Saturday, February 2, 2013

New Website Launch a Success

A new look has appeared for the Gale River Motel’s website! After a decade of service the Gale River Motel’s website has entered the 21st century. John Wills, web designer at Northern Mountain Design, has infused new life and vitality with many new tools and functions to make our presence on the internet really “buzz”. This integrated website combines an on-line reservation system, direct links to Facebook,, and GoogleMaps. The layout combines exciting new dimensions for showcasing the Gale River Motel and the surrounding area.

I will be discontinuing the use of this site as the blog for the Gale River Motel...and invite you to visit my new blog at:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The GREEN Revolution Continues

The saga of eco-friendliness at the Gale River Motel continues with the replacement of the louvered bathroom windows. Due to the need to vent the build-up of humidity in the bathrooms, storm window inserts were never able to be installed on the 1950's era bathroom windows which resulted in tremendous heat loss through a single-paned drafty window in all of the bathrooms.

The installation of energy efficient double-hung windows has eliminated one of the primary sources of cold-air infiltration into the motel units. Seasonal renters for the ski season have commented favorably on the efficiency of the windows that still afford the opportunity to vent, but when closed provide an effective barrier to the winter chill.

The Gale River will be hooking up the solar hot water heating system for the outdoor pool in the coming months, having chosen in 2011, to eliminate the propane pool heater and replace it with an in-line solar system.

The Gale River Motel continues to strive towards greater energy efficiency and resource utilization. We invite interested parties to contact us at 603-823-5655 to schedule a tour of the property or inquire about our efforts.

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Eco-Friendly Initiatives for 2011

Continuing with eco-friendly improvements at the Gale River Motel, plans are in place for the installation of new energy efficient entry doors for all motel rooms and cottages in 2011. Over the years, a number of guests have commented on the illumination that shines into the rooms from the porch lights through the glassed entry doors. These single paned wooden frame doors, original to the motel, date back to the 1950's and are not up to current standards of insulative quality. New insulated fiberglass solid-frame doors and casings will eliminate the porch light infiltration and provide for a more weather proof entry.

Also, new this year, complimenting the well established recycling program, an initiative to encourage guests to separate out compostable materials will be undertaken on the property. Housekeeping staff, in addition to separating out recyclables will focus on removing compostable materials from the waste stream.

A 27-cubic foot dual chambered compost tumbler has been acquired and will be ready to accept compostable materials at the start of the spring season. Composted materials will be used on the property's gardens.

Another project under consideration is the installation of a solar pool heater. Logistics associated with this project needed to be analyzed once the snow melts and access to the pool area is possible.

The Gale River Motel continues to strive towards greater energy efficiency and resource utilization. We invite interested parties to contact us at 603-823-5655 to schedule a tour of the property or inquire about our efforts.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Gale River Motel Named a 2010 Editors’ Choice by Yankee Magazine

The Gale River Motel has been recognized as a 2010 Editors’ Choice in Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England, on newsstands now. This designation is awarded by Yankee’s editors and contributors, who name select restaurants, lodgings, and attractions in New England to the exclusive list. Recipients range from the rustic to the refined, but all are noteworthy and memorable destinations. For 34 years, Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England has been the most widely distributed and best-selling guide to the six-state region, providing readers with a comprehensive vacation-planning tool and daily reference.

“ Receiving this recognition from the editors of Yankee is a humbling recognition of the efforts that we take in welcoming guests at the Gale River Motel” states Kevin Johnson, owner of the Gale River Motel. “The personal service, breath-taking views, modern amenities, and our location in the quintessential New England village of Franconia combine to make the Gale River Motel an example of hospitality measuring up to the standards of Yankee Magazine.”

“Our special travel issue includes page after page of secrets and whispers. It covers New England’s unique landscape, its attractions, and the people who create the flavors, crafts, and lodgings that lend their richness to memorable travel,” says Yankee editor Mel Allen. “It’s about the secrets we whisper to family and friends when we come home from seeing new places. With invaluable help from our ‘Best of New England’ contributors, we offer more than 300 stories-in-waiting inside this issue. We think of our ‘Bests’ as secrets whispered to friends—in this case, the loyal readers of Yankee Magazine.”

The 2010 Travel Guide features 312 “Best of New England — Editors’ Choice” selections, which include the best restaurants, lodgings, attractions, local secrets, and bargains in the region. Yankee tells readers where to find the “Best Taste of Europe” in Maine, the “Best Music Hall” in Connecticut, the “Best Rainy-Day Excursion” in Rhode Island, the “Best Inn for Foodies” in Massachusetts, the “Best Sushi” in Boston, the “Best Art Fix” in New Hampshire, the “Best Aquarium” in Vermont, and many more. This special issue also names 120 top events around the region, plus 50 waterfront dining recommendations; food and home articles are also featured.

Gale River Motel will also be recommended on

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yankee Magazine Announces “Best of New England — Readers’ Choice” Winners for 2010

Dublin, New Hampshire (January 26. 2010) — Yankee Magazine’s readers have named their favorite establishments and attractions as “Best of New England — Readers’ Choice” winners for 2010. The designation recognizes readers’ favorite restaurants, lodgings, and attractions in New England. The list is published at The Gale River Motel & Cottages in Franconia, NH was a winner for favorite Small Hotel and Family Hotel.

“For 75 years, Yankee Magazine has served as the authority on New England travel. Our readers are passionate about exploring this region, and we asked them what places they’d nominate as ‘Best of New England,’” says Heather Atwell, communications manager for Yankee Magazine. “They answered enthusiastically, and we’re happy to share their top choices.”

This is the first “Best of New England — Readers Choice” list in Yankee’s 75-year history. It includes picks for readers’ favorite New England attractions, lodgings, dining establishments, and getaways, with categories such as favorite ski resort, B&B, amusement park, museum, pizza place, and diner.

Yankee Magazine is the only magazine devoted to New England through its coverage of travel, home, food, and features. It has a paid circulation of more than 350,000 and a total audience of over 2 million. For 33 years, Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England, published every May, has been the most widely distributed and best-selling guide to the six-state region, providing readers with a comprehensive vacation-planning tool and daily reference. A hallmark of that issue is Yankee’s “Editors’ Choice” picks, in which Yankee’s editors and contributors share their favorite travel establishments with readers. For the “Best of New England — Readers Choice” list, it’s Yankee’s readers who, for the first time, get to share their favorite picks.

“ Receiving this recognition from a premier publication such as Yankee Magazine is a humbling recognition of the efforts that we take in making guests feel welcomed and appreciated at the Gale River Motel” states Kevin Johnson, owner of the Gale River Motel.

About the Gale River Motel: The Gale River Motel is a family-owned and operated year round motel located in Franconia, NH. Minutes away from the Franconia Notch State Park in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Gale River Motel has been providing lodging for guests and families for nearly eighty years. Recently recognized by the NH Department of Environmental Services and the New Hampshire Sustainable Lodging and Restaurant Program as an Environmental Champion, the Gale River Motel is leading the way in environmentally friendly lodging practices.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Gale River Motel & Cottages is The First Motel Certified as Environmental Champion under the New Partnership with The NHLRA and NHDES

DATE: December 8, 2009
CONTACT: Tara Mae Albert, NHDES

The Gale River Motel & Cottages is The First Motel Certified as Environmental Champion under the New Partnership with The NHLRA and NHDES

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the N.H. Lodging and Restaurant Association announced today that the Gale River Motel & Cottages in Franconia is the first motel labeled as an Environmental Champion under a new program coordinated between the two organizations.

In November, NHLRA kicked off their redesigned green certification program for restaurants and lodging facilities to make them more accountable for keeping up their green practices and also offers a tool to educate hotels and restaurants on making their businesses more sustainable. Michele Veasey of the NHLRA’s Sustainability Program and Tara Mae Albert of the DES’s Pollution Prevention Program (NHPPP) completed a site assessment of the Gale River Motel & Cottages in Franconia, which was the final step for certifying the motel.

The recently revised certification manual now consists of a point award system that allows a facility to choose projects that best apply to them. The point system gives accountability for all projects implemented but awards a higher point value for the more environmentally sustainable items on the list. To be considered an “Environmental Champion” a facility must receive 175 points or more out of a possible 316. Once the application is complete, a site assessment must be completed to verify their self-certification.

The Gale River Motel and Cottages (GRM&C), a year round family-oriented getaway, scored 251 points on their application. Motel owner, Kevin Johnson, stated, “As one of the smallest lodging properties in the state of New Hampshire, it has been a challenge to pursue the ideals of eco-friendly business practices, but it is an effort which has yielded significant cost-savings and beneficial public relations."

The most notable project described in GRM&C’s application is their solar hot water system, the first in the state for a motel. To justify the installation, Johnson used electric bills and spreadsheets to conduct surveys calculating their emissions savings, which tie directly to their carbon footprint. If any business owner has questions on the system, Johnson “welcomes them to visit the Gale River Motel for a tour”. In addition, the motel has changed to energy efficient lighting in 95% of their guest rooms; 100% of their exterior lighting is energy-efficient; and they replaced the boiler system in 2008 with a more sustainable model. The GRM&C has also focused on water conservation by changing to 100% low flow showerheads, faucets and toilets to low flow models and they also have built their own “irrigation” system for a small garden using a homemade rain barrel and a system of buried soaker hoses. Additionally, they limit landscape watering by only watering when necessary and they have added moisture sensors to the automated systems.

To involve guests in their sustainability efforts, the GRM&C has developed room signs for the guest rooms informing them about their initiatives. They have set up a towel program and do not launder the sheets until the second guest day unless asked to. In addition, there are informational signs indicating what items the hotel will recycle and asking guests to either use the bags provided for recycling or to leave the items on the table for the cleaning staff to take care of. This initiative alone has lead to 4,743 pounds of waste not sent to landfill.

After receiving the certification Kevin remarked, "Certification under the NH Sustainable Lodging and Restaurant Program provides an objective and standardized evaluation utilizing a uniform criteria for recognition as an eco-friendly business. I have used these guidelines as a roadmap for developing policies and practices designed to positively impact the environment and operate more efficiently as a business owner."

In addition to these projects, the GRM&C set up a strategic plan for their future environmental goals. These commitments to obtaining future savings have lead to their induction, in November, into the DES Aspiring Leaders Program. That program gives recognition to companies that go above and beyond the legal requirements for environmental and economic benefit. Bob Minicucci, program manager for Aspiring Leaders, said he was very impressed with the projects GRM&C has taken on and the way their management is tracking progress and continuing to try new ways to do better improve operations.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fire Pit Brings Guests Together

The addition of the new fire pit at the Gale River Motel has resulted in an unexpected consequence. "The fire pit provides a social setting for individuals and groups to gather around and socialize with each other that they otherwise wouldn't enjoy" reports Kevin. A large family from Honduras was staying in one of our cottages and another large family had rented out several rooms, the evening campfire provided a wonderful setting for the two groups to meet and socialize while toasting smores and enjoying the blazing fire. The firepit has been popular during the summer despite the overcast skies. Couples have enjoyed quiet intimate conversation in front of the flames as much as the families with little ones roasting their marshmallows.

Consistent with the Gale River Motel's eco-friendly philosophy, all of the wood being burnt is deadfall that has been cleared off the property, or material scavenged from the area's recycling center that was destined to be burnt by the town.

The fire pit will be continued through the winter months so that visitors during the colder season can still enjoy the pleasure of a bonfire.