History of Mountain Club on Loon
The Mountain Club on Loon is the product of the present-day boom in vacation home ownership, which in New Hampshire’s White Mountains actively dates from around the early 1960’s, although the private chalet ownership concept was underway in Franconia, NH as far back as the 1940s.
Development of Loon
In the early 1960s, the old lumber mill town of Lincoln was on the verge of a sweeping transformation. Spurred by President Dwight Eisenhower's Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, Interstate 93 was being constructed from Boston to Lincoln. At the same time, the winter sport of alpine skiing was exploding in popularity. With the opening of the Kancamagus Highway in 1961, Sherman Adams, former New Hampshire governor and President Eisenhower's chief of staff, saw more than just a road. Over 100 square miles of wilderness would be opened up, and Adams knew there was a good ski mountain along the route. Work started in the fall of 1965 on a $700,000 project at Loon Mountain.
The first Inn at Loon
After 2 years of preparation, the Loon Mountain Ski Area opened for business on December 27, 1966. The new area featured a Carroll Reed ski shop and a Jon Putnam ski school. A new 45-room hotel …The Inn … debuted for the 1967-68 season adjacent to the base area, complete with a restaurant, lounge, and indoor swimming pool.
Vacation Home Ownership
Following the initial success of Loon Mountain, a 20-year period of vacation home development began. This real estate development boom in vacation homes also included a relatively new concept in ownership called “condominiums,” which is simply described as: “a collection of individual home units and common areas along with the land upon which they sit.” Also arriving on the scene at this time was an even newer concept of ownership called “timeshare.” The term "timeshare" was coined in Europe in the early 1960’s, expanding on a vacation system that became popular after World War II. This concept of “sharing” a vacation home was further refined in the following years by dividing a resort room into 1/52 ownership, or owning one week per year.
Mountain Club on Loon Development
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Loon’s condominium construction took place on a large scale, creating new mixed-use resorts like the Village of Loon and others. These resorts offered both whole ownership condominiums in detached single-family and duplex dwellings, as well as apartment-style condominiums in single buildings. Always a destination for seasonal vacationers looking to rent hotel rooms, these resort properties now offered these larger-than-a-hotel room condominiums as part of the area’s rental mix, and included with them new lifestyle choices by providing popular amenities like multiple bedrooms for larger groups; kitchens for preparing meals; outdoor decks, fireplaces, in-room hot tubs, and other up-scale accoutrements.
It was with these vacation renters, and especially Loon Mountain’s loyal skiers in mind that development of Loon’s only full-service slopeside resort hotel began in 1986, culminating in the opening of the Mountain Club on Loon in 1987. Today, the Mountain Club on Loon is an evolution of many of the condominium ownership concepts that evolved over the past 50 years, coming together to provide its owners and guests with the ultimate in ski resort living. This self-managed 234-room Quartershare Ownership (13 weeks per year) resort has approximately 360 individuals and families who own here. A true condominium hotel, there is an elected Board of Directors and an on-site management company that runs the day-to-day operation overseeing the hotel, restaurant, banquet facility, spa, and health club.