May 13, 2014
The son and grandson of master carpenters and leaders of their carpenters union, Kevin Craffey served a carpentry apprenticeship and earned his journeyman’s certificates from the Massachusetts United Brotherhood of Carpenters and from the Associated General Contractors of America. He founded three businesses – K & J Interiors, Inc., KJ Realty Trust Corporation, and Craffey & Co., Builders Inc. In 1999, Kevin Craffey embarked on one of the most ambitious jobs of his career, the restoration of Mountain View House.
Mountain View House started as a small inn in 1866 and grew over the years to become one of the White Mountains’ most impressive resorts, with a dining room that seated 450 guests and about 300 beds in 200 rooms. The resort sprawled over 3,000 meticulously maintained acres, offered its guests diverse sports and conference facilities, and boasted a magnificent view of the Presidential Mountain Range.
Ownership and operation of the resort remained in one family until they sold it in 1979, but the new owners couldn’t keep the resort going; it was foreclosed in 1986 and all its furnishings were auctioned off. Kevin Craffey purchased the vacant hotel in 1998, along with 300 acres of the original 3,000.
Having sat vacant for 12 years, the resort required significant renovations. Craffey successfully lined up the financing and the federal and state permits required to do the job, which included consolidating 145 of the rooms, adding a new kitchen, building tennis courts and a spa, performing extensive landscaping on the grounds, adding a nine-hole golf course, and installing modern amenities. The work took four years and cost $20 million, and in May 2002, in time for the summer season, the renamed Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa opened under Craffey’s management.
In recognition of the resort’s history and its role in the development of the White Mountains as a recreation area, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. The following year, Craffey sold it to its present owner, the American Financial Group.