NH Attractions Open During Federal Government Shutdown

The Kancamagus Highway in Autumn

The Kancamagus Highway in Autumn

Columbus Day Weekend is one of the busiest weekends for tourism in New Hampshire. In fact, it is traditionally the third busiest weekend of the year, after the Fourth of July and Labor Day. State officials don’t expect that to be any different this year, despite the federal government shutdown, as most parks and attractions are either privately owned or run by the state—not the federal government.

“I can’t say how many people have asked, ‘Aren’t the parks getting shut down?’ No, they’re state parks, not federal parks,” says Tai Freligh, communications manager for the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism. Continue reading

The Inns & Spa at Mill Falls Named One of Top 45 Hotels in the Northeast

Chalk up another award for this lakeside getaway—the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Survey has recently recognized the Inns & Spa at Mill Falls as one of the Top 45 Hotels in the Northeast!

The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Survey began in 1988, and since then has been listing the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruises, and airlines based on real travelers’ experiences. The online questionnaire contains lists of candidates in the various categories, and individual candidates are judged by relevant criteria for each group. In the hotel category, the ratings are based on Food/Dining, Location, Overall Design, Rooms, and Service. Those that receive a required minimum number of responses are deemed eligible for a Readers’ Choice Award. Each candidate is rated by the specific criteria on a five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor. Those scores, which represent the percentage of respondents rating a candidate excellent or very good, are averaged to determine the final score. Continue reading

Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad Brings Nostalgic Entertainment to Meredith Bay

Climb aboard the classic train at Meredith Station and take a trip back in time as the old locomotive chugs along the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. While the breathtaking views of the lake and distant mountains are sure to evoke a sense of wonder and leisure reminiscent of turn-of-the-century travel to NH grand hotels and summer resorts, this ride also has old-fashioned entertainment to bring an even deeper experience of the “good old days.”

Every Monday through Friday this summer, “White Marriott the Hobo Balloonist” will be aboard the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad to share his specialty balloons with passengers. Kids of all ages will love his balloon creations, especially the animals and flowers formed from simple balloons!

On Saturdays, accordionist David Smith will be aboard the train, greeting passengers as they board and then strolling through the train as he plays nostalgic tunes on his accordion for everyone to enjoy. These fun songs are sure to get everyone in the spirit for a relaxing lakeside adventure! Continue reading

Church Landing one of Top 25 Best Relaxation/Spa Hotels in the U.S.

This lakeside resort has once again been recognized as one of the best places to stay, not only in the Meredith area, but in the entire country as well. Last year, Church Landing at Mill Falls received the Travelers’ Choice® Award by TripAdvisor® as one of the Top 10 Hotels for Romance in the United States, and just a couple weeks ago, TripAdvisor awarded Church Landing this year’s Travelers’ Choice Award as one of the Top 25 Best Relaxation/Spa Hotels in the United States. Church Landing was named 24th, and is the only New England based property that made the list in this category. Continue reading

Announcing the NH Dream Vacation Photo Contest!

28431_396240658294_98723213294_4252531_5771895_nSome exciting news from our friends at Visit NH:  The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development (DTTD) has just announced the launch of its 2nd annual New Hampshire Dream Vacation Photo Contest, which will take place this summer from May 24th – September 6th.  The winner of the online photo contest will receive a custom-designed New Hampshire Dream Vacation worth $2,500, and five additional contestants will win $500 each in the popular vote.  Irving Oil will also offer gas gift cards in the amount of $50 that will be awarded weekly to randomly selected contest participants.

“We encourage every NH resident and visitor to explore and enjoy the state, take photos with the ‘I Love it Here’ signs along the way, and upload them to our site,” said Alice DeSouza, Director of the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development.  “Last year’s contest was wildly successful with residents and visitors alike joining in the fun.”

To play, go to www.NHDreamVacation.com and download the “I Love it Here” sign.  Print out the sign and bring it with you as you visit your favorite places in New Hampshire, including The Inns and Spa at Mill Falls.  At these scenic spots, take photos of yourself or a travelling companion with the “I Love it Here” sign and make sure there’s an identifier in the photo, such as a location sign or easily-recognizable building.  Upload one to five of these images to the contest website, where participants can vote on their favorite photos.  Friends and family members can vote too!

“Once again, we expect residents will want to vacation right here in New Hampshire, and will spend time exploring the mountains, lakes, and seacoast,” said DeSouza. “Everybody loves to seek out the unexpected and unusual locations, and we believe this contest will trigger that excitement in all of us.  So go grab your cameras, your signs, and challenge yourself to find the coolest spot in NH to snap a photo!”

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

Visit Meredith in March for a Special Sampling of What the Mill Falls has to Offer

March is the month of melting snow, longer days, and a glimmer of spring in the air. New life is beginning to stir, and with it, our spirits awaken.  This is the time of romance and fresh starts.  Now is the time to grab your sweetie and get away for a little time to connect and relax in a quiet setting with a cozy village at your door.  The Inns and Spa at Mill Falls are offering an irresistible deal that makes it easy…

Mill Falls Waterfall

Mill Falls Waterfall

For $99, you and a guest will enjoy:

  • 1-night at the Inn at Mill Falls
  • A $25 spa credit towards spa services
  • 2 entrees for the price of one for Lunch AND Dinner at participating restaurants
  • Complimentary continental breakfast
  • Mill Falls Marketplace discount coupon book
  • 20% off Company Store purchases

For an additional $50 you can upgrade to a lake-view room, or for $80 more indulge in a lake-view room with a whirlpool bath and a fireplace.  What a way to experience the luxury and amenities of the Mill Falls without spending a fortune!  For details visit http://millfalls.com/innsider/issue.php or call reservations at 800-622-6455 and ask about the Travel NOW offer.  You deserve it.

Sweet Deals for February Vacation at this NH Inn

Tree House sitting roomFebruary is a great time to book a family getaway close to all the fun winter activities New Hampshire has to offer, and the Inns & Spa at Mill Falls have a deal that makes getting away a little easier—reserve one night at the regular rate and get the second night for half price during the last two weeks of February!

This family-friendly resort also offers Kidz Camp, a professional childcare program that allows Mom and Dad to have a little time to themselves, too.  Parents can relax at the spa and enjoy a romantic dinner for two while the children are having fun at a special, themed activity night, such as Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, or Pirates Night.

For details, visit: http://millfalls.com/innsider/issue.php.  Let the February fun begin!

Senators promote Travel Promotion Act for international tourism in Meredith NH

by Sarah Schmidt
August 12, 2009

MEREDITH — Democratic Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Amy Klobuchar came to Meredith this week to promote the Travel Promotion Act, a bill they said would develop programs aimed at increasing international tourism in the United States.
Shaheen said that the Travel Promotion Act would create a public-private partnership to promote tourism in the United States, especially among international travelers. The Act establishes the Corporation for Travel Promotion, a non-profit corporation, governed by an 11-member board of directors appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. The Act would also create an Office of Travel Promotion to create programs to increase the number of international visitors. Klobuchar, a Senator from Minnesota, oversees the Senate Subcommittee responsible for tourism.

Since tourism is New Hampshire’s second-biggest industry, employing 67,000 people, Shaheen said that the Act was important to the state’s future. After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, she said the country had seen a marked decrease in the number of international tourists coming to the United States. The state collects $212 million in rooms and meals taxes every year, and about $132 million of that amount comes from out-of-state visitors.

“I remember being surprised that there was no promotion, that we never had anyone to do international marketing,” said Shaheen. “International tourists stay longer, spend more than the (domestic) tourist, and go back to their home country with a positive view of the United States. We will see help for all 50 states as part of the bill.”

Klobuchar said that part of the bill would deal with making it easier to get visas done sooner, “so that they don’t go to France instead.” She noted that she had been surprised to learn that New Hampshire marketed to Canadian visitors.

Shaheen said that there would be an assessment of $10 per visa, with a cap of $100 million, and that Canadians would be exempt from this increase. Klobuchar said that with an increase in fees for the visas, the offices that issued them could afford to hire more staff, shortening the wait time for visa approval.

If the act was not signed into law, Klobuchar said she believed the country would lose another 27,000 tourism-related jobs in the next year. The Act, she said, is the first bill slotted to go on the Senate floor in the next legislative session, and has already been passed by the House.

“For the first time, we’d be promoting our country internationally, like France,” said Klobuchar. “People are booking later, not planning ahead like they used to.”

Both senators encouraged members of the public and some of the local tourism leaders in attendance to contact local legislators and ask them to support the bill. Shaheen said that President Barack Obama was willing to sign the bill when it is slated to come up in September. While she noted that a number of the bill’s original sponsors did not vote for it in the end, she attributed their actions to amendments that other legislators were attempting to tack onto it.

Lori Harnois of the International Marketing Office in the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism, Amy Landers, Lakes Region Association Executive Director, and Jim Morash of the M/S Mount Washington and board director of the LRA, all spoke in support of the bill.

“As a captain and co-owner of the M/S Mount Washington, I’ve learned how important tourism is to the area,” said Morash. “I also thank the senators for their support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which allowed us to invest in clean diesel technology, allowing us to replace the engines for the first time since 1946.”