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Waterville Valley Eyes 4 Shops

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Four agencies have emerged as finalists in a review for Waterville Valley Resort's advertising account.

The Waterville, N.H., ski facility heard final presentations last week from Forté Croston, Boston; Woodbury & Morse, Portland, Maine; GSO/Davis, Boston; and incumbent O'Neil Griffin Bodi, Manchester, N.H., which has worked with the client since 1998.

The budget was not disclosed, but spending is likely to be in the $500,000-$1 million range.

Waterville's decision is exp ected at the end of the month. Staff from the winning agency will visit the resort and mingle with patrons in order to gather material for an up coming campaign based on skiers' ex periences, according to Deb Moore, Waterville director of marketing. "We'd like them to have this season under their belts," Moore said.

Work, including TV and radio spots and collateral, will appear early next year.

Last year's TV spots from O'Neil Griffin Bodi carried the theme, "Snowplace like it."

The resort placed its account into review following its purchase by Booth Creek Ski Holdings. Booth Creek also operates Loon Mountain in Lincoln, N.H., and Cranmore in North Conway, N.H.

"They've never been involved in the selection of an agency, so they'd like to go through the process with us," said Moore.

Work for Waterville's sister resorts, Loon Mountain and Cranmore, is handled by Nail in Providence, R.I., and Glen Group in North Conway, N.H., respectively.

Waterville selected the four agencies based on their experience in tourism and recreation marketing. In addition to its Waterville work, O'Neil Griffin Bodi has handled ad efforts for Stowe Mountain Resort and the New Hampshire Office of Tra vel and Tourism.

While Forté Croston has no recreation clients, Booth Creek was im pressed with the agency's presentation for Loon last year. "They highly re commended [we] join this pitch," said Denise Forté, president and chief creative officer of the shop.

Woodbury & Morse handles the Portland Concert Association and the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development ac counts. GSO/Davis has worked for Ascutney Mountain Resort, Red ing ton Fishing Tackle and Massport.