Agent sales spur New Hampshire resort's success

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BRETTON WOODS, N.H. -- Travel agents are becoming part of the success story at Mount Washington Resort, a 339-room complex here with four properties.

Agent sales have more than doubled this year after accounting for an estimated 4% of all bookings in 2000, according to a Mount Washington spokeswoman.

So far this year, she said, agent business has accounted for about 9% of sales, with retail sales in July particularly strong at about 20%.

Many agents book on line, through the resort's Web site at www.mtwashington.com, the spokeswoman said, adding that the resort is considering making its inventory available via a CRS, possibly Sabre.

The turn-of-the-century Mount Washington Hotel has been fully restored and winterized and is now open year-round as part of the Mount Washington Resort. The 2,600-acre Mount Washington Resort is situated at the base of Mount Washington.

The resort is privately owned by the Bedor, Presby, Eames and Clement families of Littleton, N.H.

Each of the resort's four properties possesses its own style and focus, with the Mount Washington Hotel as the centerpiece.

All properties are commissionable at 10%. An agent discount of 20% on room rates is available.

The following is a roundup of lodging options:

• The Mount Washington Hotel is a National Historic Landmark opened in 1902 as a summer resort, and the current management has attempted to preserve the trappings and atmosphere of the age.

For example, the lobby and guest rooms contain restored period furniture, and the hotel's Cave Lounge is a former speakeasy.

Since being purchased in 1991, the exterior of the 200-room hotel has been restored to its original state, and the interior has undergone numerous improvements.

Four-course dinners, accompanied by live orchestral music, are served in the main dining room and are included in the rates at all of the resort's accommodations. Breakfast also is included in room rates.

The sense of history and grandeur is part of the allure of the Mount Washington Hotel, according to director of sales Benjamin Wilcox.

The property is part of the Historic Hotels of America partnership.

Room rates Sundays through Thursdays range from $269 to $1,159. Weekend and peak-period rates -- from Sept. 21 through Oct. 13 -- range from $329 to $1,259. Rates are per night, double, depending on room type.

• The Bretton Arms Country Inn also is a National Historic Landmark.

Wilcox said the 34-room bed-and-breakfast property is popular with couples.

Rates range between $149 and $169, midweek, and from $219 to $249, weekends and peak season. Rates are per night, double, and include breakfast.

• The 50-room Bretton Woods Motor Inn appeals to families, said Wilcox. He cited the indoor pool as an amenity that sets the property apart from a typical motor lodge.

The per-night rate is $99, midweek, and $149, weekend and peak.

• The Townhomes at Bretton Woods are property-managed condominium units. Fifty-five one- through five-bedroom units are available.

Per night rates range between $169, midweek, and $479, weekend and peak, depending on unit type. Rates for seven-night packages range from $909 to $2,169.

For information or to make reservations, contact the Mount Washington Resort at (800) 258-0330; fax (603) 278-8828.

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