EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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February 8, 2013

N.H. well prepared for what's to come

(Continued)

"We like a good snowstorm," Mount Sunapee Resort general manager Jay Gamble said. "Our phones started ringing Thursday afternoon. I think a lot of people left early last night."

The blizzard's arrival delighted New Hampshire ski areas with the fresh powder setting up good conditions for the upcoming holiday and school vacation stretch.

"This sets the ski areas up for excellent skiing the next three weeks," Gamble said.

Gunstock Mountain Resort marketing and sales director Bill Quigley agreed.

"This sets up a phenomenal vacation period," he said. "This is an awesome opportunity. Go out there and have fun with it."

Quiqley's advice: Leave Boston, get a hotel room in ski country and buy tickets online to save money.

"You can shovel Sunday or Monday when you get back," he said.

Other New Hampshire businesses saw a different kind of travel impact.

Boston Express general manager Ben Blunt estimated the passenger load on the commuter bus was 25 percent or less that of a normal day.

"People were told to stay home from work, so we didn't carry many people this morning," Blunt said.

The bus company announced reduced service early on Thursday.

Today, the last bus from Salem to Boston went out just before noon. The last bus from Boston to New Hampshire was scheduled at 2 p.m.

"We canceled all service this afternoon and all service Saturday," Blunt said. "It feels like we timed it about right."

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport expected flight cancellations and delays throughout the day and limited operations after 5 p.m., spokesman Thomas Malafronte said.

"We would advise travelers to contact their airlines to check their flight status before heading out to the airport," he said.

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