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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!