North Country open for business
Workers at the region's premier attractions are working to finish spring projects before the arrival of Memorial Day weekend guests.
At Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center, bicycle paths are being groomed. In Lincoln, the bears at Clark's Trading Post have all been awake and eating since March 29 — you can catch up with them on the attraction's Facebook page. Clark's opens for the season Saturday.
"If you look at the indicators for the summer, all the signs are very positive," said Jayne O'Connor, president of White Mountains Attraction Association. "The economy is stabilizing, consumer confidence is better than last year, and many of the attractions are in the middle of expansion plans."
The association's members — from Attitash Mountain Resort to Wildcat Mountain — are open this weekend, though most are open weekends only for the beginning of the season.
O'Connor said that both Whales Tale and Santa's Village are making additions to their waterparks, and that the Mount Washington Cog Railway and Auto Road are extending their customer time on the summit of the mountain.
Up through the notches, the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce has more events on its calendar this year.
"Tourism season is looking really good this year," said the chamber's Paula Kinney. "ATVing is big right now."
She said the chamber has received lots of calls about the July 26-27 Jericho ATV Festival. This year's festival includes a downtown block party on the evening of July 26.
Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce officials say things are looking good.
"All indicators, including strong holiday periods leading into summer, along with new features at attractions like a freefall Airbag Jump and Slacklines at Attitash, indicate that we're looking at a great summer season," Marti Mayne said.
Pamela Sullivan of New Hampshire Grand and Sullivan Creative said all signs are for a good Memorial Day Weekend.
"I have been talking with some of NH Grand Cooperative Marketing partners and people are making plans a bit ahead of last year," she said, noting promotion in Canada paid off with "an influx of Canadian visitors because of their long weekend last week."