The Hotel That Saved a Town

Who ever thought it possible that a hotel could save a town, only has to see the evidence on how the Harbor View Hotel transformed a small town off the coast of Massachusetts from a poverty stricken community to a thriving hospitality community.

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“This book was a dream project for us and there are so many people to thank! This project would not have been possible without our hotel owners who are committed to preserving the history of Harbor View and the island. Thanks to Jan Pogue, Publisher of Vineyard Stories, for steering the ship from concept to completion, to Nis Kildegaard for the in depth research and the way in which he told our story (hard to believe this was his first book!), to Alison Shaw for her stunning imagery and tireless efforts to capture the right shots, to Ben & Lainey Scott of Bluerock Design Co. for the beautiful layout and design that seamlessly integrated our branding. Finally, last but never least, thanks to Bob Carroll, former owner of Harbor View, a treasure trove of island history and at 90 years old amazes us with his sharp memory and wit!”

- Elizabeth Rothwell, Regional Marketing Director of Scout Hotels

The Harbor View the largest hotel in the largest town on Martha’s Vineyard is a vital resource on this Island, seven miles off the coast of Massachusetts. It is a popular resort for summer visitors and a part of the year round Vineyard, sponsoring and hosting dozens of community events.

But in 1891, the year it was built, it was considered so important that its construction was heralded as civic enterprise. It was bankrolled by sixteen Edgartown residents worried their town was deteriorating so badly that one prominent writer had already called it “far advanced in decay.” It was into this hopeless scene that investors collected $5,000 (equivalent today to $128,200) and financed the construction of a hotel they hoped would bring them enough seasonal visitors to help bring Edgartown back to life.

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“The Hotel That Saved A Town has a way of taking the reader back to specific historical events that shaped the Harbor View Hotel. A tumultuous past that evolved into a successful relationship between the current owners and Scout Hotels proves to the fact that indeed the town was saved – but at the same time, the town held up the hotel.”

- Andrew Bartlett, General Manager of Harbor View Hotel

You can purchase copy at our Harbor View Hotel Front Desk, as well as order it online at one of our local bookstores like Bunches of Grapes and Edgartown Books.

Social Shape Up Workshops 2015

Social media is a trend that’s here to stay and in 2015 we’re welcoming it with a set of four unique workshops all about the basics on social media, where you’ll learn how to engage your audience, turn those page views into clients, and in general, have a better sense of what social media actually means and how you should be using it.

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To achieve just that, we have partnered with Social Media Experts Jason Bridges of SocialBridge and Holly Finigan of the Nantucket blACKbook to bring you the following four Social Shape Up workshops:

Jump Start Your Social Media – Sunday February 8th from 2pm – 3:30pm 

What you’ll learn:

  • build your content strategy for 2015
  • optimize your time spent on the right platforms for you and your brand
  • set realistic “digital” goals 

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Talk Tweet To Me - Sunday February 8th from 4pm – 5:30pm 

What you’ll learn:

  • Organize content with Lists
  • Tweak your strategy with analytics
  • Find the right Twitter Chat and how to connect within it 

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Instagram 303 – February 8th from 7pm – 8:30pm

What you’ll learn:

  • Broaden your reach with hashtags
  • Using direct messaging efficiently
  • Learn about apps that integrate well with Instagram 

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Email Marketing 101 – Monday February 9th from 9am – 10:30am

What you’ll learn:

  • start a new or improve your email marketing campaigns
  • create calls to action that will lead your customers to your brand
  • creatively build your subscriber list

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Take advantage of our hotel packages that include overnight stay as well as participation in these four social media workshops. Read more about this social media + hotel package and book your package online.

Only want to stay for the workshops? Sign up for one or all four by emailing Holly at holly@nantucketblACKbook.com

The Winter Guide to Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard is one of the most popular destinations in the world and draws an incredible amount of visitors in the summer months, but there is so much more to the Island beyond the summer that one can do. Even all your favorite activities is just as beautiful and enjoyable in the winter months “off-season.” This time of the year is when you can really take in the beauty of Martha’s Vineyard.

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Top Best perks of coming to Martha’s Vineyard Off-Season:

In the winter, you can bring your car over to the island at almost half the cost as peak season. This provides you will the convenience of exploring and checking out parts of the island you may not have visited during the summer. Bring your car on island and enjoy your 45 minute ferry ride with Steamship Authority to Vineyard Haven.

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Vineyard Haven is a year round community. Main Street offers variety of boutique and unique style stores from clothing, gifts, books, jewelry, art, and much much more. Stop by The Green Room, Stina Sayre, Claudia’s JewelryBunch of Grapes Book Store to just a name a few of year round stores. Vineyard Haven is a great place to spend the day to shop and have a light breakfast or lunch. All your favorite places such as Waterside Market, Black Dog, Art Cliff, Mocha Motts, are open just like they are in the summer. Check our local newspapers Martha’s Vineyard Times and Vineyard Gazette for all the retail island sales.

Harbor View Hotel is a year round property that offers you attentive and quality service. The hotel offers a winter promotional menu for lunch and dinner at Henry’s and specialty cocktails. Water Street offers a full menu breakfast and a lavish Sunday Brunch Buffet. We have a fully equipped gym for our active guest, who enjoy a nice work out. During the winter, there are many events through out the winter, such as Thanksgiving week and our popular Grand Buffet, Teddy Bear Suite in support of the Boys and Girls Club, Christmas In Edgartown a weekend long full of events, and an incredible New Year’s Eve Bash ending the night with fireworks over the lighthouse harbor.

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The Newes from America, a year round staple pub in Martha’s Vineyard, is right in the heart of town and just a quick walk from the hotel. Weekend nights join the locals with scheduled live music and delicious beer to earn your wooden nickels towards the declaration of superiority wall.

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Lucy Vincent Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on Island. During the summer, Lucy Vincent is a private beach and is not open to the general public, but in the off-season the public may access this beach and it is easily one of the more picturesque beaches on Martha’s Vineyard.

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Since you are already more than half way “up- island” stop in Aquinnah and make sure to take photographs of the Gay Head Light House. Gay Head Light house is one of the 5 light houses, and this one being the oldest is one of the prettiest. The light house sits high on its cliff-side offering breathtaking views of the ocean. This time of the year, your 45 minute drive from one end of the island to the other, really takes 45 minutes.

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Hungry? Lobster lovers… Stop in Menemsha, your favorite place in the summer to catch the sunset, you can still get the same hot lobster roll and steaming lobster bisque or clam chowder in the winter at the Menemsha Fish Market.

Martha’s Vineyard is just as beautiful in the winter than in the summer, just without the crowd!

Meet Our ‘NEW’ General Manager

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Say ‘Hello’ to our General Manager, Andrew Bartlett

Andrew Bartlett’s Story

A graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a degree in tourism planning and development,  Andrew Bartlett launched his hospitality management career in Southern California. There, he held management positions at two exclusive properties in the town of Ojai: the Su Nido Inn and Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.

Mr. Bartlett returns to the Vineyard after a four-year tenure as general manager of the Plantation on Crystal River in Central Florida, which, like Harbor View Hotel, is managed by Scout Hotels.

“Andrew has built an impressive hospitality career focusing on luxury boutique properties and has been a highly regarded member of the Scout Hotels team since 2009,” said Robin Kirk, president of Scout Hotels. “We are confident that under his stewardship, Harbor View Hotel will continue to thrive.”

Questionnaire

Q. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

  a.  ‘If money were no option, I would enjoy living in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire on Lake Winnapesaukee.’

Q. What do you like to do in your free time?

  a.  ‘I am a motorcycle enthusiasts and enjoy riding whenever possible.’

Q. What is your favorite food?

  a.  ‘This is very tough to nail down in one specific dish but as far as cuisine I do enjoy authentic Italian food.’

Q. Name a country you would like to visit and why.

  a.  ‘I would enjoy visiting South Korea to understand and gain a better appreciation of where my wife is from.’

Q. Tropical or Cold Climate weather? Ocean or Lake?

  a.  ‘Cold/Lake’

Q. What’s your favorite sports team?

  a.  ‘Boston Bruins’

Q. If you could speak another language, what would it be?

  a.  ‘Korean’

Q. We hear you have a motorcycle, how long have you had your license and where are some of your favorite places to ride?

  a.  ‘I have had my license since 1999 and my favorite riding spots include VT and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.’

Q. Where is your favorite “spot” to go on the Island?

  a.  ‘I enjoy much of the island but to spend time and relax I enjoy taking trips up island towards Aquinnah and Chilmark to explore.’

Q. What is your ideal day in Martha’s Vineyard?

  a.  ‘A ride up island to do a hike or walk on the beach followed by a lobster roll in Menemsha and dinner/drinks with friends and family.’

Q.  What is an interesting skill that most people wouldn’t know you have?

  a.  ‘I spend much of my free time tinkering with antique boats.’

Q. What was the happiest moment in your life?

  a.  Impossible to pick one moment out of a lifetime of wonderful moments but my wedding day easily ranks at the top.’

 

WELCOME BACK ANDREW!

 

 

 

Our Farmer’s Market

After a scenic drive along West Tisbury-Edgartown Road, just passed Alley’s General Store & 7a Foods, I arrived to find the West Tisbury Farmer’s Market at the Grange Hall.  A beautiful Wednesday afternoon, the sun was shining bright upon the tents of each outdoor vendor & parking was easily found along the street.

The island was all a buzz with questions of when and where President Obama & his family might show up next… Would it be the farmer’s market, Today?  This video gives a look at what the President might choose on his visit to the market.

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Open every Wednesday from June 18th – August 27th & Saturday from June 7th – October 11th 9:00 am- 12:00 pm & packed with vendors.

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Each vendor shares a piece of who they are with high quality goods and smiling faces.  The Kitchen Porch stand (above) offers everything from grab and go lunch items to freshly made popovers.

As I peeked in to each market stand, I was tickled to see items from all over the island.  From local produce, fresh cut flowers, baked goods, plants, & chocolates.  You Name It, They’ve Got It!

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A favorite of mine is the island sea salt produced by Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt.  Available at the West Tisbury Farmer’s Market until September.

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Look how cute the ‘Travelers’ are!  An ode to the past, these petite treasures are perfect reminders of when islanders used to make their own sea salt stash.  Perfect for visitor gifts or as an ‘on the go’ essential.

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Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt is produced by the husband and wife team of Heidi Feldman and Curtis Friedman, a tech consultant-turned-entrepreneurial farmer and carpenter who share a commitment to local, sustainable food production and a deep love of Martha’s Vineyard.  As seen (above) with the carefully crafted table Curtis constructed and Heidi’s genius use of island shells and sea glass to form the shape of the island.

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Another favorite of mine is Tea Lane Farms fresh cut flowers from right here in West Tisbury.  Tea Lane offers the freshest flowers & accommodate everything from Weddings, Special Events, Custom Bouquets, DIY Flower Buckets.

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At Tea Lane’s market stand seasonal flowers cut that morning are plentiful.  They come in all different shapes and sizes.  Lilies and Sunflowers were on display in silver buckets all a glow! The Stargazer lilies were a ‘must have’ purchase for this trip to the market.

The West Tisbury Farmers Market is not to be missed…  My day at the market was exactly what I needed to unwind and discover all the island had to offer.  If you are coming in the off season, the Winter Market becomes the next best thing & a local favorite.  Held indoors at the new Agricultural Hall the market hosts over 25 vendors, great food and live music!

See you there…

With Love, ~C.

What About Bob

The Vineyard is home to many celebrities, some that were born here, some that find their way to the beautiful island, and some that just come for the summer. Bob Carroll is an island celebrity, born and raised on South Summer Street in Edgartown. Bob has done so much for Martha’s Vineyard and after 90 years, he still calls the island his home.            

At one point Bob owned the Seafood Shanty, Harbor View Hotel, Kelley House, Edgartown Marine and other prime real estate all at the same time. How did he turn into the successful businessman? It all started with a coffee shop. In the 50’s his friend leased him a coffee shop where you could buy a cup for 10 cents. He realized men would come in, buy a cup, and then sit there all day not allowing anyone else in thus preventing the shop from making a profit. Bob simply raised the price of coffee and his problems were solved

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Bob then realized that Edgartown needed another restaurant. He bought a building and made a little restaurant out of it, this was the Seafood Shanty. The Seafood Shanty is still a popular pick for islanders and tourists and often has lines out the door.

Four years after the success of the Seafood Shanty, in 1965, Bob took out a loan from the Plymouth Savings Bank and bought the Harbor View Hotel for $225,000. Bob did so much for the hotel: he changed the lay out of the rooms, gave the main building guest rooms back its beautiful view of the lighthouse by changing the locations of the bathrooms, added a swimming pool, added the 3 story Governor Mayhew building, and extending the traditional 3 month season by bringing in groups for conferences in the spring and fall. The 3 story, 51 room, Governor Mayhew building was a hit right away to the public. It sat right next to the pool and had seventeen twin-bedded rooms. Each floor had its own electric heater and the building paid for itself in the first two years.

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Soon after the Harbor View, Bob bought the Kelley House and Edgartown Marine. Bob was very well liked and respected through out the island. Not only was he well known for all of his business and success, but he served as an Edgartown selectman, which also made him a police commissioner, from 1960-1970. He said that he could get anyone out of trouble in half an hour. Bob played himself as a police commissioner in the movie Jaws that was filmed on Martha’s Vineyard in 1975.

Bob was 62 when he got out of the hotel business for good. He sold the Harbor View in 1986, but still calls it his home. Being the smart businessman he is, Bob negotiated a lifetime tenancy in the penthouse atop the harbor view. Bob currently resides there and is celebrating his 90th birthday tonight at Water St.

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Happy birthday Bob!

XOXO,

Carly

Sandcastles on South Beach 2014

Wednesday was the 8th Annual Sandcastle Competition on South Beach.

Never wanting to miss a good time, the Harbor View gang went over to check it out. And BOY was it a good time! The weather was stunning and sunny and the interns took full advantage of a trip out of the office…

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The stakes were high- the winner get a flag announcing to the whole beach they are the winner AND bragging rights! The competition was broken up into Juniors (younger than 13) and Adults (13+) with a special “People’s Choice” award that was voted on by other passing beach-goers.

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The competition was fierce. And the subject matter of the sand sculptures was pretty varied…

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We showed up as most of the teams were putting the final touches on their sand creations. And while most of the teams were from the Eastern Seaboard, there were some teams from the Midwest and the South. This “Jaws” enthusiast was all the way from the California!

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Of course, Harbor View Hotel had a team representing us! The activities department had been hard at work since 10am and were almost complete by the time we showed up…

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But Seth, the Director of Activities here at the hotel, took some time off of sand sculpting to do a quick interview with Lucas about what it takes to compete…

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After hours of building the winners were announced and awards were presented…

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The First Place Winners for the Junior Division built an  octopus enjoying a birthday cupcake, using beach rocks as sprinkles. Nice work guys!

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The Adult competition was pretty stiff and the Harbor View team didn’t win first unfortunately. BUT we still held our own against the other teams! Here is the hardworking team with their ribbons.

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All in all it was a really fun summer day. Everyone was out to catch the waves and some rays and see the sand castle competition. If you didn’t make it this year, be sure to stop by next summer- or better register as a team! The competition is run ever year by the Edgartown Board of Trade. Hit up the website for more information!

What a afternoon! Thanks to everyone for reading!

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Cheers!

Gretta x

 

 

Elizabeth Cecil Art Opening

We decided to kick off the weekend early last week by throwing an art opening to celebrate the wonderful Elizabeth Cecil. Elizabeth is a photographer here on the island and her work captures some stunning scenes of life on Martha’s Vineyard- from the animals at the Grey Barn and the Agricultural Festival, to surfers catching the waves up at Dukes County. Her work is also now part of a permanent collection hanging on the walls of the Governor Mayhew Building here at the Harbor View Hotel.

As five o’clock drew nearer, the clouds were pretty stormy and we feared that we would have to keep our party inside. But at five the clouds cleared up and gave way to a beautiful sun-soaked evening. The two Elizabeths took a quick snap before the guests arrived…

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The cheese plate, supplied by the Water Street Restaurant was beautiful (and delicious… the marketing team had more than our fare share ahem…)

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But Elizabeth’s work was an even bigger hit! The Pool and hallways were soon filled with people buzzing about her work and pointing out their favorite’s to friends.

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The evening was filled with good food (and wine!) and good friends. Some people were Harbor View regulars and others had never been inside the building, but everyone agreed that Elizabeth’s work looked amazing on the Governor Mayhew walls. Hotel guests joined in the festiviites and were happy to meet the artist who’s work they had been admiring all week.

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In addition to the wine a cheese, delicious hors d’oeuvres were passed around…

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…and Krishana of Tea Lane Farm provided stunning flowers to decorate the pool area. The triple lillies were my favorite…

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I was a little obsessed!

And just when we all though we couldn’t eat another bite, the servers came around with mini donuts from the island-famous Nik’s Donuts! And they were all dressed up for the special occasion! No one could resist a sweet snack…

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And at that point the Instagramming got out of control! Good thing too, because the donuts disappeared mighty fast…

All in all a really fun night of food, art, and friends! If you made it to the Harbor View Hotel on Thursday night, thank you so much for joining us! And if you didn’t get a chance to stop by, be sure to take a peek in the Governor Mayhew buiding soon to see Elizabeth’s work!

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Thanks for reading and hope you get a chance to join us for our next event!

For more information about Elizabeth and her work, please visit her at: http://elizabethcecil.com/

Cheers,

Gretta x

 

Friday at the Flower Farm

On Friday the team got up early and trekked Up Island for the flower harvest at Tea Lane Farm.

Tea Lane Farm is a flower studio which grows stunning organic flowers in it’s greenhouses and fields in Chilmark. They provide flowers for Weddings, Special Events, and Custom Bouquets. Summer is (obviously) a really busy season for the Tea Lane team, between all the weddings and parties that happen on the island. But they graciously invited us over to tour the field and talk about their business.

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The day could not have been more beautiful. It had been rainy and gross the past couple days, but the sun had finally broken through and all we wanted to do was spend the whole day outside. We met the owner Krishana Collins on Middle Road and followed her in our car along a bumpy dirt road. We emerged from the trees at the edge of a large field and could already see the girls harvesting flowers. Krishana walked us through the rows, showing us the different types they grow- Chrysanthemums, Snapdragons, Bachelor Buttons, Zinnias, Sunflowers, and huge lilies of every color. It was such a beautiful sight to see the ladies of Tea Lane crouching down in the feilds and emerging with armfuls of beautiful liliies. Paradise!

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Krishana told us about her growing technique and how to harvest the flowers, and then helped us pick out our own fresh bouquets- that matched our outfits (of course!)

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We had a little TOO much fun… even our cameraman Lucas got into it!

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Tea Lane Farm supplies flowers to the West Tisbury Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays all summer, and they have a farmer’s stand which works on the honor system. You can also contact them to order the most beautiful fresh flowers on the island for your next party by checking out their website.

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Thanks for reading, and I hope you get a chance to pick up some Tea Lane Farm flowers this summer, they really are stunning!

Cheers x,

Gretta