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Luxury, History & Ghosts

MANCHESTER, VT. -- When it comes to luxury, history and ghosts the 238-year-old Equinox hotel in Manchester Village has it all. The resort, listed on the National Register of Historic Places has hosted U.S. Presidents, world leaders and celebrities.

Located on 1,300 pristine acres the exclusive 183-room resort is the second longest running resort in the U.S.  The resort offers guests amenities such as archery, falconry, fishing, mountain biking and off-road driving. Guests can also play on the 18-hole championship golf course, eat in one of three restaurants or relax in the 13,000 square-foot spa. For those mixing business with pleasure, the Equinox also offers 18,500 square feet of event venues, from meeting rooms to grand ballrooms. This combination of an old world Vermont experience with the luxurious comforts and amenities of a world-class resort has not gone unnoticed. Over the centuries, the Equinox has been the host to many world-renown and famous people reaching back to include visits by Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, and Mary Todd Lincoln.

And some of those guests are reluctant to leave says Michael Chagnon, director of sales and marketing, “We are also famous for our resident ghosts.”  In fact, says Cagnon, hotel guests can request to stay in a historically haunted room. 

The hauntings originate with Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Lincoln.  She and her children stayed at the hotel for several summers prior to the President’s assassination. Over the years, there have been reports of images of a woman and child consistent with Mary Todd Lincoln and one of her sons in the hotel. 

Indeed, if ghosts do prowl the hallways at the Equinox, they have seen quite a difference in the handling of goods processed in the hotel’s laundry through the years.

Today the hotel laundry processes approximately 150,000 pounds a month from the hotel’s 183 rooms, 13 additional rooms and suites at the hotel’s newly acquired 1811 house and the event and meeting facilities.

“We process everything from bedding, terry and F&B linen (napkins, towels, table cloths, rags) to Spa linen (towels, sheets, robes), and associate uniforms,’ says Jace Matteucci, director of operations. 

The laundry is 1,970 square feet and employs ten laundry associates who operate on two shifts. The laundry equipment used in the Equinox’s laundry room includes; six 100-lb. Wascomat washers, two 100-lb. Milnor dryers, a Huebsch 75-lb dryer, one 75-lb.Cissell Dryer,  a Braun towel folder, Chicago’s Comet flatwork ironer and Chicago’s Tristar Flatwork Ironer.

Daniels Equipment provides the ozone generating equipment which has saved the laundry 5 percent on chemical costs and 80 percent on fuel costs, in addition to decreasing the hot water usage for the facility.

One would think that the resident ghosts prefer to mingle with hotel guests though, rather than engage in laundry duties as Michael Chagnon recounts a the most recent story of a young couple staying at the hotel.

“A male guest awoke with the uneasy feeling that he was being watched,” Chagnon says. “He sat up in bed and saw a young boy, approximately 7, standing at the foot of the bed. Our guest thought that the child had entered the wrong room so he told the boy that he needed to find his parent’s room. But the boy did not respond.  He just stood there smiling. The man woke his wife and the youngster smiled at his wife then proceeded to walk out of the room -- through the wall!  The couple reported that as he passed through the wall there was a trail of illuminated lights, similar to fireflies, and then amazingly there sat a black cat. The cat looked at the couple, and confidently walked out onto the balcony of the suite and was gone.”

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Nursing Home Fire

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Flames that began in a nursing home laundry dryer drew firefighters to the location. The fire was contained to the laundry room of the New Horizons Nursing Home and residents were not evacuated.