To the editor:
I am especially excited to hear the news about the new hotel that is being proposed in the heart of Gloucester.
As a travel program developer and buyer, my greatest challenge in creating new programs based on the North Shore is finding appropriate accommodations that are well located, in relevance to our programs activities.
Road Scholar participants are educated, well-traveled Americans, normally 50 years and older, who seek to go beyond the tour. We don't want to be based near an industrial park or out on Route 1; the point is to have our participants interact in the communities that they visit.
Road Scholar has, to date, been forced to limit placing our educational adventures¬ùon the North Shore, specifically due to unavailability of suitable accommodations for our groups.
For example: I am working on a program to start in 2013. The tour visits Salem, Gloucester and Lowell, tracing Massachusetts' history from its origins through the Industrial Revolution before moving on to Deerfield and then the Berkshires. Due to the lack of centrally-located hotels with enough rooms to accommodate groups, we've found it impossible to book the North Shore portion of the stay in Gloucester.
This is an example of just one of several of Road Scholar programs that could be based in the heart of Gloucester, if Beauport Gloucester is built.
Also, many of our participants come from outside of New England and extend their visit with additional hotel stays, pre-and post-program, especially if the hotel is in an appealing location. So, having our groups based at a centrally-located hotel in Gloucester would support many local services as well as provide a truly in-depth experience of a historic New England city.
Believe me, if they build it, we will come!
Director of Program Planning
Road Scholar Program