Friday, March 21

Robert Morgan

Special to the Journal

Since 1769 the Equinox has stood as an icon of American resorts.

This well known local landmark has recently commenced a multi-million dollar revitalization that pays homage to the past while bringing sophisticated touches of extreme comfort that are sure to make even the most discerning guest feel right at home.

Renovation

The $20 million renovation of all guestrooms, suites, lobby, Marsh Tavern and the creation of two new exciting dining venues will be complete in July 2008. Envisioned by famed interior designer Geoffrey Bradfield and executed by well-known architectural firms Baskervill and Middlebury-based Bread Loaf, the renovation will ensure that the Equinox will retain its place as New England's premier destination resort.

The new Falcon Bar will be an ideal location to both begin and end an evening. Guests and locals may enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail or single malt scotch on the new outdoor deck overlooking Mount Equinox and return after dinner for a "flight of wines and chocolate pairings" or simply to relax and bask in the warmth of the new Fire Pit, the focal point of the expansive deck. Menu offerings in the Falcon Bar will feature a selection of Vermont's finest cheeses and will showcase fine hand made "Chocopologie" chocolates by award winning Knipschildt Chocolatier.

The new "Chop House" at the Equinox will be the ideal setting for that "special" night out. Offering the finest cuts of meat and a level of service that is unparalleled in the area, the Chop House will truly be the steak lover's delight.


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The completely new guestrooms and suites will provide guests comforts that they are accustomed to in their own homes - featuring amenities such as HD flat-panel televisions, custom pillow-top mattresses, granite bathrooms and wireless high speed internet access. While current in decor, the rooms will maintain their distinct Vermont feel with historical images and natural wood finishes.

The renovation of the Equinox will continue in more subtle ways following completion in July as upgrades are planned for the private function space, 1811 House, Fitness Center, Spa and The Golf Club at Equinox.

Activity Partners

The Equinox will continue to provide world-class activities, available to all in the community and is excited to announce new and continued partnerships with the following brands: Orvis shooting and fly fishing schools. The leader in outdoor activities, Orvis has been a tremendous partner to the Equinox for hundreds of years.

Land Rover Experience Driving School; watch for our upcoming "Stiletto to the Metal" off-road driving package created especially for the ladies.

British School of Falconry and Archery, offering introductory and advanced sessions with some of the most beautiful birds of prey in the world. Troon Golf, the world leader in golf course management will work with our team to enhance our world-class links.

Equinox Customer

While recognized as an international destination, the Equinox patron primarily hails from New York City to Boston and drives from 2-4 hours for an unforgettable experience. Uniquely suited to accommodate couples, families, guys golf getaways and girls "spa" escapes the resort is a year round destination, with activities ranging from off-road driving to spa treatments, skiing to golf and much more.

Guests come to Manchester Village to experience an oasis in the Green Mountains, with world class shopping, dining and accommodations. Whether visiting the hotel for business or pleasure, they expect a unique experience without sacrificing the comforts of home. Many guests have chosen the Equinox to share their family's precious memories, coming back year after year.

Our long term success has always relied on the patronage and support of the community. Loyal local guests relax and rejuvenate in the Spa, enjoy spectacular views on the course, and dine in the variety of food and beverage outlets throughout the resort. Whether joining us for the day, or just a few hours, our team is always particularly pleased to be serving their neighbors.

Economy and Travel

While the economy continues to be somewhat volatile, the travel industry has yet to experience the full effects of an economic downturn. Industry expectations are for modest revenue growth, unlike the dramatic shifts seen in the late-1980s and in 2001. The Equinox has a great outlook for 2008, with the continued loyalty of our past guests and the growth of our market through our complete renovation.

HEI Hotels & Resorts, the New England-based owner and operator of the Equinox, expects to continue its growth in 2008. Recognized as the fastest growing owner/operator in the hotel business, HEI expects to acquire and/or develop over $500 million worth of first-class hotel and resort properties. HEI's fully discretionary capital capability allows it to grow in any market cycle, finding irreplaceable hotel and resort properties like the Equinox throughout the United States.

The Future

While there our numerous opportunities for further development of the Equinox, HEI continues to work closely with the Manchester town council to generate community-accepted and economically viable solutions. The resort will undergo a re-branding in 2008, with a new image indicative of the enhanced guest experience.

The Equinox is dedicated to creating unforgettable guest experiences while maintaining its place as a community leader.

Robert Morgan is the General Manager of the Equinox Resort.