By Dick Winn
Atlantic News Thursday, July 30, 1996
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]
Investment is just the beginning of a successful business. Beyond capital must come involvement and a commitment to the customer. "My family has been in the hotel business at Hampton Beach since I was 10 years old," related Mike Roy.
In '72, Mike's father was in real estate purchasing and development in Hudson. He answered a line ad in a newspaper for "property for sale at Hampton Beach." He came down to look at the property and envisioned something a little bit different than he'd been doing with his properties around Hudson.
After buying the beach property, he continued with his construction business. But, with his foothold here, he purchased a great number of beach properties, rebuilt and remodeled them and then reopened them under the family's management.
Through all the construction, reconstruction and renovation projects, one goal was always foremost in Mike Roy's father's mind: improvement. He rebuilt 7 or 8 hotels around the beach - including the Debonair, which is now the Clipper Ship. It was pretty well run down; he rebuilt the back units and remodeled the front units. The Nautica Motel is brand new; he built it from the ground up.
Also built from ground up were the Flagship Motor Court, The Hampton Harbor Motel and the Springfield Motor Lodge. The Springfield was the original hotel he purchased in '72 and completely remodeled. On other smaller parcels of land, the Roy family built homes, cottages, and apartment complexes. With the improvement of each property, additional space was being created for individuals and families to enjoy their stay at the beach.
During the early '80s, many of the properties were sold off by the family; Mike and his wife have reversed the trend with their recent purchase of Motel 391, coincidentally enough at 391 Ocean Boulevard at Rocky Bend. After an initial career in corporate accounting, Mike moved back into the family business. With ownership of Motel 391, Mike has plunged directly into hotel management. The Roy family is once again in the growth mode in the lodging business on Hampton Beach.
Modestly, Mike said,"We're just a small family business with dedication to the customer. During 24 years years at the beach, I've met a lot of people who've come back and are happy to see our faces because they know we treat them right. We give them a clean place to stay and greet them with a positive attitude when they arrive. The beach need good people om both sides of the counter. I think the beach right now is on the right track with good people (business owners) who care about the people who come here tio stay. The Chamber of Commerce has a firm understanding of what the beach needs from a sense of promotion and the direction it needs to go. Between Motel 391 and the Flagship, we have roughly 72 units accommodating almost 300 people at one time."
To enhance visitors' beach experience, they have put together weekend packages with Ron's Landing for summer, preseason and postseason. This gives visitors a chance to come to the beach, stay in a nice clean hotel, have a wonderful meal and, if they chose, have both dinner and brunch at Ron's. After food preseason bookings, postseason reservations have already started. People are getting used to Ron's new location at Rocky Bend, just north of the statue.
Taking a phone inquiry, Mike explained the benefits of Motel 391, "You can eat out or cook in, we're directly across from the beach, we're away from the noise of the beach center, but only a five minute walk north of the casino and we have a pool." It was obvious that Mile wants people to come to the beach and be happy. Other business owners in the area confirm that Mike practices what he preaches.
"When we took this place over (Motel 391) a couple of years ago, "Mike continued, "many of the previous owner's customers came back. This season we have actually had a chance to contact and recapture some of the customers we had when we first took over the Springfield 24 years ago. Many people stopped coming to the Springfield when we sold it. They wanted someone they could have a nice time with and appreciated our attitude and the way we ran things. At the last two Seafood Festivals, we've run into old customers who used to reserve with us. It's been a ten - year hiatus since we sold the Springfield; it's nice to have them back."
It's a family operation, Mike's wife is immersed in the operations in the summer. In addition, their five-year-old Catherine and 3-year-old twins keep her very busy. Catherine acts as concierge as she meets and greet arriving clients. "She has made more friends in the last two years than I can imagine," said Mike laughingly. "She sells our brochures to people as they walk by on the sidewalk. Some of these people have come in and made reservations."
Mike reflected, "We're happy to be here, we like Hampton beach a lot. We wouldn't have stayed here for 24 years as a family if we hadn't. It has always remained a good clean family oriented vacation place. We're going to do everything we can to maintain the family atmosphere.