An inn reborn – Steel Hill Resorts celebrates renovation of Center Harbor Inn

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The Center Harbor Inn’s renovation touched every surface of the building, and added several new amenities. (Aaron Usher Photography)

 

CENTER HARBOR — "This project has been a labor of love four years in the making," said Justin Cutillo, vice president of Steele Hill Resorts, as he prepared to cut the ribbon for the completely-renovated Center Harbor Inn. Cutillo thanked the many partners who helped in the hotel's re-birth, such as town officials and business groups, contractors and lenders.

"Hopefully, it will be a great asset to the town of Center Harbor," he concluded.

The renovation of the Center Harbor Inn was the solution to two problems. The first problem was that the Cutillos, who have operated the 500-acre, hill-top retreat in Sanbornton since 1968, and have been a part of the ownership of Summit Resort in The Weirs in 1989, lacked a lake side property in their hospitality offerings. The purchase of the Center Harbor Inn, which has a sandy beach on Lake Winnipesaukee steps away from the hotel, fills that void.

The second problem was that the Center Harbor Inn, which opened in 1969 and was then described as "luxuriously furnished and attractively decorated," had not aged well. Recent owners had begun offering the rooms at discount rates, and less revenues resulted in deferred maintenance and bare-bones staffing. It was a negative feedback loop that left the inn with a 30 percent occupancy rate, a paltry rate for an inn overlooking Winnipesaukee.

That loop was finally broken in May of last year, when the Cutillo family purchased property and immediately began overhauling the building. The needs were many. Aesthetic problems included worn carpets, cramped bathrooms and outdated décor. More concerning were holes in the balcony boards and floor-to-ceiling mold in some of the beach-level rooms.

The Cutillos paid $1.8 million for the property, and expected to pay about that much again in renovations, which were planned to end by foliage season. However, the building's needs ended up being more extensive than originally anticipated, and the family decided to add more amenities. The work took longer, and cost much more, but Cutillo was beaming on Friday when he cut the ribbon and led tours through the inn.

The renovation, performed by Laconia-based contractor CCI, is apparent from first view of the inn. The plain, white exterior has been replaced with an Adirondack-style façade and gabled roof. Inside, every surface has been changed, including paint, walls and carpeting. Once challenge that the Cutillos faced in planning the renovation was that the interior dimensions, while considered luxurious 50 years ago, are cramped by modern standards. To make the rooms and bathrooms feel more open, the interior design is modern and minialist, with custom-made hickory headboards and shelves tying together the interior and exterior aesthetics.

New amenities include an additional interior stairwell, allowing access to the new sauna, showers and small fitness center on the beach level. Also new, and a few steps away from the 175-foot beach, is an outdoor, four-season hot tub, surrounded by heated stone tiles and offering guests a view of Lake Winnipesaukee while they soak.

Cutillo is also excited about a partnership with Wayfarer Coffee Roasters, the Laconia coffee company, which is providing hot beverages and snacks for guests of the inn.

"We should have the best damn coffee in the Lakes Region," said Cutillo. "A nice cup of coffee is one of the most important things for having a nice guest experience."

The Center Harbor Inn affords Steele Hill with an option that it didn't before, something for guests who want their get-away to be in the middle of it all, within walking distance of the few but nice restaurants and shops of Center Harbor, and a short drive from the more numerous options in Meredith.

Cutillo sees the inn as fitting into the hospitality community of the Meredith area, serving people who want to visit Lake Winnipesaukee, to check out the unique shops and small towns, to hike or ski on trails nearby. Room rates are set to be a slightly more affordable option than those in Meredith. Cutillo said he hopes to work collaboratively, instead of competitively, with other lodgings in the area.

"We hope to complement the hospitality offerings on this north side of the lake, along with what is happening in Meredith," he said. And, he thinks the renovated inn will bear dividends for his new neighbors. "Hopefully it will be a great asset to the town of Center Harbor."

 

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Justin Cutillo, vice president of Steel Hill Resorts, cuts the ribbon for the newly-renovated Center Harbor Inn. The renovation took the better part of a year and cost several million dollars. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)

 

 

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Women's self-defense class raises awareness, donates to New Beginnings

 


GILFORD — Three local businesses came together recently to offer a self-defense class for women, and along with the class participants, raised money for New Beginnings.

White Dragon of Martial Arts of New Hampshire offered a women's self-defense class to more than 20 participants at Edgewater Academy of Dance, donating their time and expertise, while Rice Law Office made a donation per participant attending the class.

The class focused on helping each participant find her voice and inner strength, and practice actual self-defense techniques. With the combined efforts of White Dragon of Martial Arts of New Hampshire, Rice Law Office, Edgewater Academy of Dance, and the class participants, $560 was raised for New Beginnings, a non-profit women's shelter.

 

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Local women participate in a self-defense class. Three local businesses offered the class and along with class participants rained money for New Beginnings. (Courtesy photo)

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RE/MAX Bayside welcomes Robinson as new associate

 

MEREDITH — Michael Robinson has joined RE/MAX Bayside as the newest member of the agency's sales team.

"Buying a home or business property is usually the most important decision of a person's life. I have been buying and selling property in New Hampshire and Massachusetts for more than 30 years and as a Realtor at RE/MAX Bayside, it is my pleasure to bring the skills which I have attained to help sellers and buyers achieve their dreams and goals in this important facet of their lives," said Robinson.

Being licensed in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Robinson can assist New Hampshire residents find a home or business location, or if someone is moving to or from Massachusetts he can help them with their relocation.

 

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Michael Robinson

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Sanel recognizes vendors in 2016 award ceremony

 

CONCORD — Sanel Auto Parts Co. recognized three partners at the company's recent Vendor Awards Ceremony.

The Automotive Supplier of the Year was awarded to Gates. The Paint, Body & Equipment Supplier of the Year went to SEM, represented by Shamrock Sales. And the Heavy Duty Truck Parts Supplier of the Year was presented to Grote, represented by Grinold-O'Brien Agency.

Sanel Auto Parts, Co., a family-owned business for the past 95 years, is a heavy duty, automotive, and paint and body supplier in northern New England with 38 retail locations in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, including Laconia, Franklin and Plymouth.

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Greater Meredith Program sets annual meeting

 

 

MEREDITH — The Greater Meredith Program Board of Directors will host its annual meeting on Thursday, Feb. 2, in the Winnipesaukee Ballroom at Church Landing in Meredith.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. with a cash bar and hors d' oeuvres. "Meredith: a Walk Through Time" will be narrated by Nancy Barry, producing director of Interlakes Summer Theatre and Bob Manley, partner-owner of Hermit Woods Winery.

The presentation was compiled by Liz Lapham, retired GMP executive director, from the Meredith Village Pathways Historic Walking Map, notes from a Meredith Village Walking Tour by Ann Sprague, a Talking Tour of Main Street 1890 by Janice Pond and photographic images and facts from the Meredith Historical Society.

The celebration is free and all are welcome to attend, but an RSVP is requested by Wednesday, Jan. 25, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 279-9015.

Newly elected GMP President Bob Manley, and newly appointed Executive Director Monica Philbin and others will honor the programs, projects, and accomplishments of the past year, followed by award recognitions, including Volunteer of the Year and Board Member of the Year. The drawing for a raffle items will conclude the evening.

Mill Falls at the Lake has donated a one night gift certificate with Oglethorpe's Fine Arts and Crafts and Hermit Woods Winery and many other local establishments contributing to the prizes.

For more information about GMP or volunteer opportunities, please call 603.279.9015, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., find us on facebook, or visit the website at www.greatermeredithprogram.com.

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