Posted on February 10th, 2012 No comments
When the general manager of this lakeside NH resort isn’t busy keeping everything in order to make sure guests are having the best possible vacation experience in the area, she is rolling up her sleeves at two different tourism associations to help other businesses in the Lakes Region—as well as New England—bring visitors to this diverse and beautiful part of the world.
After many years of dedicated service, Gail Batstone, General Manager at The Inns & Spa at Mill Falls, has recently been elevated to Board President for the Lakes Region Tourism Association. She will also officially serve as President of the New England Inns & Resorts Association beginning in October of 2012. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on December 16th, 2011 No comments
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.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on October 21st, 2011 1 comment
If you haven’t had the chance to check out the Dinner Concert Series at The Grotto and attend one of the distinctive concerts there, you’ve been missing out on an opportunity to see some amazing musical talent in a unique and intimate setting. But fear not—the concert series is just getting warmed up, and this local eatery has some more great national acts scheduled to play.
This past March, The Grotto opened its doors in Meredith, NH, and is already becoming a well-respected venue thanks to its lineup of distinctive national touring artists, as well as local musical talent. The Grotto is a new concert space and dining room at Giuseppe’s Pizzeria & Ristoranté, located at The Mill Falls Marketplace, an old linen mill that was tastefully converted into shops and restaurants in 1984. Giuseppe’s has been a favorite live music spot for over 20 years, and the addition of The Grotto is an extension of Giuseppe’s commitment to bring quality live music to visitors and residents of the Lakes Region.
This coming Wednesday, October 26th, The Grotto will welcome folk artist Peter Mulvey with special guest Carsie Blanton. Says The Boston Globe about Peter, “Gleefully mercurial…equal parts breezy jazz and whispery folk. His voice feels like fine old leather, and his guitar sounds like it’s on steroids…a superb technician with a fondness for ignoring the rules…a genre-defying traditionalist — a knuckleballer with finger-picks.”
“The concert series so far is a huge success!” says Julie Gnerre-Bourgeois, owner of Giuseppe’s. The Grotto’s first two dinner concerts, performed by highly acclaimed artists David Francey and Willy Porter respectively, were sold out. David Francey’s first concert here went so well, he is planning to perform at The Grotto again next March!
For each concert, pre-show dinner reservations begin at 6:30pm, and the show starts at 8:00pm. Tickets are $20.00 and may be purchased in advance or at the door. For more information, call Giuseppe’s at 603-279-3313.
Mill Falls Blogging Team
Photo courtesy of Giuseppe’s Pizzeria & Ristoranté
Posted on October 14th, 2011 No comments
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, NH recently announced that they have been granted accreditation by the independent Accreditation Commission of The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is celebrating by offering a $5-off discount coupon on trail admission everyday throughout the month of October.
After a thorough review that included a detailed accreditation application, as well as a multiple day on-site inspection by a team of experts from around the country, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center received its second accreditation from AZA. The Science Center has shown that it continues to meet ever-rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association.
The Science Center first applied for and received AZA accreditation in 2006, and is currently the only AZA-accredited institution in northern New England. “By meeting high Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation Standards, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center has demonstrated its leadership among zoos and aquariums,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “Only the best of the best rise to this level, and we congratulate the professionals at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center for their hard work.”
“We are thrilled to receive this recognition for the Science Center’s hard work and devotion to the highest possible standards in the industry,” said Iain MacLeod, Executive Director of Squam Lakes Natural Science Center. “In celebration of receiving accreditation and to acknowledge the thousands of visitors who have made the Science Center such a vibrant and successful institution over the last 40-plus years, I’m pleased to announce that we are offering a $5 discount coupon on trail admission for the entire month of October.”
Autumn is a beautiful season for going for a nature walk, and there is still plenty of time to take advantage of this great offer, which is good for two people on any day this month. Visitors can find the special downloadable October coupon at the Science Center’s website at www.nhnature.org. For more information, call the Center at 603-968-7194.
Mill Falls Blogging Team
photo courtesy of Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
Posted on September 30th, 2011 2 comments
Last Thursday, this lakeside resort broke ground for its latest project—an expansion that will bring 13 new deluxe lake-view rooms and suites, as well as 186 feet of additional lake frontage, to its most popular destination: Church Landing.
The Inns & Spa at Mill Falls has officially begun construction on Phase II of its Church Landing expansion, which will add two new buildings, The Birch Lodge and The Boathouse Lodge, to the south end of the property. The new buildings are being constructed on either side of the existing Lake Shore Cottage, which was recently renovated to include two unique suites overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. All three buildings will be attached to Church Landing via a covered cedar walkway, and all rooms will offer spectacular lake views, balconies, and screened porches. In addition, each room will have luxury amenities, including a fieldstone fireplace, wet bar, whirlpool bath, double glass and tile shower, and a bathroom LCD TV.
“We are thrilled to begin construction on this part of our expansion project,” says Rusty McLear, President and CEO of The Inns & Spa at Mill Falls. “Church Landing at Mill Falls continues to be enjoyed by tourists and residents alike, and these additions will certainly enhance our guests’ experience.”
The expansion will also feature a new lobby and game area, a second indoor/outdoor infinity pool with two Jacuzzis, an outdoor fire-pit and grille station for summer BBQs, a large sundeck with food and beverage service, and several new boat docks.
“We have a vast number of guests who regularly stay with us, and it’s exciting that each time they visit, we are adding more facilities and more options to consider, while keeping our focus on our core mission – unforgettable customer service,” says Gail Batstone, General Manager of The Inns & Spa at Mill Falls. Adds Michelle Brown, Director of Marketing at The Inns, “Church Landing is our most reserved property and on many occasions it is sold out.”
The expansion will be able to accommodate more fans of the Inns as early as next July, when construction on the project is expected to be completed. Phase I of the project was finished this past May, converting the carport at Church Landing into additional event space and dining areas. The new facility, called “The Carriage House,” now boasts 1,700 square feet of meeting space, an expanded lobby area with fourteen-foot ceilings, and sweeping views of Lake Winnipesaukee.
The Church Landing expansion promises to enrich the experience of visitors to Meredith as well as locals who enjoy events and spa services at Church Landing. It’s all part of the Inns’ mission to continually improve its facilities. As Ms. Batstone explains, “We often hear the comment, ‘so, what are you adding this year?!”
The Mill Falls Blogging Team
Posted on September 13th, 2011 No comments
Now that the kids are settled in at school, parents in the Lakes Region are enjoying their own ritual to acclimate to the season. A little pampering goes a long way after a busy summer, and the specialists at this Meredith resort are kicking off fall with great deals on amazing treatments to “relax, renew, and rejuvenate.” Cascade Spa at Mill Falls is hosting Back to Spa Week right now, and there’s still time to get in on some of the specials being offered…
9/12 Massage Monday
10% off a 50-minute or more service and a FREE aromatherapy upgrade.
9/13 Two For Tuesday
Take advantage of two 50-minute services and get the 2nd one ½ off.
9/14 Wax-Off Wednesday
Come in for a Lip and Brow Wax and receive a FREE Chin Wax.
G.M. Collin and Clarisonic are offering complimentary skin analysis and sonic cleansing from 9am – 3pm, (30 min). Reservations are required—call today!
9/15 Toes On Thursday
10% off Classic & Lake Stone Pedicures and a FREE bottle of nail polish.
9/16 Facial Friday
Receive a FREE Lip Blooming treatment with any 50-minute facial.
Cascade Spa also celebrates many other occasions throughout the year—stay tuned for more great offers! The spa can also be reached anytime at 866-719-0161 or 603-677-8620. Enjoy your week!
The Mill Falls Blogging Team
Posted on September 9th, 2011 No comments
When Heather Poire isn’t busy making everything perfect for guests who attend conferences and events at The Inns and Spa at Mill Falls, she is home cooking up a storm and sharing her creations online. Heather, who is the Inn’s Conference Coordinator by day, is also a brilliant chef and gourmand who whips up delicious meals and snacks, then posts her recipes on her own blog, complete with photos and background information on many of the recipes and ideas she comes up with. But what makes Heather’s blog special is its focus—all the dishes are vegan-friendly!
Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes is the name of Heather’s unique blog, inspired by the breakfast treats she and her partner make nearly every Sunday, along with the enjoyment of those special times. Her pancakes, and everything else she creates for the blog, contain no animal products, including eggs or dairy. Heather has been following a vegan lifestyle for almost a full year, after being a vegetarian for six years. “The transition for both becoming a vegetarian and vegan were pretty easy,” says Heather, “the most challenging part of being a vegan is the lack of knowledge people have about this life choice.”
Heather has enjoyed cooking since a young age and says she has become more serious within the past six years. “I majored in Lodging and Conference Management,” she explains. “Part of the curriculum was a few cooking classes: Buffet, Line Cooking, and Service—those classes served as a strong base. Vegetarian and vegan cooking was mainly self-taught.” Heather says she learned a lot through cookbooks and blogs. “The Internet is awesome for researching vegan alternatives!”
Heather creates about 90% of her recipes herself, with the other 10% based on blog recipes or cookbooks. “Seasonal produce and farmers markets are the inspiration for most of my recipes,” she says. “Fruits and vegetables that are in season and locally-grown are beautiful, and their taste surpasses those raised thousands of miles away for supermarkets.” With regard to altering traditional dishes, Heather adds, “Taking a non-vegan recipe and veganizing it is so rewarding!”
The inspiration for Heather to start her own blog was “to share vegan cooking with family, friends, and anyone wanting to see how easy it is to be a vegan without sacrificing taste and flavor.” When trying out new creations, Heather’s coworkers become her “guinea pigs,” and she shares recipes on Food Buzz and Food Gawker, as well. She says she has encouraged several people to give vegan fare a try, including a few coworkers and her sister. Some of her most popular recipes so far are the Peach Almond Upside Down Cake, her Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta, and the Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes.
With a goal to “show how easy it is to create fantastic vegan recipes, share my love of food, and beautiful photos of food,” it seems Heather has accomplished all these things with her blog. When asked if she misses anything from her pre-vegan days, she replies, “Surprisingly enough I don’t miss a thing—there are so many great alternatives and choices for vegans now it is so great!”
The Mill Falls Blogging Team
Photos courtesy of Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes
Posted on July 21st, 2011 No comments
The 3rd annual New Hampshire Dream Vacation Photo Contest is well under way, with dozens of visitors and residents of the state submitting their entries daily. This year, however, contestants have the opportunity to enter videos as well as photos, for another chance to win the NH vacation of their dreams!
The contest, hosted by the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development (DTTD), runs through Labor Day and features an online photo and video contest with two winners, one for each division. The winner of the photo contest receives a custom-designed New Hampshire Dream Vacation worth $2,500, and the winning videographer gets a $1,000 custom NH vacation. Three additional lucky contestants can each win $500 if their photo or video wins the popular vote. Irving Oil will also offer gas gift cards in the amount of $50 that will be awarded weekly to randomly selected participants.
“We encourage every NH resident and visitor to explore and enjoy the state, take photos and videos with the ‘I Love it Here’ signs along the way, and upload them to our site,” says Lori Harnois, Director of the New Hampshire DTTD. “We’re excited to have a video component this year, allowing contestants the chance to highlight a New Hampshire experience, whether it’s jumping in a lake, hiking a mountain trail or eating a favorite meal at a local restaurant. There is so much to enjoy while vacationing in our beautiful state and now you can show us how much you love it here!”
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 and/or 15-second videos of yourself or a travelling companion with the “I Love it Here” sign, making sure there’s an identifier in the photo, such as a location sign or easily-recognizable building. Upload one to five of these photos or videos to the contest website, where participants can vote on their favorites. Friends and family members can vote too! Many entries can also be seen on the Visit NH Facebook page.
Contest postcards with the “I Love it Here” signs are available at properties throughout the state, including all Welcome Information Centers. These postcards now feature a QR Code on the back, which can be scanned by smart phones, allowing users to upload photos and video to the contest website directly from their iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or other mobile device.
“Once again this summer, we expect residents will want to vacation right here in New Hampshire, and will spend time exploring the mountains, lakes, and seacoast,” says Harnois. “Snap some photos, shoot some video, have fun, and challenge yourself to find the best spot in NH!”
The Mill Falls Blogging Team
Posted on June 17th, 2011 2 comments
Next week, one of the most produced plays in history, On Golden Pond, is coming to Squam Lake—where the movie it inspired was filmed—and for the first time in its 33-year history, this legendary production will be directed by its Academy Award® winning author, Ernest Thompson.
The Little Church Theater, located on the shore of Squam Lake in Holderness, New Hampshire, will be home to On Golden Pond, which opens on the first day of summer, June 21st, and continues through July 3rd. It then runs again from August 23rd through September 4th. This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the film and the 250th anniversary of the town of Holderness.
On Golden Pond has been translated into 27 languages and has played in more than 40 countries. This version of On Golden Pond pays homage to New Hampshire, where Ernest lives and runs Whitebridge Farm Productions with partners Morgan Murphy and Lori Gigliotti Murphy. Featuring a cast of professional actors, this production takes Ernest back to the essence of a story that for three decades has continued to capture the imagination of audiences everywhere. One of the opening lines of the play, “Golden Pond is very near wherever you are,” is also its universal message. Says Ernest, “Everyone has a Golden Pond, an ideal, a fantasy, a home to go to, even if it’s only in a person’s dreams.”
The show will also highlight the world premiere of a brand new song, “The Father Daughter Dance,” recorded by musical legend Carly Simon and created by Carly, Ernest, and Joe Deleault. “When I hear Carly’s voice in ‘The Father Daughter Dance’… it makes me weep every time,” says Lori Gigliotti Murphy, who plays Chelsea in the show. Another new song, “On Golden Pond,” created by Ernest, Joe, and world-renowned fiddler, Natalie MacMaster, will premiere in this production as well.
Ernest promises a “wildly funny, yet very, very moving” production. In addition to Lori Gigliotti Murphy as daughter Chelsea, the cast includes Frank Wells as Norman, Vinette Cotter as his wife, Ethel, Morgan Murphy as Chelsea’s dentist boyfriend Bill, Kodiak Thompson as his son Billy, and Joe Sampson as Charlie, the Mailman. Ernest credits the actors with unearthing an On Golden Pond “that people didn’t know could exist. People will be surprised it’s funnier than the movie, but touching,” he says.
There is no better time to see this outstanding production of the classic American play, now coming to life on stage in the hands of its creator. Don’t miss On Golden Pond in the place where it all began! For more information or tickets, call 603-968-2250 or go to www.ongoldenpond.org.
The Mill Falls Blogging Team
photo courtesy of Whitebridge Farm Productions
additional source: article in The Citizen of Laconia
Posted on May 27th, 2011 No comments
This summer, visitors to the White Mountains and Lakes Region of New Hampshire will have more fun things to do thanks to Gunstock Mountain Resort. The multifaceted resort is building an adventure ropes course and a Segway™ tour route that will add to the many activities already offered at their recreation area in Gilford, NH.
The Aerial Treetops Adventure course is nearing completion at the new Gunstock Mountain Resort Adventure Park. It will consist 91 games that include 41 course challenges covering over 1000 feet, 22 ladders, and 12 zip lines totaling almost 1,400 feet in length. “The ATA course will be the largest high ropes, zip line and adventure course in New England,” says Bill Quigley, Director of Marketing and Sales at Gunstock. “While many are building fun things to stop traffic, ours is unique as it has been custom designed and built within the natural setting at Gunstock, taking advantage of beauty and topography of the 9 acres it covers.”
The Adventure Park will open on Friday, May 27th, just in time for Memorial Day weekend. The demo course and the five levels of adult courses will be ready for the holiday. The kids’ course is still under construction, and will be finished by mid-summer along with the zip line tours. “We are all very excited about the work that has been done since March 29th,” says General Manager Greg Goddard. “We still have work to complete the entire project by our target of early July, but the Aerial Treetop Adventure course is ready and better than we imagined.”
Also new at Gunstock is a Segway™ tour course, which utilizes the new Segway X2, an off-road version of their personal transportation machines. Gunstock now has the only authorized Segway off-road tour experience in New England. The course features some of the resort’s 50 miles of beautiful alpine and cross-country terrain, and guides will offer nature and historical tours of the area in this innovative new adventure.
Get ready for some new excitement this summer, and sign up for a Segway tour or visit the new Aerial Treetops Adventure course. These adventures are sure to become your next family vacation tradition! For more information or reservations, call 603-737-4388.
The Mill Falls Blogging Team
photo courtesy of Gunstock Mountain Resort