CONWAY — The need to reconnect has become a persistent theme over the last two years. The parameters of living within a pandemic, from social distancing to quarantining and working from home, are the very things driving an intense need to restore a bond to ourselves, to one another, and to the Mt. Washington Valley.

As the world navigates a shift in the lifestyle paradigm, the Mount Washington Valley specifically is also working to find balance in its new reality. With an influx in visitors, and second-home owners, and staffing and supply challenges facing the local business community, now more than ever is the need to support the local economy paramount.

For these reasons, the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce has launched its new “Learn from a Local, Live Like a Local” campaign.

Featured throughout its digital media presence, this local program currently highlights six locals who represent different facets of life in Mt. Washington Valley.

This program aims to humanize the valley to remind all who spend their time in Mt. Washington Valley, that it is not just a tourism destination but also the home to over 30,000 residents encompassing 26 communities in two states.

Each local highlights their reasons as to why they love living in Mt. Washington Valley, how they like to spend their days off in the valley, and what being part of its community means to them — which includes their philanthropic initiatives.

The six locals currently featured include the Bellis-Bennett Family of Cranmore Inn; Hilary McCloy of Hilary McCloy Physical Therapy; Danni Rassi of Wicked Fresh Burgers and Fire by Wicked Fresh; Tyler Ray of Granite Backcountry and Granite Outdoor; Emily Smith-Mossman of North Country Cares and North Country Fair Jewelers; and Darcie the Adventure Dog of Conway Area Humane Society.

For example, if you select “Darci,” you learn: “Every day is a new adventure for Darcie. With the Mount Washington Valley being so dog-friendly, Darcie gets to go everywhere her ‘paw-rents’ go, and make new doggy friends.

“Start with grabbing coffee at The Met coffee house. She’ll sit with family while they enjoy a breakfast sandwich at the outdoor tables surrounding The Met and overlooking Schouler Park! Dogs are welcome in the park, and you’ll find many playing Frisbee and catch with their owners.”

Michelle Cruz, assistant director of the chamber, said, “The chamber is proud of this program, and feels honored to work with the locals who have graciously agreed to participate.

“Driving our connection deeper with our local community is a cornerstone of the chamber’s value system, and we recognize that the community would not be where it is today without the dedication and hard work of the individuals who live here,” said Cruz.

The hope is to inspire those who are looking to become residents of the valley, and visitors alike that the more they invest and integrate into the Mt. Washington Valley.

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