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September 04. 2012 3:16PM

A White Mountains summer to remember


Lower Falls on the Kancamagus Highway was a busy place over Labor Day Weekend. The water level of the Swift River has been low enough most of the summer for swimmers of all ages to enjoy the cool, clear river. (Sara Young-Knox/Union Leader Correspondent)


The scenic chairlift up Attitash Ski Resort takes a couple of teens up to the summit on Sunday. Soon, the leaves will change, giving visitors to all of the summit lifts, rides and drives up the mountains even more spectacular views (Sara Young-Knox/Union Leader Correspondent)

NORTH CONWAY —The summer of 2012 can be summed up in one word — sunny — and not just because of the season's endless days of blue skies.

While visitors to the White Mountains Region enjoyed the great weather, business owners and employees enjoyed what might end up as the best summer in several years.

On Monday, with a store full of shoppers, Jan Sanborn of Sunglass Hut in Settlers' Green said, “We've had a great summer,” adding for emphasis, “We've had a very busy, hectic summer.”

“We get an awful lot of Canadians,” she said. “What we find this summer, and other summers, is that Canadians really like to come down here and shop.”

Sanborn said her store has had customers from Germany, Ireland, Israel, England and other European countries, besides the usual visitors from the Northeast.

Tony Curreri of Tewksbury, Mass., was keeping his two young sons, 3-year-old Dominic, and 5-year-old Anthony, occupied while his wife and mother-in-law were shopping at the outlets. Curreri, whose father-in-law was also keeping a watchful eye on the youngsters, said that the extended family had rented a townhouse in Glen for the holiday weekend.

The boys were the center of the previous days' activities, as the family spent a day and a half at Story Land in Glen.

“We had a great time there,” Curreri said.

Asked what his favorite part of Story Land was, Anthony quickly replied, “Everything!”

After Labor Day, the White Mountain attractions typically do less business, with many of the family-dependent businesses taking midweek breaks and opening weekends only. The attractions that appeal to children of all ages, like the Mount Washington Cog Railway and Mount Washington Auto Road, are still open during the week. Many of the region's ski resort offer scenic rides up their lifts, all the better for fantastic views of the changing leaves.

Monday was the final day of daily operations for Attitash Ski Resort. The area's summer activities, from its climbing wall, trampoline and horseback riding, will be open weekends only from Saturday through Columbus Day weekend.

It was a busy place Sunday, when what started out as a dreary, cloudy day morphed into a day with enough bright sunshine for visitors to bring out the shades, and, for those going down the waterslide, the bathing suits.

August was a relatively warm month on Mount Washington, where the observatory reported that the average temperature was 51.3 degrees, 3.7 degrees above normal.

It's been the longest summer in some time. In March, the summit's average temperature, 22.9 degrees, was 9.3 above normal, and May's unseasonably warm weather — the average temperature as 41.5 degrees — a 5.9 degree departure from normal. The observatory bases the norms on 30 years of means, from 1971 to 2000, from the national Climatological Data Center.

syoungknox@newstote.com


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