An artist's rendering of the Hotel and Casino.
An artist’s rendering of the upcoming Hotel & Casino, immediately adjacent to the summit area. | Courtesy: Eastern Mountain Sports

Today, Eastern Mountain Sports, the regional leader in outdoor adventure, announced its first foray into hospitality with the construction of the Eastern Mountain Sports Hotel & Casino at Mount Washington, atop the Northeast’s tallest peak. With the massive resort, the retailer is getting in on the 6,288-foot ground floor of a real estate boon on the until-recently heavily-protected alpine summit.

Modeled on the picturesque and scenic resorts of the Las Vegas Strip, the hotel will feature upwards of 3,000 rooms as as well as an 116,000-foot gaming floor. To accommodate the increased number of guests heading to the summit, the Mount Washington Auto Road will be expanded to a four-lane divided highway and an additional subterranean parking garage will be constructed beneath the summit. For overflow crowds, an elevator from Pinkham Notch will deliver guests directly to the lobby, and helicopters will also be able to land on the resort’s rooftop helipad, which will also allow for low-level scenic helicopter tours across the Presidential Range operated by EMS Schools.

The resort will feature a raft of innovative and first-class amenities to guests, turning the top of Mount Washington into an international destination:

  • A fully-enclosed Skybridge will connect the hotel to the summit marker, making it easy for guests to snap selfies regardless of the weather conditions.
  • Resort guests will have exclusive access to a new FastPass system (modeled after Disney Resorts) for access to the mountain’s summit marker, allowing them to skip the lines of hikers and visit the tippy-top whenever is most convenient for them.
  • The resort will feature the world’s first “outdoor” sports book: Place our bets on hockey, basketball, as well as the whether or not the winds will top 100 mph tonight or how much rime ice will form on the building’s facade!
  • An observation deck on the hotel’s upper floors allows guests to watch the thru-hikers and dirtbags painstakingly walking to the top.
  • A custom-built, paved, guest-only 0.5-mile “Nature Trail” will encircle the resort, immersing guests in the full, natural Mount Washington experience.
  • Visitors to the resort will get a complimentary “I Climbed Mount Washington” bumper sticker, even if they didn’t hike there—It’ll be our little secret!

The hotel’s groundbreaking this summer will come amid a flurry of development news on Mount Washington. “Everyone else is developing up there, why not us?” said Pat O’Malley, EMS’s eCommerce chief. The resort wouldn’t be the first hotel to grace the mountain’s peak: It would be the successor to the Summit House Hotel which began welcoming guests in 1852 and featured 91 rooms, directly on the summit in the location where the Sherman Adams Building stands today. The hotel was torn down in the 1950s. However, the Eastern Mountain Sports Hotel & Casino would be the largest and fanciest of the mountain’s facilities, as well as the first with a full casino.

Jackpots higher than the summits and slots looser than Tuckerman’s snowpack!

The Hotel & Casino will be open to visitors year-round, allowing helicopter-accessed and professionally-guided sledding and tubing in Tuckerman Ravine. Unlike other facilities on the mountain, the resort will be accessible to stranded winter hikers without reservations in need of shelter (for an increased rate). For those unable to afford the emergency lodging, Naomi Watts has already signed on with a major production company to star in the first survival story feature film which will inevitably result from the resort.

“Mount Washington is a truly beautiful place,” said EMS Brand Manager Ellen Estabrook. “And so is Las Vegas. We’re excited we could combine the two to make a destination that’s truly special.” Estabrook hinted that the brand has similar plans in mind for other scenic Northeast locales including Baxter State Park, Mount Monadnock, and the Adirondacks’ Avalanche Pass. “Basically all the most beautiful locations—We really feel like they could benefit from a large hotel and more visitors.”