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Cleary: Analyzing the "Waterville Effect"

What is this mysterious force known as the “Waterville Effect” that appears in all of the marketing campaigns for this popular New Hampshire resort located less than two hours from Boston?Jeremy Gasowski, media coordinator for Waterville Valley and a 10-year employee, describes the effect as follows: “It is numerous things that add up to the whole experience, which we call the Waterville Effect. It is a combination of the terrain, snow conditions, the village and our on-mountain eateries. It’s about all these things coming together, having fun outside and feeling free.”As an example, Gasowski described a recent addition to the Schwendi Hutte restaurant, which is located off the top of the White Peak Express Quad or the Sunnyside Triple. “This season, we bought a bunch of slippers and people can take their boots off, put the slippers on, warm up and relax in front of the fire downstairs,” he said.I know from my numerous trips to Waterville that the Schwendi Hutte is a great place for a break. It has the best homemade soup on the mountain and also serves more unusual items like cheese or chocolate fondue. In the spring, this is also a wonderful spot to soak in the sun and enjoy a nice cold beer from the impressive collection of microbrews and imports the Schwendi offers.Waterville received a foot of snow in the storm on Tuesday and is expecting more snow today, so conditions over the weekend should be tremendous.”Conditions have never been this good. Even though we have had some warm-ups and rain, then we get another foot of snow like this week. Attendance has been phenomenal! Vacation week was great even with the rough start of rain on President’s Day,” said Gasowski.If you’ve never been to Waterville Valley, it is one of the easiest and closest resorts to Boston. Just go up Route 93 North until you hit Exit 28, then follow the signs. The resort is about 11 miles up the road; watch for the left-hand turn to get to the mountain. If you miss it, the next turn is the village.The village is a great feature of Waterville, making it a real destination to come for a few days or a week. There is a choice of lodging, shopping, dining, romantic horse-drawn sleigh rides, and other activities for those not into Alpine snow sports like ice skating, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. If you are looking for a place to have a special event or a conference, there is also a 15,500-square-foot conference center that can accommodate groups from 25 to 1,000.If you are looking for a deal or special event to plan your visit to Waterville around, there are still plenty of deals and fun events left in the season.The best on-going deal is Two-for-One lift tickets on Mondays and Fridays, excluding any holidays. Skiers and riders taking advantage of this offer also get to spin the Wheel of Deals, where they can win a $5 lift ticket, a snow sports lesson, hand-warmers, a slice of pizza and more. Look for these upcoming deals as well: St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, tickets will be $17; and tickets on April Fools Day, April 1, are only $1. You can also save $10 off full-price all-day lift tickets by purchasing them online 48 hours in advance.Visit www.waterville.com for complete information about lodging, specials and events.

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