“We thought that it would be kind of funny to call a spade a spade,” says Ben Svenson, lead partner and visionary behind Tourists, a new hotel in North Adams, Massachusetts. “We like the challenging nature of taking a word that has a negative connotation and being forced to reconsider it.”
It seems like everyone is reconsidering North Adams lately, from visitors to the increasingly popular Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) to the buyers behind the rise in single-family home sales. Tourists, which opened in July, puts the city and its surrounding areas firmly back on the map.
The five partners behind Tourists—Svenson; brewery owner Eric Kerns; chef Cortney Burns; John Stirratt, a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning band Wilco; and founder of Brooklyn Magazine and Northside Media Group Scott Stedman— describe the 48-room property as a post-Airbnb hospitality experience with modern design elements contrasting artfully with the woodland trails, riverbank vistas, and sculptural installations that surround the hotel. A 1962 ranch house that stood there previously has been repurposed into the hotel’s central lodge, which Stedman calls the “community living room, a place to congregate casually and share time with friends or meet new people.”
“We celebrate the idea of leisure travel as a tourist, embracing the most remarkable aspects of a region,” he continues. “North Adams is such a spectacular and unusual convergence of art and nature, and we felt that being a tourist here is a really remarkable experience. We wanted to create a brand that exemplifies that.”
915 STATE ROAD
NORTH ADAMS, MA