LENOX -- As part of a drive to drum up business during the holiday-season break, the Lenox Chamber of Commerce is promoting "The INN Thing to Do" -- a self-guided tour of eight long-established local inns.
The participating hostelries will host an open house for ticket-holders from 1 to 5 p.m. today (Saturday) and Monday.
Tickets cost $35 per person, but the first 100 purchasers will get a $20 "Lenox Holiday Cash" gift card to be spent at Chamber members, including local shops, galleries, restaurants and museums, said Executive Director Ralph Petillo.
Participating inns on the tour include The Apple Tree Inn across from Tanglewood's main gate, Cranwell Resort between Walker Street and Route 20 and a half-dozen downtown historic-district inns.
The list includes the Birchwood, Gateways, Kemble, Rookwood and Village inns, as well as the Summer White House Inn, built in 1885 and so named because President Chester Arthur stayed there toward the end of his presidency the following year.
Most of them will be offering "holiday treats" to visitors on the tour, Petillo said.
In addition to retail shopping, the gift card can be redeemed for wine tastings at Gateways, the Kemble Inn and Cranwell Resort; for meals at Kemble Inn, the Gateways Inn, Rumplestiltzkin's Restaurant at the Village Inn, or Cranwell Resort's restaurants.
It's also valid toward the cost of remaining performances of "A Christmas Carol" at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, for tours and special events at Ventfort Hall on Walker Street, and for horseback riding at Berkshire Horseback Adventures on Route 7A just north of the village.
To encourage visitation between the Christmas and New Year's holidays, the Chamber of Commerce also arranged packaged two- and three-night stays at the participating inns.
"This is designed to bring people to Lenox and let them enjoy local history and the town itself," said Petillo, noting that at least 18 package stays have been sold by the participating lodging establishments.
The town's Select Board allotted $2,380 to the Chamber from economic development funds to help develop the inn tour as a historical local event, Petillo noted.
If you go ...
What: Lenox Historic Inn Tours.
When: 1 to 5 p.m. Today and Monday
Where: Cranwell Resort, Summer White House Inn, and the following inns: Apple Tree, Birchwood, Gateways, Kemble, Rookwood, Village.
Tickets: $35 (with a $20 gift certificate for use in participating Lenox shops, restaurants, galleries and museums), available at the Lenox Chamber of Commerce office in the town library, 18 Main Street, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and Monday.
Information: Lenox Chamber of Commerce, (413) 637-3646 or at www.lenox.org.