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Here for the long haul
By JOHN KOZIOLjkoziol@citizen.com
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Daniel Petrini,the new owner of the Weirs Beach Motel and Cottages, is busy preparing for the upcoming season. The Weirs Beach Motel & Cottages will soon be open for the 2010 season and its new owners are bullish on its prospects and those of the tourist destination which it calls home.
The Petrini family — father Dan and his sons, Gregory and Brian — recently purchased the venerable lodging establishment on Lakeside Avenue at a foreclosure auction for $670,000 plus back taxes. They have been sprucing it up since then to be ready for the start of the season in May.
"It's been a pretty decent place," said Dan Petrini, adding that the 31-unit facility which comprises a motel, three houses and 14 stand-alone cottages has been well-maintained by its previous owners, Elaine and Dana Walker.Petrini, who resides in Sanbornton and originally hails from Litchfield, has invested in properties throughout the Greater Lakes Region since 1993 when he left New Hampshire Ball Bearings' Astro Division where he had worked in the human resources department.At one time, Petrini owned the Franklin Business Center — and sold it "when the market was good."
The Weirs Beach Motel & Cottages represents his largest project to date and, as to why he and his family bought it, "I guess you can say we got caught up in the bidding," said Petrini.The motel is both "a challenge and a new opportunity," he said, adding that, "fortunately, I have two sons and families" who will live on-site to run the establishment which boasts well-appointed rental units, a brand new online reservation system and a 94 percent "recommended" rating — based on 17 reviews — on tripadvisor.com.
Asked how the current down economy might affect the motel's first year, Petrini replied that he expected the economy to "improve dramatically," adding that "people are ready to start having fun."Petrini was appreciative of the Walkers for working closely with him and his family, saying they have "bent over backwards for us" to ensure a seamless transition for patrons between owners. The Walkers, he said, have provided customer information to the Petrinis, thus allowing the motel to be almost three-quarters booked for Bike Week.
For 2010, "We're hoping to do as well as they [the Walkers] were doing," said Petrini, who said the long-term goal is to increase business by 20 percent.He and his family are identifying potential groups that would want to use their facilities and are looking to capitalize on the nearby presence of the cruise ship M/S Mount Washington which is berthed in The Weirs during the tourist season.
Petrini hopes that his family's name will be long associated with the Weirs Beach Motel & Cottages, like the Makris family which is known and celebrated for its 75-year commitment to the Naswa Resort.The Weirs Beach Motel & Cottages will operate seasonally, said Petrini, but "Who knows? We might expand it further."The motel, he said, "has a good future here. Weirs Beach is going to start developing again and people are going to start coming back up here."The Weirs Beach Motel & Cottages is located at 396 Lakeside Avenue in Laconia. For more information, call 366-4604 or go to www.weirsbeachmotel.com.