants of the Inns & Spa at Mill Falls and have created new winter menus to reflect the changing seasons and offer guests some imaginative new and traditional dishes that bring warmth, comfort, and contentment inside and out.

“We always roll out two new fresh menus a year, one based on the winter season and one based on the summer season,” says Sean Brown, General Manager for Camp, Lago, and Lakehouse Grille from the Common Man Family of Restaurants.  “We never change the whole menu but we certainly change a decent portion of it.  With the wintertime menus, we’re definitely focusing on heartier dishes, dishes with a little bit more of a wintertime theme.” Continue reading

Second Annual Meredith Village Art Walk to Benefit Food Pantry

As the days grow ever shorter and the cold nights come early over New England, we draw our attention indoors to pursue creative endeavors or gather with friends and family to honor warmth, light, and love with good food and cheer.  However, many families are struggling this holiday season, and need help with food for their loved ones.  In Meredith, some creative folks have combined forces to lend a hand to those in need, all while celebrating the season with beautiful art, music and of course, delicious food!

Next Thursday evening, December 8th, six galleries in Meredith will participate in the second annual Meredith Village Art Walk, themed “Food for the Soul,” to benefit the Meredith Emergency Food Pantry.  From 4:30 – 7:00 that evening, visitors can stroll through candlelit storefronts in quaint Meredith Village and view beautiful local and international works of art while chatting with local artists.  At the lakes gallery at chi-lin, Gallery 51, The Fine Carpet and Asian Antique Gallery, The Hodecker-George Gallery, VynnArt (Art Supply Store), and Oglethorpe Fine Arts & Crafts, guests will enjoy music, refreshments, and unique discounts, as well as a special raffle that will provide donations for the Food Pantry. Continue reading