CONWAY — Cranmore's proposed hotel is one of several such projects being planned in the Mount Washington Valley. Others include:
• Home2 Suites by Hilton: Construction began last October on the long-stalled, 80-room, four-story hotel and restaurant at the old Fandangle’s Restaurant site near the juncture of Routes 302 and 16 in North Conway. However, work stopped in July for a five-week period, said to be for approval of a construction loan. Work restarted last month.
• Junge’s Motel: The Conway Planning Board continues to work on site-plan review for plans to construct a 20,292-square foot, three-story, 115-room hotel and to approve pad sites for a 5,800 square foot restaurant space and a 4,970-square foot retail/bank space at 1858 White Mountain Highway, North Conway.
• North Conway Grand: Owners of the North Conway Grand Hotel have appeared before the Conway Planning Board to discuss plans for an addition to the property adjacent to Settlers Green in North Conway. Bellevue Properties of Middletown, R.I., wants to build a 8,335-square-foot, 33-room, three-story addition as well as a 10,260-square foot enclosed pool. The project also would involve a new, 2,560-square-foot lobby and porte-cochere. The project has been held up by ongoing lawsuits between the company and developers of Settlers Green over parking and traffic flow issues plans to develop a Market Basket grocery store adjacent to the hotel.
• Fox Ridge Resort, 1979 White Mountain Highway: Ashok Patel — developer of the Home2Suites project and also involved in the Junge’s hotel project — last winter purchased the 136-room Fox Ridge Resort from Red Jacket Resorts of North Conway and South Yarmouth, Mass. Upgrades have started to the 31-acre property.
• Omni Mount Washington Resorts: Work has begun on a 69-room addition to the Bretton Woods grand hotel.
• The Glen House: The energy-efficient, 68-room Glen House opened at the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road in fall 2018.
Earle Wason of Wason Hospitality Associates of Portsmouth has been involved in many hotel transactions based in Mount Washington Valley. Asked about the potential for saturation of lodging properties in the area, Wason said he remains confident in the region's hospitality prospects but remains concerned about the difficulty in finding qualified employees to staff the hotels.
"I am still bullish on the valley's hotel expansion," Wason said. "Actually, as in most markets, I am more concerned about staffing. I know of four restaurants in Portland, for example, that are closing because they can't get the help. We need expansion of the HB-2 and J-1 programs," said Wason, referring to training and visa programs designed to allow foreign professionals to come to the United States to work.