Glen House project alive but still on hold
September 29, 2010
GREEN'S GRANT — A new multi-million-dollar Glen House will likely rise on the west side of Route 16 north of the Mt. Washington Auto Road entrance at some time in the future.
"We continue to explore other financing options and different scenarios that will help this project go forward," explained Howie Wemyss, general manager of the Auto Road-Great Glen Trails in an e-mail exchange. "The company is committed to building the new Glen House not only for the direct benefit to the Auto Road and Great Glen Trails, but also for the greater good that it will do for the region in the way of jobs, economic value to local vendors, and the sizable increase to the Coös County tax base."
The decision to actively continue pursuing the project was made last week at a meeting with representatives of the family-owned Mount Washington Summit Road Co. (MWSR) and the Glen House LLC, Mr. Wemyss explained.
When the then-$13.5 million project was first discussed, schematic drawings were presented to the Coös County Planning Board for the Unincorporated Places for a hotel on the east side of Route 16 to be built in time for the Auto Road's 150th anniversary in 2011. There was too much ledge at that particular location, however, and the hotel's proposed location was moved to the site on which the original Great Glen Trails base lodge was located. That building was destroyed in an explosion and fire on March 23, 2001.
When bank financing turned then out to be in short supply, however, the project was scaled down from four stories to three, with fewer amenities included. The company remained committed to building a "green" building with geo-thermal heating-cooling system and other energy-conserving systems.
A year-round hotel at the foot of Mt. Washington would be designed to appeal to the active, outdoor demographic that makes up the core of Great Glen Trails' visitors: cross-country skiers, hikers, alpine flower enthusiasts, Wildcat Mountain and backcountry skiers as well as ice climbers who enjoy Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines. Consultants hired by the company confirmed that there is a market for a hotel at this location.