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Mt. Washington Hotel Owners Buy Ski Area
Bretton Woods, Cog Railway Reunites Resort
By Randy Goldberg, Associated Press Writer
CONCORD, N.H. - The owners of the Mount Washington Hotel announced today they have purchased the Bretton Woods Ski Area across the street.
The move means the ski area, grand hotel, and Cog Railway will be under the same ownership, the Mount Washington Hotel Preservation Limited Partnership.
"It's an exciting thing. The employees at the ski area are pleased because they've watched our good fortune across the street," said partner Cathy Bedor, marketing director for the historic Mount Washington Hotel.
They purchased the area from the Bretton Woods Ski Area Limited Partnership for an undisclosed price on Monday, Bedor said.
Bedor's husband, Joel Bedor, was one of the two general partners in the ski area. The other partner was Herb Boynton of White field. Joel and Cathy Bedor are part-owners of the Mount Washington.
"We know the ski area has a reputation of good service and the same mentality we have at the hotel. It's a matter of shifting ownership, expanding and growing with the hotel," Bedor said.
She said the Mount Washington Hotel, ski area and railway combined is one of the largest privately owned resorts in the Northeast.
"We have been interested in reuniting the whole resort, thought about it seriously for the past two years," Bedor said. "It was an excellent summer for us and the Cog - all the pieces seemed to come together."
The ski area will be able to share employees with the railway, which goes to the top of Mount Washington, because they operate in different seasons. However, the partnership expects to hire more people, Bedor said.
"We'll have the ability to keep workers year round that weren't before," Bedor said. "We expect with the combination of the three properties, at various times during the year, we will have 500 employees resort-wide."
The group also announced Chris Elims will be the new director of ski operations. He previously worked at Ragged Mountain Ski Area.
"He's very hands on," Bedor said. "He's personable and will fit into the customer service, up front operation that we've been famous for past few years."
Buying the ski resort signals the partnership may be ready to open the Mount Washington Hotel year-round soon.
The hotel, built back in 1902, is opened from late May through late October.
"Maybe we can house the national press at the Mount Washington Hotel for the primary in February 2000. We're seriously waiting for that next step to be taken. We have some Yankees in group - if the numbers don't work, we won t do it. But the purchase of the ski area likely is that extra piece of the puzzle that will allow us to make that step," Bedor said.
The partnership came together in 1991 when a group of North Country residents bought the Mount Washington Hotel at a foreclosure auction. In the past six years, they have renovated most of the huge Victorian hotel and have turned a profit.
The partnership includes Cathy and Joel Bedor; William Presby and his son, Wayne; brothers John and Jere Eames; and Robert Clement.
When the partners closed the deal Monday, Cathy and Joel Bedor went out on the town.
"We celebrated by going to Bishops Ice Cream in Littleton and got ourselves a delicious ice cream. Ice cream makes us happy," Hedor said.
And come Thanksgiving weekend, when Bretton Woods opens, snow and cold weather also will make them happy.