Some say it was the weather, while others said it’s an improving economy and lower gas prices. No matter what position you take, there is one thing that’s certain, our Lakes Region enjoyed impressive crowds over the long 4th of July weekend. My take on it is that the Lakes Region has evolved into a premiere summer destination market, which draws from a larger demographic audience each year.
As I drove around the Lakes Region distributing our real estate magazine, I was so impressed with the quantity and quality of events and activities taking place over the big weekend. I was seeing license plates from numerous states, with families out completely immersed in all of the wonderful activities our Lakes Region offers.
I stopped at Gunstock Mountain Resort and could not believe the parking lot, it looked like the middle of ski season. Cars were extended out beyond the main parking area and there were long lines of families leading into the ticket office, purchasing passes for Gunstock’s popular zip lines, aerial tree top adventure park, Segway tours and children’s Discover Zone. There were mountain bikers and the campground was completely full. Additionally, there was a major craft fair, with all sorts of handmade offerings on display. The new Landing Zone outdoor restaurant was full of tourists overlooking the Discover Zone, while zip liners were flying past overhead. I took a look at the new state of the art mountain coaster, which is nearing completion, and I was amazed to think of Gunstock has accomplished. The Mountain Coaster at a cost of approximately $2.6 million will be another major attraction and draw for the Lakes Regions premiere resort property.
Greg Goddard, the General Manager of Gunstock Mountain Resort, has done a phenomenal job in bringing Gunstock to the level that it is at today. His vision and execution has been spot on. He has taken what was once primarily a winter resort, into a year round, first class family destination. Greg’s vision and implementation could not be possible without the quality, hardworking employees he surrounds himself with at Gunstock. The resort has brought families off the lake and tied them into the outdoor adventure experience that so many of us are looking for. It is truly a first class operation and provides an economic boost to the Lakes Region.
On Sunday, I had the opportunity to take in a Keith Urban concert at the Bank of NH Pavilion. The Saturday show was a huge success, where he sold out and on Sunday the event was nearly sold out too. As I looked around the amphitheater I saw thousands of cheering and happy fans, enjoying a world class concert. I saw license plates all the way from California coming into the venue and I talked to two couples from Toronto, Canada, who were taking in their 126th Keith Urban concert. They absolutely loved the Lakes Region facility and I was completely blown away to see how far they traveled. I have got to say that Bob Harding, the developer of Meadowbrook, must be looking down from the heavens with a big smile on his face, because he sure created one fabulous cultural facility, that has been a tremendous draw to the area.
When I drove through Meredith there were lines coming out of the town docks and children waiting to get ice-cream. There were 6,000 rubber ducks that were launched from the top of the waterfall, at Meredith Mills Falls for the 26th annual lions club rubber duck race. There were 100’s of boats floating on Meredith Bay enjoying the fireworks, similar to what you saw in Laconia at Opechee park for a huge 4th of July celebration. In Wolfeboro tons of boaters at the town docks to mill around the oldest summer resort in America and there were waiting lines in the many restaurants and pubs throughout the entire Lakes Region. Going through Weirs Beach the parking lots were overflowing and the beach was completely full of tourists enjoying wonderful summer heat. Likewise, at Ellacoya State Beach in Gilford and Wellington State Park on Newfound Lake.
The Lakes Region’s 273 lakes, ponds and rivers offer so much to explore, with our unspoiled towns, villages and myriad of hiking trails webbed across our old verdant hills. It’s not just our natural resources that make up the Lakes Region. It’s the friendly, family orientated atmosphere which we here in our beautiful Lakes Region and the multitude of events and activities that keep drawing families back year after year.
Written by Frank Roche, president of Roche Realty Group in Meredith and Laconia. Frank can be reached at 603-279-7046.
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