The Panorama Restaurant and the Mermaid Lounge (not shown) at the Shangri-La
On April 28 , 1970, the Shangri-La was sold to new owners and was renamed the Brickyard Mountain Inn. Ownership of the property changed in 1975, in 1981, and in 2001. Comprising 220 acres in the heart of Weirs Beach, the property was ultimately divided into several parcels. One part became the Village at Winnipesaukee condominiums, another part became Cedar Lodge. Most of the original acreage remained undeveloped until 2004, when the Meredith Bay (formerly known as Akwa Soleil) housing development began construction.
On March 16, 1989, the original Hotel, which had been closed and put up for sale, burned down. Thus another one of Weirs Beach's original Hotels dating from the 1880's was gone (the Shangri-La was formerly the Winnecoette House before extensive renovation and expansion).
Opened in 1879, the Winnecoette House was the first large hotel in Weirs Beach. However, it was only another year before its major competitors, the Hotel Weirs and the Lakeside House, came onto the scene. Click here for a view from the Lake showing the Winnecoette high up on the hill above the Hotel Weirs.
The following two cabinet card photos, taken by early Weirs photographer F.J. Moulton, shows in detail the sign over the front steps that named the Hotel.
The illustration below is from the 1885, first edition of the Boston & Lowell railroad's Summer Saunterings. In addition to descriptions of places to go and the train schedules to get there, this guidebook had extensive listings of accommodations along the routes served by the railroad. This illustration of the Winnecoette was inaccurate in several regards. The Winnecoette never featured a cupola; its flagpole was firmly planted on its front lawn, not on its roof; and its front entrance was skewed to the right, and was not in the center of the building.
An advertising brochure, circa 1920's vintage, locates the property at "Weirs Heights", while the postcard below locates the property at "Weirs Highlands". These are the only references the webmaster has seen to these parts of Weirs Beach.
The Winnecoette became the Shangri-La in 1952, when it was renamed by George and Mary Spanos, who purchased the property on May 2, 1952. At first, there was little to distinguish it from its previous incarnation. Only the name seemed to have changed. Eventually, however, the hotel was greatly expanded and modernized.
A postcard from the same time as the above brochure.
While the view of Winnipesaukee from the Winnecoette was superb, the hotel also had a nice view of Paugus Bay. Note the primitive dirt road in the foreground- this would later become today's Route 3.