By GSA Tim Adams, Southern NH University Class of 2014
I would expect that every GSA knows what the Omni Mount Washington Resort looks like. I mean, it is a Grand Hotel in the White Mountains and it is quite the Hotel!
This past Thursday a group of us had the chance to both visit the hotel, get a bit of a tour of it, as well as a history lesson of the hotel itself. The hotel was built in for a cost of around $1.7 million dollars. Not a bad deal by today's standards, until of course you realize construction started back in 1900. today that cost would be closer to $45 million dollars!
Joseph Stickney, a native of Massachusetts, had made a fortune by the age of 30, and along with a partner, purchased a nearby hotel and (apparently) caught the hotel fever and started construction on the Grand Mount Washington Hotel.
His stating point was bringing in 250 Italian artisans to build it, mainly of granite and stucco masonry. Unfortunately, Joseph Stickney didn’t live long enough to really enjoy this new hot as he died within a year of its opening. While the hotel remained opened for many years, the nephew of Joseph Stickney widow did close it in 1942 and then sold it in 1944.
It reopened, under the new owners in time to host ‘The Bretton Woods monetary conference' also in 1944. The choice of this hotel was based on both security and access. The trains from Boston made several trips a day so people could get to the conference but with only a couple of roads into the region, if needed, the area could be sealed off to protect the people already there. The mountains surrounding the region also worked as a security measure as not many groups were going to hike up and over them unseen.
Today the hotel had been upgraded to many modern standards but still retain the elegance of the past. They offer almost anything a person might like while visiting. A large spacious dining room, sitting rooms, an indoor pool, a spa, and bar where you can sit back and relax after a day out sightseeing.
Once the tour was done we drove over to the Bretton Woods ski area for lunch. I’ve never skied there so wasn't familiar with the parking lot of the main lodge but finally got settled in with a sandwich and drink.
At some point during lunch my GSA badge came off my shirt but it was turned in to lost and found there at the lodge and so I retrieved it before heading home. After lunch everybody sort of headed their separate ways. Some for snowshoeing, some the spa, some snowboarding, zip lining, or alpine and Nordic skiing.
Since I had never been Nordic skiing before I had decided to try that. Looking back I think I should have picked either snowshoeing or zip lining as the cross-country trails, while nice and groomed, were a base of ice with a couple inches of snow on top - not the kind of conditions a person likes, especially for their first time. I did however get out and got around one of their trails, of which there are many. IF the snow conditions had been better, I might still be out there even. The views were fantastic even with a low cloud cover and the temperature wasn’t so cold as to drive a person inside after just a brief stint out in it. All in all, a great day for a tour and a side adventure learning how to stand up on slippery skis with a little snow and lots of ice under them.
You can view a few more of my pictures at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/h9ey26ow8o6f9aj/AACkdQZCJb-4p5lT__wBJsoxa?dl=0