The Highlands Inn , a lesbian resort in New Hampshire, USA will celebrate its 25th year in business in 2008. I wrote to them recently to congratulate them – few accommodation and hospitality businesses last this long, and this one has continued to thrive.
Named by PlanetOut as “one of the most romantic lesbian destinations on the planet,” the lesbian-owned Highlands is one of very few resorts or inns that cater to a women-only clientele. To have succeeded in this niche market is a remarkable accomplishment for a small business.
The owner, Grace Newman, bought the 100-acre property in 1983. The Highlands quickly became known as a warm, welcoming women’s place, where guests can relax and “be themselves.” This atmosphere remains a hallmark of the Highlands. Located in New Hampshire’s major vacation destination, the White Mountains, the Inn has 19 rooms in three buildings. Several of the rooms have a fireplace, private deck, or 2-person spa.
Newman says “It’s amazing how things have changed since we opened the Inn. Gay-friendly accommodations were a thing of the distant future! It was usually pretty awkward for a same-sex couple to share a room. Now lesbians and gay men are considered a valuable market, worthy of special efforts to get our business.”
The Highlands will celebrate its 25th year with a birthday party on the weekend of May 9-11. Saturday night will feature a catered dinner followed by champagne and dancing with a LIVE band, “Truth or Dare”!
Newman is thrilled that the Highlands’ 25th anniversary coincides with the first year of New Hampshire’s new civil union law, which went into effect on January 1, 2008. The Highlands is well-prepared to assist women who wish to have a New Hampshire civil union ceremony. Over the years, the Inn has been the site of dozens of commitment ceremonies, and hundreds of couples have honeymooned at the Inn or stayed there while becoming “civilly united” in nearby Vermont.