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New England Center at UNH Remains Open through June 30, 2010

By Erika Mantz, Media Relations
March 31, 2010

The staff at the New England Center (NEC) is eager to remind people that the facility remains open and ready to welcome guests through June 30, 2010. At that time the historic hotel and conference center will close its doors.

“Our staff remains here working hard through this difficult time to take care of the many conferences and guests that will continue to come until we close,” said Jane Gombar, general manager of NEC. “We encourage people to make reservations and come experience all that the NEC has to offer while enjoying the history of this very special place.”

The New England Center was designed by William Pereira, who built the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, and was built in 1969 with a grant from the Kellogg Foundation. When it first opened as the New England Center for Continuing Education there were 54 hotel rooms in the Adams Residential Tower and the Concord Dining Room could seat 300 people.

During the years another hotel tower with 61 rooms and three additional conference rooms were added. According to Gombar, there was no place like it anywhere in the Northeast, with floor-to-ceiling windows that allowed guests to look out into the woods at tall pines and huge rocks; the upper floors of the hotel were above the tree tops. The conference rooms were state-of-the-art with cameras mounted from the ceiling to record conferences from a media center located on the bottom level; no other place offered this type of technology.

The main level housed the Collier Gallery, an art gallery featuring sculptures and paintings by local and world renowned artists. Gombar describes the dining room as elegant, with a brilliant red carpet and wait staff dressed formally to carve prime rib tableside. When the facility opened prices ranged from $.40 cents for a premium beer to entrees starting at $1.85. For 40 years the NEC has been known for its award-winning food created by its chefs and its commitment to service. The NEC was one of the first restaurants in the area to offer a Sunday brunch, and it remains one of the most popular meals.

The NEC staff work with the university’s hospitality students as they interned and many of them have gone on to hotels and resorts across the United States. They have also welcomed residents, rock stars, inventors, astronauts, writers, TV celebrities, famous chefs, and international guests.

“It was a one-of-a-kind place,” said Gombar, “and to this day we have an incredibly dedicated staff with great respect for where they work. They enjoy what they do and they do it well and I encourage everyone to visit the New England Center.”

Learn more about specials and make reservations at www.newenglandcenter.com or by calling 800-590-4334.

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