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68-room addition planned at Mt. Washington Hotel



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An architectural rendering of the proposed addition to the Mount Washington Hotel. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
May 23, 2018
CARROLL — The Mount Washington Hotel plans to add a new guest house annex, complete with some 68 individual rooms and even more beds, including tower corner suites.

The guest house will adjoin the spa and conference center. Four stories in all, it will form a solid 'L' of rooms, between 11 and 19 per floor, with a mix of regular and double queen rooms, and corner suites in the complex's hinge-point tower. Exterior doors will provide guests access to a grassy pathway around the hotel.

An existing park, walkway, and hot tub will be nearly enclosed by the addition. The pool proper (unheated, which the Romans would have called a frigidarium) will remain unshaded in its present location beside the spa complex.

The guest house will be built and adorned in similar style its parent building: white "Italian plaster" with stone at their base, topped with a deep red metal seem roof. The addition will take the hotel from 200 to 268 rooms. Economic speculators might note that such a large investment from Omni Resorts, the hotel's parent company, may indicate confidence for the near-future of the North Country tourist trade. Construction prices (one form of inflation) are expected to rise relatively quickly in the next few years, according to one area developer familiar with Carroll.

In addition, the hotel plans to add a rooftop bar atop the existing space and conference center, complete with covered sitting area

Hotel management will seek additional employees in front desk and housekeeping positions.

As reported, the resort is also adding significantly to its Bretton Woods ski area, with highlights including a new gondola lift and mountain-side restaurant.

Carroll-Twin Mountain is an area nexus for hospitality. At a recent development meeting in Littleton, a Plymouth-area ad man observed that Littleton's main shortcoming as a "destination" was its lack of hotel rooms, relative to its volume of visitors. He observed that many area tourists stay in Carroll, or Lincoln-Woodstock, or North Conway, instead of Littleton.

This may be an example of economic specialization, which reflects the unique challenges of the hospitality industry: hotels typically require much more robust utility capacity and fire services. Certain area towns, such as Carroll, Bethlehem, and Whitefield, have historically been centers of hospitality, which may reflect the tendency of the industry to concentrate. At least one area fire chief has attributed Bethlehem's unusually strong fire and rescue team to its long history of hosting (and extinguishing) grand old hotels.

Carroll is keeping a close eye on proceedings, with bi-monthly meetings and oversight by Fire Chief Oleson and the Select Board. Oleson is paying particularly close attention to the Bretton Woods expansion, and has expressed concern about the additional strain on public resources. Water, sewer, and fire-fighting resources are all areas of careful consideration for a pretty big expansion in a pretty small town.

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Martin Lord Osman
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