Hello everyone out there in HostelLand...
Let us introduce ourselves- we are Jeanine Dargis, Rich Droser, and Wendy Messerli, and we are hard at work trying to start a hostel in New England, USA.
Nestled in the bosom of the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts is the vibrant town of Northampton. Only two hours from Boston and just three hours from New York City, this hidden gem is a special place to those who live here and to those who are just passing through. Home to some of the most prestigious academic institutions on the East Coast, the Pioneer Valley also boasts a dynamic and diverse community of artists, intellectuals, musicians, and activists.
Northampton also provides easy access to the Berkshire mountains, some of the most beautiful autumn scenery in the world, hosts seasonal fairs and festivals, demolition derbies, and even a zombie pub crawl! The diverse venues of our city appeal to popular and well-known musical acts, but it is also possible to see a band that's just about to catch their big break. Northampton's nightlife appeals to those looking for an upscale evening as well as those seeking a casual night out, truly living up to its nickname - Paradise City.
Despite all that Northampton offers and it's vital location between Boston, New York City, and Montreal, our city is surprisingly sparse in its accomodations. There are very few intermediate options between the pricey and extravagant hotels and the "budget" chain hotels, neither of which helps travelers connect to the local community. We see a hostel as filling this gap by providing both a place to stay for those passing through and creating a destination for travelers who would have otherwise just proceeded directly from Boston to New York City.
Between the three of us we've traveled to over thirty different countries and stayed in an even larger number of hostels. As travelers ourselves, we know the value of a good hostel - one with atmosphere, clean accomodations, and a connection to the local culture and community. In order to see this plan through, we need to raise capital for a down payment on a suitable location. We have some funds but are looking for support to raise the difference.
We have been lucky enough to be accepted with Kickstarter, a fundraising website. We have until January 9th, 2010 to raise $15,000, which would be a hugely significant step towards a down payment.
Please see our Kickstarter website for more information and to donate: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hostelnorthampton/the-hostel-northampton-project
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about our project and even if you can't donate, please spread the word to anyone who might be interested in supporting us. Every little bit helps immensely.
Again, thanks so much, and of course, we'll post updates when the hostel is up and running!
Jeanine Dargis, Rich Droser, and Wendy Messerli
The Hostel:Northampton Project