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CNL wraps up $6.4 million preservation project at historic hotel

Joni Fournier, owner CNL Lifestyle Properties' representative and senior project manager for Consilium Partners of Denver, Colo., signed a sheet of metal after enjoying Thursday's construction luncheon that she hosted, as did others who worked on the $6.4 million 2012-2013 Mount Washington Hotel Preservation Project. Photo by Edith Tucker. (click for larger version)
November 20, 2013
BRETTON WOODS — The $6.4 million project to replace and insulate the Mount Washington Hotel's signature red roofs that was undertaken in 2012-2013 by the Grande Dame's owner, Florida-based CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc., is almost completed, with nearly all the scaffolding down.

Joni Fournier, the owner's representative and senior project manager for Consilium Partners of Denver, Colo., hosted a celebratory construction luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 14, in the Main Dining Room of the Grand Hotel that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark.

Forty construction company owners, managers, foremen, and workers who had worked on the project enjoyed Thursday's delicious buffet meal.

"If this had been a new construction project, then we would have had a 'topping out' celebration; this lunch is the equivalent," Fournier explained. "CNL wanted everyone involved in this large project to literally get a taste of what has been preserved." Before leaving, each signed a piece of metal sheeting that will be installed in the 400-suite tower on the hotel's south end.

"We hope that 50 or more years from now when workers again have to replace the roof that they will realize that in 2012-2013 others had laid the groundwork for them," Fournier said.

She also presented each with a Christmas ornament that she had fashioned from a brand-new shiny nut and bolt, sparkling ribbons, and a small bell, with a tag that reads: "Mount Washington Hotel Preservation Project — Built with lots of nuts and bolts, insulation and RED METAL. All united by LOVE."

Two foremen — Leland Kenison of Louis T. Memolo General Contractor of Gorham and Tom Simons of Rodd Roofing of St. Johnsbury, Vt. — played key roles in the project, Fournier explained.

Managing and moving the scaffolding was also an important element in keeping the project on schedule, and Justin Bittman of Manchester and Peter Boucher of Plymouth, Mass., both from New England Scaffolding of Brockton, Mass., were also on hand.

Steve LaFrance of Horizons Engineering of Littleton represented that firm, since those who had worked on project plans were unavailable.

A native of Bangor, Me., Fournier graduated as a construction management major in 1997 from UMaine Orono.

When she was asked if she had learned anything new while working on this project, Fournier replied, "What stands out more in my mind is what I have re-learned. Coming back to New England I have re-learned why I am so proud of my roots. Seeing guys like Leland (Kenison) and Tom (Simons) work with such passion and commitment is a reminder of what I think being a true New Englander means: Not being afraid of doing whatever it takes. I also try to follow those words in all I do in my work, but nothing beats seeing it first-hand by fellow New Englanders."

The project itself, she said, has served as reminder of the complexities it takes to coordinate projects of this nature: getting the building upgraded and managing guests' expectations the best we all can.

"It is an honor to be a facilitator of that effort, but it never could have been done without everyone involved: contractors, consultants, Omni, CNL and, of course, the guests," Fournier said. "We've done everything possible to minimize future maintenance."

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