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View Full Version : Lyon's Hospitality has been sold



rocksnrolls
08-03-2007, 04:24 PM
Sorry to say I heard from the owners this past weekend that they've managed to sell the place. Sad to hear that what was once a thriving business, pre-9/11, was no longer making enough to survive.

They say the new owner reportedly plans to keep the laundromat open but is unsure what will be done with the rest of the property. They're trying to sell their bunks to one of the other motels in the area in the hopes they'll take up the tradition.

This past year I've spent many nights after a big hike sleeping there and have made it my home base during hiking vacations. They've always treated me well and I'll be sorry to see them go.

I guess I'll really have to invest in some camping gear now...

arghman
08-03-2007, 05:12 PM
They say the new owner reportedly plans to keep the laundromat open but is unsure what will be done with the rest of the property. They're trying to sell their bunks to one of the other motels in the area in the hopes they'll take up the tradition.

This past year I've spent many nights after a big hike sleeping there and have made it my home base during hiking vacations. They've always treated me well and I'll be sorry to see them go.ditto here. :(

HikerAmiga
08-03-2007, 10:07 PM
I spent 3 nights there about 3 weeks ago and again was there last night. Doug and Naruko (husband and wife) are wonderful hosts and will be missed. If the new owner doesn't cater to hikers, hopefully some other establishment in that area will jump on the opportunity to do so! Let's hope!

redsock
08-03-2007, 10:31 PM
... Sad to hear that what was once a thriving business, pre-9/11, was no longer making enough to survive.

Just curious, how did 9/11 have an impact on this business? Not trying to be political... Did the owners think 9/11 had an impact on their business? Why would 9/11 make people not want to stay at a hostel?

Kevin Rooney
08-03-2007, 11:19 PM
If I understood Doug correctly, he felt their motel was a victim of selective inforcement by the local zoning types, and in order to stay open, was forced to split the motel into 2 parts. He was pursuing legal action as a result. I haven't heard whether the case has been settled.

I'm not aware of any direct effect of 9/11 on Lyons, other than it seemed to have diminished tourist traffic in general. Doug told me their biggest income source was from the rental of snowmobiles, and without snow ...

Nutsosa
08-04-2007, 07:02 AM
I grew up in Twin Mtn, and its decline began long before 9/11. I suppose 9/11's impact on the economy may have been the final nail in the coffin, but the decline isn't new. The "strip" that starts at Lyon's used to be very busy (Fun Town, Paquette's, etc.) when I was a kid, but business was slowing as far back as the 90's. My grandparent's used to own Johnson's motel (they're the Johsnons), and they sold the place just before business slowed in the town. It's strange driving through there now, remembering what it used to be like.

It seems strange to me that the Mount Washington Hotel and the businesses in Bretton Woods are doing well, while Twin Mtn keeps sliding.

HikerAmiga
08-04-2007, 09:05 AM
It's worth noting though (according to what Doug, current owner told me), they'll be in operation until SEPTEMBER 15th pending the sale of the property. So there's still an opportunity over the summer to lodge there.

smitty77
08-04-2007, 09:52 AM
I grew up in Twin Mtn, and its decline began long before 9/11. I suppose 9/11's impact on the economy may have been the final nail in the coffin, but the decline isn't new. The "strip" that starts at Lyon's used to be very busy (Fun Town, Paquette's, etc.) when I was a kid, but business was slowing as far back as the 90's.
I remember going up in the mid 80s and the area was bustling with activity. I went back through there 2 years ago and was shocked to see it resembled little more than a ghost town one week after labor day. Is it because people don't mind paying 2x or 3x the price to stay in North Conway?

Mike P.
08-05-2007, 12:12 PM
It is indeed sad, I've stayed there a few times the last couple of years.

His complaint was about the zoning.

If I remember correctly the 9/11 part was that they moved up to Twin Mt post 09/11 as they thought the north country was a better place than where they were to raise a family.

The big $$ places are doing okay because their customers can easily afford $3 gas, $250 a night rooms & operate on a budget very different then most of us.

rocksnrolls
08-06-2007, 08:09 PM
It's worth noting though (according to what Doug, current owner told me), they'll be in operation until SEPTEMBER 15th pending the sale of the property. So there's still an opportunity over the summer to lodge there.

Oh yeah, forgot that part :o .

Doug told me that a large part of the business at Lyon's pre-9/11 was european toruists and that dropped off almost completely afterward. I'm not sure what year he and his wife bought it

jjmcgo
08-07-2007, 10:36 AM
If you think things are bad in the hospitality business now, wait until the smoking ban kicks in.

Mike P.
08-07-2007, 11:19 AM
Not sure how that will change things

Most condos & time share are smoke free.

Many restaurants with lounges in CT are smoke free & doing fine,

2X a year we have a large annual meeting & all reservations are available for review. Of a couple of 100 (I never counted the number but the group fills a large ballroom at a major hotel 1/2 of the group from around the US & world) people only two or three request smoking rooms, the rest are Non-smoking.

Between taxes on gas & cigerettes, (& higher life ins) how do they afford travel? ;)

Doolittle
08-15-2007, 03:52 PM
Hi Everybody,

We'll be closing Lyons Hospitality to business trade September 3rd. My wife and I want to thank all of you who've stayed with us over the past couple of years. It make me wish when we first bought this place in Feb. 2000 that we converted it to a Hostel back then. I must say Hikers are better than Motelers anyday. You will not see me as an innkeeper in the future but as a fellow hiker and I will be checking in on the forums.

Once again we feel we've met more friends owning this hostel than we ever could imagine. It's our turn to hike these mountains and enjoy for once what we could only watch other people do. That's the price you pay when you own an Inn. If only another motel in Twin would take up the torch and continue the hostel for this side of the park. I hope to see you all out there on the trail or possibly kayaking some lake or river. We will be moving to Littleton near Moore Dam and will still be in the area so let us know when your coming and need a partner to keep you company.

Doug & Naruko

sli74
08-15-2007, 04:03 PM
Doug and Naruko,

Welcome to the other side. I can only imagine how freeing it must be to have the opportunity to enjoy the mountains you have been working near. This hiking board is comprised of a ton of wonderful people and I am sure we all look forward to having you join us on the trails.

Good Luck.

sli74

MichaelJ
08-15-2007, 04:15 PM
I'll throw in my $0.02 and say that I stayed at Lyons only a few nights, but the bunkroom was the perfect destination for a hiker, not fancy but not shabby. Just right, and at the right price. Those bunks were solid, too!

Nutsosa, I never stayed at Johnsons when your family owned it, but when I first started hiking I was there a lot when the Bradys hosted, and always found it to be a fine, clean establishment. I've stayed there under the current management as well, in one of the cottages, and for two people plus dog doing a multi-night (winter) stay, again excellent.

(I also have enjoyed several stays at Seven Dwarfs, too)

So I'm sad to see it go, glad to see Doug & Naruko will still be enjoying the mountain lifestyle, and hope someone will pick up this opportunity. It's really great to have a place to stay that not only is ideal for the hiking community (bunks & showers, maybe a common room), but where you can meet other hikers, see old friends, hang out together, etc.

Now if only the coffee shop had good coffee ...

Papa Bear
08-15-2007, 04:20 PM
If you think things are bad in the hospitality business now, wait until the smoking ban kicks in.Contrary to dire predictions. restaurant business picked up after the smoking ban in NYC. Some bars claim a loss, others a gain.

Nutsosa
08-15-2007, 04:42 PM
since the comment I mentioned has since been removed, I've removed my post

Kevin Rooney
08-15-2007, 05:09 PM
Hey Doug -

Best of luck to you, your wife and family, and hope you come out whole from your foray into the motel/hostel business. Have enjoyed your fine bunkhouse on many occasions and will miss it.

Kevin

jjo
08-15-2007, 09:51 PM
Sad story...Enjoy your new life. Sorry to hear it...

jjmcgo
08-16-2007, 12:47 AM
I made a post about smoking bans hurting business and Mike P. offered a rebuttal. That was fine and I was content to leave it at that.
Papa Bear made a post about the ban not hurting NYC businesses and I feel I must counter that.
I've met Papa Bear and read his posts about his incredible hikes and bushwacks.
I have the utmost respect for him and his activities.
But this is the NYC situation: The ban was enacted the year after the 9-11 attacks. At that time, we were in recession. Recessions always follow stock market crashes, like the 1999 Clinton Stock Market Crash that caused the 60 percent decline in the NASDAQ and 20 percent decline in the Dow. Fact. I worked for Bloomberg at the time. I was there.
NYC is the most sensitive place on Earth to market crashes and recessions. The baseline data for NYC alcohol revenues is 2002, the lowest year for economic activity in NYC since the recession that followed the 1987 crash.
What happened next was a New York state increase in liquor taxes combined with NYC bar owners raising prices on average by about $2 a beer. The old $3 beer is now $5.
Higher prices, higher taxes and an historically low baseline allows NYS and NYC politicians to claim no impact.
Look at Delaware where casino revenues declined 30 percent. Look at the bar closings in Madison, WI, and Jefferson, MO.
Show respect and don't try to con people that smoking bans don't cause economic hardship.
This doesn't even take into account that the people in bars nowadays are far less interesting and more prickly that in the past.
Hey, look, it's Anne Frank in the window, turn her in. That's the biggest problem. People deciding that they're superior to others and making them pay your share of social obligations.

Kevin Rooney
08-16-2007, 08:38 AM
...This doesn't even take into account that the people in bars nowadays are far less interesting and more prickly that in the past.
Maybe not just in bars?

Sorry to hear that life really sucks for you.

David Metsky
08-16-2007, 08:50 AM
Please keep this on topic. Thank you.

-dave-

BobC
08-16-2007, 11:32 AM
Doug & Naruko,

I only got a chance to stay at the hostel once - I was the only person there that night back in May - but I'll miss having it as a place to go after a long, tiring day of hiking. Good luck, and see you out on the trails.

Hampshire
08-16-2007, 06:14 PM
I wonder how the AMC Highland Center defenders feel after reading Mr. Doolitte's post?

Tim Seaver
08-16-2007, 07:04 PM
I wonder how the AMC Highland Center defenders feel after reading Mr. Doolitte's post?
Not to mention the "cheap idiot" boot-drying menace. ;)

Good thing those types aren't welcome 'round these parts.

Next thing ya know, they'd be asking for free coffee!

una_dogger
08-16-2007, 07:24 PM
Not to mention the "cheap idiot" boot-drying menace. ;)

Good thing those types aren't welcome 'round these parts.

Next thing ya know, they'd be asking for free coffee!


The scourge....I bet he lives in Vermont... :D


Doolittle, sorry to hear of your struggles, but it sounds as though you are moving onward.

Have never stayed at your hostel but I know many who have comfortably.

Good luck!

Peaks
08-17-2007, 06:53 PM
I wonder how the AMC Highland Center defenders feel after reading Mr. Doolitte's post?

Not to defend AMC, but I wouldn't think that Lyons and the rest of the motels in Twin Mountain attract the same type of clientel that Highland Center does. I think Highland Center goes caters to a more upscale crowd.

Blueblaze
08-17-2007, 07:40 PM
Upscale crowd is right. I stopped in a few weeks back only because I had never been and only heard mixed opinions on the"money club". As I was talking to one of the employees we hear this loud crash of bottles breaking and a man SCREAMING about his $200.00 dollar bottles of wine now all over the floor. I'm sure its not like that all the time at AMC
but the one time I stayed at Lyons(based on recommendations from other ROT'ers) was more enjoyable than I could imagine being at the Highland. We were happy to share our cans of Bud Light! :)

drewski
08-17-2007, 07:59 PM
Free Coffee!!!

Kevin Rooney
08-17-2007, 08:12 PM
Not to defend AMC, but I wouldn't think that Lyons and the rest of the motels in Twin Mountain attract the same type of clientel that Highland Center does. I think Highland Center goes caters to a more upscale crowd.You're more likely to see regular hikers staying at the Shapleigh Bunkhouse at the Highland Ctr than at "the big house". Much more reasonable. About the only complaint I have with staying at Shapleigh is they serve breakfast too late for early starts. The breakfast itself is quite good.

Jazzbo
08-17-2007, 09:00 PM
I only stayed at Lyons once, but my stay was very positive. Like others have said, the rooms are warm and clean, not shabby. The common room was nice too. We met other hikers and climbers and shared conversations of our day's excursions. Everyone was considerate and quiet when it got late enabling all of us to get early starts for our next day's outings.

The nice thing about Lyons (and probably contributing to it's demise) was not having to reserve 3-4 weeks in advance like at Shapliegh.

Sorry to see Lyons going. :( I would rather see more places like Lyons rather than less. Lincoln could use a Lyons. Good luck in your new ventures!

Mike P.
08-21-2007, 03:58 PM
Welcome to the board & the VFFT board Doug & Naruko, I think my next trip may be NH may be after you close. (night of 9/14)

Kevin, what time do they serve breakfast at the Ritz? Mtn. Bean (in Twin Mt) if I remember right opens at 6:00.

Sastrugi
08-25-2007, 12:40 AM
I'm sorry to hear that the fate of the hostel is up in the air. I keep looking for reasonable lodging for hikers in the area. I can't afford the rates of the AMC facilities or the area motels, so I keep looking.

Bobby
08-25-2007, 06:22 AM
I never stayed at Lyons, but have heard only good things from those who have. I'm sorry so see it close. I was in the Twin Mountain area this week, and the motel across the street (I can't remember the name) had a sign that read "hiker specials".

Zimmer
08-25-2007, 08:13 AM
like the 1999 Stock Market Crash that caused the 60 percent decline in the NASDAQ and 20 percent decline in the Dow. Fact. I worked for Bloomberg at the time. I was there.


Sorry, flog me, it's off topic, but I hate misinformation and revisionist history. Even when it's off-topic.

Not sure where you were in 1999, but there wasn't a crash then. The Nasdaq crash occurred from March of 2000 to October 2002 (and considering that the Nasdaq had gone up about 7-fold in the prior seven years -- imagine that Dow going from 13,000 to 91,000 between now and 2014! -- it was hardly surprising). :o

rocksnrolls
08-27-2007, 09:22 AM
Spent my last night at Lyon's on Saturday :( and again had the place to myself. Had a nice chat with Doug and Naruko and wish them all the best. I hope to be able to hit some trails with you two soon!

You've all got one last weekend to stay there and thank them for their hospitality...

Early Bird
01-24-2008, 09:21 PM
Has anybody found a reasonably priced place to stay in this area?

Tom Rankin
01-25-2008, 06:23 AM
Has anybody found a reasonably priced place to stay in this area?Check out Cheap sleeps in the Whites. (http://vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=4898&highlight=cheap+sleeps)

Early Bird
01-25-2008, 05:35 PM
Check out Cheap sleeps in the Whites. (http://vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=4898&highlight=cheap+sleeps)
Perfect. Thank you.