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Granite State Ambassador Volunteer
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  • 03 Feb 2017 10:03 AM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    By GSA Tim Adams, Southern NH University Class of 2014

    I would expect that every GSA knows what the Omni Mount Washington Resort looks like. I mean, it is a Grand Hotel in the White Mountains and it is quite the Hotel!


    This past Thursday a group of us had the chance to both visit the hotel, get a bit of a tour of it, as well as a history lesson of the hotel itself. The hotel was built in for a cost of around $1.7 million dollars. Not a bad deal by today's standards, until of course you realize construction started back in 1900. today that cost would be closer to $45 million dollars!

    Joseph Stickney, a native of Massachusetts, had made a fortune by the age of 30, and along with a partner, purchased a nearby hotel and (apparently) caught the hotel fever and started construction on the Grand Mount Washington Hotel.

    His stating point was bringing in 250 Italian artisans to build it, mainly of granite and stucco masonry. Unfortunately, Joseph Stickney didn’t live long enough to really enjoy this new hot as he died within a year of its opening. While the hotel remained opened for many years, the nephew of Joseph Stickney widow did close it in 1942 and then sold it in 1944.

    It reopened, under the new owners in time to host ‘The Bretton Woods monetary conference' also in 1944. The choice of this hotel was based on both security and access. The trains from Boston made several trips a day so people could get to the conference but with only a couple of roads into the region, if needed, the area could be sealed off to protect the people already there. The mountains surrounding the region also worked as a security measure as not many groups were going to hike up and over them unseen.

    Today the hotel had been upgraded to many modern standards but still retain the elegance of the past. They offer almost anything a person might like while visiting. A large spacious dining room, sitting rooms, an indoor pool, a spa, and bar where you can sit back and relax after a day out sightseeing.

    Once the tour was done we drove over to the Bretton Woods ski area for lunch. I’ve never skied there so wasn't familiar with the parking lot of the main lodge but finally got settled in with a sandwich and drink.

    At some point during lunch my GSA badge came off my shirt but it was turned in to lost and found there at the lodge and so I retrieved it before heading home. After lunch everybody sort of headed their separate ways. Some for snowshoeing, some the spa, some snowboarding, zip lining, or alpine and Nordic skiing.

    Since I had never been Nordic skiing before I had decided to try that. Looking back I think I should have picked either snowshoeing or zip lining as the cross-country trails, while nice and groomed, were a base of ice with a couple inches of snow on top - not the kind of conditions a person likes, especially for their first time. I did however get out and got around one of their trails, of which there are many. IF the snow conditions had been better, I might still be out there even. The views were fantastic even with a low cloud cover and the temperature wasn’t so cold as to drive a person inside after just a brief stint out in it. All in all, a great day for a tour and a side adventure learning how to stand up on slippery skis with a little snow and lots of ice under them.

    You can view a few more of my pictures at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/h9ey26ow8o6f9aj/AACkdQZCJb-4p5lT__wBJsoxa?dl=0

    Tim

  • 02 Feb 2017 3:25 PM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    By:  Michelle Gittleson, NHGSA Intern

    The tour at the Omni Mt. Washington resort and Bretton Woods Ski resort was nothing short of amazing. It was a pleasure to put together this tour, and I want to thank Kelly for the opportunity, along with Travis, Craig and Jen for providing the tour and wonderful experience of playing on the mountain.

    Setting up tours for the New Hampshire Granite State Ambassadors benefits the tour host by giving them the opportunity to provide intimate information about themselves that is marketed to visitors in the most unique and direct of ways - via our volunteers. Our volunteers gain unforgettable experiences around the state, inspiring the guests that come to visit the same places we’ve toured!

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    We started off meeting in the lobby of the Omni Mount Washington Resort, where we were greeted with the utmost hospitality! Thank you again for greeting us, Travis! Craig, the hotel’s marketing manager delighted the group with a rich timeline of the grand hotel’s history, it’s original owners, and its changes through time. As we toured each room, we learned of the unique architecture and detailed, italian artisans interior work. It certainly is a grand hotel, with 200 rooms, and 1,200 associates on the property who all play key roles in helping it run as a well oiled machine. Although the hotel itself has undergone many changes in the last century, there are special details throughout that preserve and showcase its rich history, including “Caroline’s Table”, where the late French wife of the first owner sat to watch over her dining room. If you take a tour, you will see for yourself how each section of the hotel accommodates modern day needs while keeping pieces of the 1900’s intact. The chairs in the dining room are completely original, and the Audubon artwork is exquisite. We also visited their tea room, where you can reserve a table for authentic tea time with scones, and loose leaf tea blends made from Mt. Washington botanicals, and their prohibition era bar called “The Cave”. You’ll just have to see for yourself!

    During the hour long tour we were able to ask questions about the hotel and property itself, but also gain advice from Craig regarding what would be helpful to tell visitors prior to their stay. He suggested that the Granite State Ambassadors advise guests to book reservations for things they want to do ahead of time. They offer a plethora of activities to engage in, no matter what the season! During the winter they offer alpine and nordic skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, sledding, and a zipline canopy tour (Yes, all year long!). Craig stressed that in order for guests to have the best experience possible, booking ahead of time allows a guaranteed spot on the list and ensures a wonderful vacation! For a hotel that believes in the value of hospitality, seeing guests miss out on an adventure is never something the staff wants to see.

    After the morning tour of the hotel, we transitioned to Bretton Woods Ski Resort, where we were each provided a delicious hot meal from their cafeteria. The burgers were delicious! More fun followed afterward when we all split into our separate activities. They also graciously provided rentals to all who didn’t have their own gear. Thank you again!

    It’s clear that every GSA who attended this tour had a great time participating in each activity. You can find their comments at the end of this article. Some visited the slopes and trails while others enjoyed the spa, and we even had one person do the canopy tour as well! As Craig told the GSAs -  “You guys are the point of the spear!” As New Hampshire Granite State Ambassadors, we have quite a privilege to encounter visitors and enlighten them on all our state has to offer - and it is especially meaningful when we can draw from our own delightful experiences. We are thankful for the opportunity to gain intimate knowledge of this admirable estate!
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    For more information on upcoming events and activities offered at the Omni Mount Washington, check out their events & activities calendar on their website! http://brettonwoods.com/activities/event

    You do not have to be a guest to participate in specific activities, including hour long hotel tours offered at 10 am and 3 pm, tea in their historic tea room, and much more. Just make sure you call to reserve a spot!


    GSA Impressions of the Omni Mt. Washington & Bretton Woods Ski Resort:

    “I loved the history and magnificent beauty of the building.  I have always wanted to visit there.  It was interesting to hear about the history of ownership and its construction. I did not realize there was so much more going on there than just a hotel.  It really is a resort filled with a variety of fun things to do. While on the tour I did beginners alpine skiing.  The slopes were very wide and gentle. The staff at the chair  lift  were very accommodating to beginners.  If I were to go again I would probably try the canopy tour.   Although the spa and pool looked very inviting. Thank you so much for the opportunity to experience this beautiful resort.”
    ~ Rosemarie C


    “The Mount Washington Hotel is always awesome, but hearing about the history and how that is intertwined with the community and expansion of the community of Bretton Woods was great. Craig, our hotel guide, was full of so many good stories.   We could have sat with him the whole afternoon.  Our stroll through the main lobby was like going back in time. The Spa area was calm and relaxing.  Staff were so welcoming and were anxious to make it a great experience.  Very private and personal. A big THANK YOU to everyone!! The day was perfect. ~ Mary O

    “Thank you for the opportunity to attend the Mount Washington Resort tour. I was very impressed with the history of the hotel and the innovations and forethought that went into the building of the hotel.  I almost wish I was a guest way back when!  But now, I will surely return to stay at the hotel, especially when the Glenn Orchestra will be performing. I enjoyed the alpine skiing.  It felt so good to be out in the glorious White Mountain's fresh air!  Lunch was delicious and gave me the necessary energy I needed to ski! In the future, I would like to try cross-country skiing and the spa. Having been a guest at this hotel, I enjoyed many of the amenities and, of course, The Cave.  Staying at the Mountain Washington Hotel is an experience all visitors to NH would enjoy.” ~ Rita G

    “I really enjoyed our tour and had been looking forward to it ever since it was announced. While there I snowboarded at Bretton Woods. It was a great opportunity, because I probably wouldn't have gotten up there to experience it otherwise. My favorite part of the resort's history was standing in the Gold Room, where the monetary council was signed in 1944. I am not a history buff, but I found it really neat that something that affects me so much today (the value of currency) was determined in that very room. I think a guest at the hotel would most enjoy all the mountain vistas from the comfort of that grand building. I would especially love eating breakfast in the dining room beside those huge windows. I wished our tour had been more extensive. We definitely didn't get to see the whole hotel, or even go up the stairs. It definitely felt incomplete. When I got home I was still pumped up from my great day and couldn't wait to tell everyone about it! Thank you GSAs!” ~ Ellyn G CNHCC Intern

    “The beauty of the Mount Washington Hotel and its majestic setting can literally take your breath away.  A magnificent grand hallway with cozy fireplaces leads you to spectacular views from the formal dining room and the classic wrap around verandas. It is difficult to find enough superlatives to describe the Mount Washington resort and Bretton Woods ski area. As my activity I chose to snowshoe instead of ski as I am a little hesitant about falling. We met after lunch at the Cross Country field office near the hotel which I believe doubles as the golf club during the warm months. From here you can choose to cross country ski, snowshoe or ride fat tire bikes (looks very interesting) on prepared trails through the golf course and into the woods. Inside the clubhouse is a lovely fireplace and small eating area. As a beginner at snowshoeing I was very appreciative of the assistance provided by the staff at the center. They made it easy and enjoyable. The day made me feel invigorated and happy. I felt that I was spending the day closer to nature in a relaxing and beautiful setting. I think my favorite part of the tour was the hotel itself with its spectacular verandas - both front and back - and the main hallway. I love the design and the warmth of the roaring fireplace as you enter. I did not experience the skiing this time but have many times in the past and fondly remember the wide slopes with a view of Mount Washington that is unforgettable. I believe this may be one of the best views in the state. The fact that the international monetary conference was convened here in 1944, setting the price of gold and the US dollar as the international standard makes this place a historical gem. On a more personal note I loved the story about the original owner Joseph Stickney’s widow, Carol Foster Stickney, who would summer there and watch as people entered the dining room and change if someone was better dressed than she! Also when you go, make sure you check out the carpets and pictures throughout the hotel. They reflect the flora, fauna and wildlife that is indigenous to the area. Craig, our tour guide, is full of incredible stories and tidbits about the hotel and its history. His tour helps to set the mood for your visit.

    If you are visiting our wonderful state and plan to go to the White Mountains you must visit the Mount Washington Hotel even if it is only for a quick drink on their outstanding wrap around veranda. But given all the options that are offered it would be better to plan a stay for a few days so you can immerse yourself in its beauty and history. You too will return with a new zest for life. I personally would like to return to try the spa and zip lining.” ~ Kathryn S


    “The tour of Bretton Woods was awesome on so many levels; and of course we’re always looking forward to more opportunities like that.”  ~ Howie W

    “I want to express my appreciation for the familiarization tour of the hotel and ski area on Thursday, January 19th.  Although I ski at Bretton Woods often, I was not very familiar with the hotel and all that it has to offer.

    I must say that the ski area continues to live up to its amazing reputation for impeccable grooming and fantastic ski conditions. It is a cruiser's paradise with occasional challenges like Bode's Run and Deception Bowl.

    The overall resort has so many recreational options.  I was glad to learn that the zip line operates in winter.  The nordic ski trail network and dog sledding are also wonderful attractions on the hotel side of Route 302.  During the tour you acknowledged that the Mt. Washington is a luxury hotel but that more affordable accommodations for the budget conscious are available in other buildings on the property. That is good to know.  Also good to know is that guests planning a stay at the Mt. Washington are well advised to book their excursions in advance if they wish to go dog sledding or whatever.

    The history behind the property is fascinating.  So I was glad to learn that guests can go on daily historical tours of the hotel. The fact that the underground cocktail lounge was once an actual "speak easy" serving "imported" Canadian spirits was especially interesting.

    I frequently greet incoming guests at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport on their way to the Mt. Washington Hotel.  I always tell them that they are in for a treat.  Now I will have more to tell them about what to expect when they get there. “ Maurice D


    “The day began with a drive north on Route 93,  which was an absolutely beautiful winter wonderland on both sides of the highway. Trees covered with fresh snow, and better yet,  the roads were clear and driving was easier than I had predicted. This reinforced one of the reasons I do love NH in the winter!.   Upon arrival at the Omni Mount Washington, the elegance and majesty of the hotel and grounds was spectacular as well. I was very impressed with the in-depth tour provided by Craig. He was clearly "at home" at the hotel, and had a passion for the historical details of the structure, and the people who are part of it's history. The tour was detailed and included snippets of history, including what china and furniture was original to the hotel... amazing!

        A complimentary lunch over at the Downhill Ski area was great, and gave us all a sense of the quality of the food and offerings to skiers. The staff was friendly, concerned that they got our order "right"  and it was fun mingling with the skiers coming in for a break.  Being a weekday, it was pleasantly crowded, but not packed. After lunch, I personally checked out some of the rental options,  but then made my way to the activity I chose... the spa.    

        I must admit, I didn't realize that the spa was different from the indoor pool and jacuzzi. I learned it's operated separately from the hotel's facilities, and I felt that when I went down the elevator to the reception area, I entered another world. Soft music played, colors of walls and furnishing were soft and there were no clocks, TVs, or other distractions. I was led by an attendant on a brief tour of the facilities, which included a sauna, steam room emanating eucalyptus fragrance,  showers and changing areas, locker room,  "relaxation rooms"  both private and a larger one leading out to the outdoor jacuzzi.      Amenities included fresh ice water infused with fruit, healthy snacks like pecans cashews, and other nuts,  and soft lights and curtains produced a very peaceful ambiance. I felt immediately relaxed as I donned my complementary large plush white robe and headed for  the outdoor jacuzzi, which was the perfect temperature.   Bubbles gently massaged me as the snow flurries fluttered down,  while I had a view of the mountain,  obscured at the top by clouds. Gentle music played, but was best appreciated when the bubble machines stopped periodically... the water was crystal clear, and an attendant appeared periodically providing either complimentary flavored water or orders from the bar.     I thought I would only stay there for a half hour or so... but two hours later (taking breaks to cool down occasionally)  I hated to leave. The shower, steam room, and changing areas were thoughtfully stocked with whatever I might have wanted or needed. 

     A few other guests I spoke with told me this was not their first visit, and they considered this spa the best one they had ever been to. One couple deliberately came to the Omni Spa for Sunday - Thursday mostly because there were not so many people, but also because the prices were less. This trip they left their kids home, and didn't even ski, just enjoyed the Spa for several days! My only slight regret was that I underestimated how much I would enjoy the experience, and that I didn't allow enough time to leisurely enjoy more of the offerings. Would I consider returning...  Absolutely! “ ~ Jean S

    GSA Tim A, wrote a wonderful article about our day. Click here to read it. http://nhgsa.com/Blog/4589421


    Thank you for allowing me to take part in the tour of the Omni Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods on Friday (January 19).

    As you know I have a website (www.images-of- new-hampshire- history.com) devoted to the rich history of New Hampshire. I have taken many photographs of the Mount Washington Hotel exterior and surrounding landscape, but had never been inside before. I was very excited to get this opportunity.

    The morning started with a tour of the Hotel . It was interesting to learn many new facts about the hotel I did not know. The story of Joseph and Carolyn Stickney, the transformation of a 3 season hotel into a year round thriving resort. Having the last name of Marsh, I was particularly interested in the relationship of the Mt Washington Hotel and the Cog Railway (Designed by Sylvester Marsh). Sylvester was nicknamed “Crazy Marsh” for his “Railway to the Moon” and thereafter on the tour I was dubbed “Crazy Marsh”

    The Tour was not only of historical value, but also gave me valuable information regarding what the Hotel has to offer for its guests. Besides the skiing both at the Nordic trails at the hotel and nearby Bretton Woods , guests can also enjoy a relaxing swim in the pool, several shops ranging from souvenirs to clothing and jewelry and a movie theatre. A self-sustaining facility, the hotel also has its own Post Office.

    To experience first hand the many activities available at the resort, I elected to try Nordic skiing for the first time in 25 years. I would often go with my children on the Kancamagus highway. Although the equipment has changed for the better in 25 years, I still remembered how to glide and really enjoyed the peacefulness of the wooded trails and the beautiful view of the back side of the hotel.

    As my opportunities to volunteer hopefully increase, each tour of the beautiful places New Hampshire has to offer will make me a more informed Granite State Ambassador and a helpful resource to the “Guests” visiting the Granite State.


  • 02 Feb 2017 10:07 AM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)
    People, Places and activities from Central NH

    By Ellyn Gibbs, intern for Central NH Chamber of Commerce

    I lifted my salt-crusted boots gingerly across the custom-weave carpet in the Mount Washington Hotel lobby, scanning the grand room for a familiar face. It didn't take long to spot who I was searching for - a large group in forest green shirts and khaki pants clustered in front of the hotel fireplace, savoring the mountain view through the surrounding expanse of windows.

    Last week, I joined the Granite State Ambassadors (GSA) group on their January tour to the Omni Mount Washington Resort and Bretton Woods. Many of these volunteer men and women had come from as far as Manchester to experience this jewel of the White Mountains. Our tour took us through the polished round dining room with fresh flowers on every table, the Princess Room, the "cave" bar, and the Gold Room where the monetary council met in 1944. We finally landed at the ski lodge for lunch and finished the day on the ski slopes.

    I was excited to experience these places for myself, but I was also eager to watch the GSAs in action. This group's mission is "dedicated to meeting and exceeding the informational needs of guests and residents of the state of New Hampshire through in-depth training and active participation of our certified Ambassadors." These GSAs are valuable sources for our community and tourists, but they are also valuable promoters of our chamber businesses.  

    In their twenty years of existence, the GSAs have toured facilities like Alpine Adventures, Indian Head Resort, Branch Brook Campground, Waterville Valley Resort, and others. They experience these places firsthand in order to educate others who are visiting the state. "Our GSAs volunteer at over twenty welcome and information centers around the state, as well as over twenty special events like the Farm & Forest Expo, the Made in NH Expo, and more," said Kelly Bryer, Executive Director of the Granite State Ambassadors.

    Bryer quoted numbers from independentsector.org, which stated that in 2016, 298 volunteers served 19,351 hours and assisted 97,360 guests for a value of $460,371. Each year, New Hampshire certifies about 100 new GSAs, some volunteers, and some tourism industry employees.

    If you are interested in hosting a group of GSAs at your facility for an educational tour, contact Kelly at kelly@nhgsa.com

    You can expect results from these industrious New Hampshirites. After our tour to Bretton Woods, GSA Maurice Demers said, "I frequently greet incoming guests at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport on their way to the Mount Washington Hotel.  I always tell them that they are in for a treat. Now I will have more to tell them about what to expect when they get there."

    If you're interested in becoming a GSA yourself, check out this link for information on the required classes, offered in Manchester, Peterborough, Waterville, and Concord on different dates through spring 2017.

    At their core, the GSAs believe that we the people should take responsibility for our home and future, and do our part to protect the living landscapes that make our state so exceptional. They are ready to bring success to our area and your business!

        

  • 31 Dec 2016 5:08 PM | Claire Moorhead (Administrator)

    I am combining a couple of recent blogs sent on to us by GSA Moe Demers - Comfort Inn Airport Class of 2011

    From earlier in December...

    There is a light at the end of the tunnel as far as the renovations at MHT are concerned! The renovated Hudson News near gate 8 that is pictured here should be open by the time you read this.

    Next door to the Hudson News, the bagel shop that you see here will closed by the end of the year. Construction will then begin on a new Burger King. It should be completed sometime this winter. We frequently get requests for a McDonalds type eatery. There hasn't been one at MHT for a long time, so this should be well received. 

     

     

     

    From December 20th...

    Today I was dressed in seasonal attire. Passengers were in a happy mood and many wished me a Merry Christmas!

    In the American Airlines departure lounge three college age women were practicing a very intricate choreographed dance routine. Although they seemed very intent on getting it right, they were also having a ball!

    Later I encountered a Southwest Airlines flight attendant who was wearing a Santa Clause suit over her official uniform. No doubt she was intent on lightening the mood on her upcoming flight!

    In the Southwest Airlines departure lounge I met Army Command Sergeant Major Bob Stewart. CSM Stewart resides in Florida and travels the country recruiting Veterans to attend Southern New Hampshire University. Officially he is known as the Assistant Director of Military Initiatives. He explained that much of the training Veterans receive in the service can be counted as college credit. Thus, Veterans can sometimes complete their degree in a relatively short period of time. Bob's goal is to help them document the qualifying training and to assist them in finding sufficient financial aid, such as the GI Bill, so that they can attend college at little or no cost.

    On this trip he attended a function for sailors at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. But he was anxious to return to the relative warmth of Florida!

    Happy Holidays everyone!


  • 28 Dec 2016 12:43 PM | Claire Moorhead (Administrator)

    ­NHGSA volunteers and friends,
    I am sorry to announce that GSA Al Peters passed away on December 12, 2016.


    Al was a member of the Kancamagus Class of 1998 and had accumulated 1,873.85 hours mostly at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. In 2011, Al was honored by his peers with the Hospitality from the Heart award at the AMBIE awards.

    Al had a rich and interesting life and will be remembered for his gentle demeanor, sense of humor, wonderful story telling, and devotion to his family. He will be dearly, dearly missed.

    Services: A calling hour will be on December 30 from 9:30 – 10:30 am at Goodwin Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 607 Chestnut Street, Manchester, NH.  There will be a reflection on Al’s life at 10:30, also at Goodwin Funeral Home with internment to follow at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Boscawen with military honors. 



    You can read his full obituary at
    http://www.goodwinfh.net/obituaries/?slug=alexander-george-peters-manchester-new-hampshire/141#sthash.V9pNzY26.dpuf

  • 23 Dec 2016 9:14 AM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    Thank you for 20 fantastic years! We are excited for what comes next and for you to be part of it.

    In January, we will announce this year's GSA certification training locations and dates. We are excited to bring another enthusiastic group of new GSAs into our organization. For those who are currently on our wait list, watch your email for the announcement.

    Support What You Love
    If you love being a GSA, and what it brings to your life, please consider a year-end tax-deductible donation to support our organization. We appreciate donations of any amount and you are welcome to choose where your dollars are spent.

    In 2016, NH Granite State Ambassadors certified almost 90 new GSAs; went on 14 educational tours; provided 52 different volunteer opportunities at centers, events, and trainings; managed the MHT information booth and walk-abouts; hosted our annual AMBIEs Awards Luncheon; presented 5 industry customer service workshops; participated in several informational and safety meetings; celebrated our 20th Anniversary; and had our first online auction. We have even more planned for 2017!

    Click here to donate online or you can send a check to our finance office at: NHGSA 241 Pine Street, Suite 1  Manchester, NH 03103.

    Thank you again for being part of what makes NH Granite State Ambassadors great!

    Proud to be a GSA,
    Kelly

  • 04 Dec 2016 10:24 AM | Claire Moorhead (Administrator)

    By:  Sue Geyer – Currier Museum Class of 2010

    What a fantastic get-together the GSAs had at Fratello’s Italian Grill in Manchester! We gathered in their upstairs lounge during the afternoon so we could mingle and socialize. The setting was perfect, complete with tiny white Christmas lights and greenery with red ribbons, while holiday tunes played quietly in the background. There were plenty of couches and comfy chairs near a welcoming fire, as well as some nearby tables and chairs.

    A few of us shared some very tasty appetizers, while others enjoyed some of their other larger offerings like lasagna or sandwiches.  Most of us also enjoyed a libation as well, and everyone seemed quite pleased!

    Our server, Ashley, was fabulous! She was very personable, efficient, and always available when anyone needed anything.

    The folks I worked with at Fratello’s, Loretta and Keith, were also excellent. They were so flexible and accommodating as we came up with plans that worked for us during their very busy holiday season. We really appreciated their efforts. Fratello's is definitely a first-class establishment.

    Thanks to all that were able to join us. It was a relaxing, fun time, with some great folks, naturally!

    Wishing everyone a very happy and safe holiday season and a wonderful New Year. See you next year!

    See More Photos below:

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • 22 Nov 2016 12:22 PM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)
    By: Michelle Gittleson, NHGSA Intern Student

    Formerly known as Milly’s tavern, Stark Brewing Company is turning heads with it’s innovative craft brewery and distillery. The only combined brewery and distillery in New Hampshire! Owner Peter Telge, and his staff hosted the New Hampshire Granite State Ambassadors for a tour and their hospitality was wonderful.

    With a beautiful revamped Manchester mill, the Stark Brewing Co. has constructed its location to meet the needs of all – with a pub, dining area, brewing area, distillery, and banquet room. It is interesting to note that the pub, dining area, banquet room, and beers are named after German Shepherd Dogs that Peter has owned through the years!

    Peter started off by educating the volunteers about the rich history of the company, the uniqueness of the building, and the licensing that Stark had to obtain in order to become the first dual brewery and distillery. During the tour, we got to see first hand some of the ins and outs of the brewing and distilling processes, along with how they package their beers.

    The 6 pack holders are made from 96% recycled materials and they can about 10-12 per minute, shipping cases of 100 to stores around NH.

    Stark believes that cans are growing in popularity in the industry due to low shipping costs and the proven statistic that they are 5x more likely to be recycled than bottles. They also embrace recycling during their Grumpy Pumpkin brewing process by trading their used grain and barley with fresh organic pumpkins from a local farmer. Everyone agreed it was one of the best pumpkin brews they’d ever tasted!

    In between exploring each section of Stark, the volunteers were able to try a couple of signature apps on the pub’s menu and sample beer and vodka as well. The chicken tenders were amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed the beverages too! Stark also uses their beer in multiple dishes on the menu and have a variety of brews fit for anyone’s pallet.

    They are a busy place – Hosting poetry nights, salsa lessons, sports teams, board game competitions, birthdays, and more! There is definitely something for everyone! They have earned over 20 medals during tasting competitions around the world. Our volunteers were delighted with the visit and have already been telling many locals and visitors of NH to go check out Stark Brewing Co.

    Stark Brewing Co.’s signature beer and vodka can be found at local grocery and liquor stores. They hope to expand their shipping to nationwide very soon. Check them out at 500 N Commercial St, Manchester, NH and combine your visit with other breweries on the Visit NH Brewery Map.

    http://starkbrewingcompany.com/

    Below you can read some of the thoughts and comments from our GSAs who attended:

    “There was a lot of information shared on both your history and brewing. The IPA beer (my beer of choice) was excellent! I did not realize how accessible your brewery was for those in vehicles and that you have a wonderful room for events or group gatherings. This is a huge bonus. I have already started sharing my new found knowledge with friends and guests. By the way the chicken tenders are very tasty. Thank you for providing us with this excellent learning opportunity. “ – Kathryn S.

    “The tour of the Stark Brewery was wonderful, very enlightening and tasty. It was interesting to learn about all the various beers they brew and distribute. Their canning process was fascinating. It was fairly simple and quite a bit of it was manual. The description of the process where a number of people handle the various steps was great. It’s amazing how many cases of beer they can process in a day. I enjoyed hearing about their arrangement with a farm. They give them the output of their brewing process, which is used for feed, and in turn the farm gives them pumpkins for their seasonal ale. What a great setup! And the pumpkin ale was great! The food we sampled was delicious. They have a great setup for handling events with a few different rooms and an accommodating attitude. Thanks to Peter for an excellent tour!” – Sue G

    “I really enjoyed the tour and thought Peter was warm and anxious to show how proud he is of the brewery and restaurant. The food he had them put out was great and that encourages me to recommend this to people I meet. The beer and of course the vodka I tasted I also thought was very good. The stories he told were entertaining and I did learn some things about making vodka!  Thank you for arranging this tour.” – Nancy S.

    “Hi Peter: I enjoyed your informative tour of Stark Brewery Co. That knowledge will come in handy when I volunteer at MHT to visitors coming to NH. Your samples of vodka and beer were great….loved the appetizers especially the award winning chicken tenders.” Thanks so much. Lorry Y. GSA 2006

    “I had a great time at the brewery. They are very knowledgeable about their craft. I live very close but was unaware of their existence and that their was a restaurant as well. The chicken tenders were awesome. Everyone was so nice and very accommodating. I have been recommending this place to many people already.” – Rose Marie C

    “The Vodka was smooth as silk. It would be a shame to add orange juice to it.” – Tony E


  • 12 Sep 2016 1:22 PM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    By: Paul and Vicki  Hentschel
    Class of 2011 Mount Sunapee Lodge

    We traveled south to Exit 25 on Friday to join the GSA Tour of the Squam Lake area.  We are not as familiar with this area as we are with the White Mountain area, so it was a wonderful learning opportunity for us.

    Meeting at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, we were greeted by Amanda Gillen, and then we walked a short distance to the docks to board the boat and begin our tour.  The weather could not have been more perfect.  Captain Don welcomed us and we were soon off for a 90 minute cruise.  As we headed out to Rockywold/Deephaven Camp, Capt. Don pointed out the sights.  What a view of Rattlesnake Mountain!

    We docked at Rockywold-Deephaven and were greeted by Kathy Wheeler.  She brought us for a short walk where we were able to visit some of the buildings and hear all about the Camp life.  Very funny to  hear about “death’s row” seating at the dining hall.

    Back on the boat, we made our way back to the dock.  We were all having lunch thoughts by now, and were happy to arrive at the Squam Lake Marketplace.  Many of us had pre-ordered box lunches.  We picked them up and brought them to the Picnic area at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center to enjoy.  We had ordered the grilled BLT and roast beef/boursin sandwiches.  They were delicious, and came with a drink, chips, and a nice freshly baked cookie. Time for a nap!!  No, we still had time to stroll the Squam Lake Natural Science Center at our own pace and visit many of the exhibits.  This is a really pleasant, clean, family oriented attraction.  You could easily spend a whole day there.

    Back to our cars, as we were on our way to visit the Inn on Golden Pond!  Bill and Bonnie Webb welcomed us and Bill told us a little about the history of the Inn. We all enjoyed the peaceful setting, as well as the refreshments!  As we ended the tour at the Inn, Paul and I could not wait to get home and watch “On Golden Pond” on Netflicks.

    As a side note… GSAs have a nice perk from Jean’s Playhouse in Lincoln.  They are presenting “On Golden Pond’ in October.  GSAs need only to show their membership card and can purchase their ticket for 1/2 price.  The Theatre runs a $15 ticket special for NH residents on Friday evenings – so the GSAs can get a ticket on a Friday evening for $7.50!

    Following are more thoughts and observations from GSAs who attended the Holderness/Squam Lake Tour…..

    I thoroughly enjoyed the lunch prepared by Squam Lake Marketplace. The bread was delicious, the sandwich totally tasty and the cookie was really, really good. Thank you for giving us a great lunch at a great price.
    In looking around the Market, I could see it was a place I could stop for all kinds of goodies, and I’ll be sure to recommend it whenever I speak with someone headed your way.
    — Marty Wagner

    The Inn on Golden Pond is such a lovely and welcoming place – your many years of work really shows. As I toured the house, I loved the uniqueness of each room, but also couldn’t get over the spaciousness of each room. Each was special.
    I often stay in B&Bs, and when I volunteer at the Canterbury and Hooksett North Welcome Centers, I speak with many visitors to NH who are looking for that same homelike experience. I’ll be sure to recommend your inn often.
    Thanks again for allowing us to tour AND also all the tasty snacks you had for us.
    — Marty Wagner

    I loved this tour of Squam Lake. I had never been there and was surprised at the historic cabin site of Rockywold-Deephaven Campground. This is a beautiful get away locaton – a hidden gem! It was a lovely day for the pontoon boat ride and all the people are warm and inviting. I also was not aware of the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center arranged in the woods. What a wonderful place the spend an afternoon with the family. Double thumbs up to a wonderful day. Thanks everyone.
    — Rose Marie Cusson

  • 11 Sep 2016 1:25 PM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    By Michelle Gittleson, GSA Intern

    Today I accompanied Kelly and 21 other GSA’s for a tour of the Holderness / Squam Lake area. We began by meeting at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness and taking a boat tour of Squam.  We enjoyed the natural beauty and scenery of the lake with our tour guide and then made a stop at  Rockywold-Deephaven family camps.

    Once we arrived at Rockywold-Deephaven, we took a quick tour of the camp with the General Manager, Kathy Wheeler. We learned some of the history of the camp, the plethora of activities that families can partake in while staying there, the ice harvesting process that gives the camp an old, authentic feel, and toured some of the buildings – including their 16 person lodge on the water, their dining hall and recreational locations. I had no idea all this

    was there! The camp sits below Rattlesnake Mountain on the water and is so popular that they have families that have been returning every summer for over 10 years.

    I felt very welcomed by all of the volunteers and had pleasant conversations with them throughout the day, talking about their volunteer experiences and the love they have for NHGSA.

    Our next stop was the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, which was the highlight of the day for me – due to meeting the otters and raptors! Many of the volunteers were pleasantly surprised and may have been expecting the center to be something different. I overheard a lot of positive comments, and by listening I was able to better grasp how their personal experiences add a lot of value to their welcome centers, and to visitors’ perception of our state.

    Our last stop was the Inn on Golden Pond, a quaint Inn with a lot of charm. They hosted us with fun snacks, and gave us a run-down of the buildings history, the changes they’ve made, the work they do and the visitors they receive. Many people who are familiar with the movie “On Golden Pond” enjoyed taking pictures with the Inn on Golden Pond sign out in front of the Inn. The Webb’s seem to enjoy owning the business very much, and were gracious hosts. Many of the volunteers seemed thrilled to be there, and very interested in the history of the Inn. We were all able to tour at our leisure and I especially liked that each room was different.

    It was a wonderful first day as an intern with NHGSA and definitely made a lasting first impression! I was able to gain knowledge of just how valuable this organization is and was very thankful to have the opportunity to tour the area.

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