What Elizabeth Rothwell likes most about her job at the Harbor View Hotel is the variety. “Every day here I’m doing something different,” she said. In her capacity as director of marketing and events, she’s seen the hotel staff win first prize in the Edgartown Christmas parade for a float with a large wooden replica of the Edgartown lighthouse, and helped plan a bevy of Christmas events at the hotel during the Christmas in Edgartown weekend. There are weddings to prepare for at the hotel — May is already booked — and busy weekends ahead to prepare for, like the crowds that come for January’s annual chili festival. During the off-season, the small staff goes from office work to bussing tables, pitching in to help the common cause.

And for Ms. Rothwell, there is also a message to spread: that the largest hotel on the Island, located at the end of North Water street, shouldn’t be a destination for off-Island visitors alone. The hotel is open year-round, “a commitment to the Island community,” she said, offering people a place to meet, socialize, and grab a bite — the hotel’s two restaurants are also open.

The Teddy Bear Suite Harborview bed
Teddy Bear Suite raised $2,500 for Boys’ and Girls’ Club. — Ivy Ashe

Sitting in the lobby of the 120-year-old hotel, Ms. Rothwell gestured toward the porch visible through the windows, with empty turquoise rocking chairs looking out toward the harbor and the lighthouse. “I look at this porch right here . . . I want people sitting in the chairs all the time, the hotel to be this gathering place for people. I don’t know if people out there know that they can just come in to the Harbor View, get a cup of coffee, grab a newspaper, and sit out on the porch,” she said.

The porch, and the hotel, provides “this great place for people to be able to hang out and congregate,” she added.

Through advertising, Facebook, hosting events and partnering with local businesses and fundraisers, Ms. Rothwell, 32, hopes to spread the word about the hotel, not just to visitors, but neighbors. Ms. Rothwell herself has been a part of the Island community since she was 10, when her family moved to West Tisbury. During college at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where she studied applied marketing and French, she spent her summers working on the Vineyard. And after graduation, looking for a job in event planning, she found herself working in the accounting department at the Harbor View. After time away from the Island, including stints in Boston and Miami, she’s now spent four straight years, including seven summer seasons, working at the Harbor View, with her role evolving along the way.

“Wherever I was, I always wanted to come back here during the summer,” Ms. Rothwell said. “It all kind of worked out, and here I am. I feel really fortunate to have a year-round job on the Island because they are hard to come by.”

Now, her job includes planning events at the Harbor View and its sister property, the Kelley House, as well as the properties’ restaurants, Water Street, Henry’s, and the Newes Pub. She also helps plan weddings and business conferences, private parties and holiday events. “I get to plan parties!” she said. On the marketing side, she promotes what’s going on at the properties, including using Facebook, an aspect she said is “a lot of fun.”

Ms. Rothwell said the hotel, like other Island businesses, is trying to “solve the mystery of how to attract people to the Island in the off-season.”

“I’d like to see us more connected with the Island community, I think that the Harbor View is a place that you don’t necessarily drive by on a daily basis . . . a lot of people are sort of in and out of town,” she said. “People have no idea what the rooms look like. We want everybody to know what we have to offer.”

The hotel has a network of guests, though, some of whom were married at the Harbor View and come back and share their wedding albums, Ms. Rothwell recalled. One group has visited the hotel every June for 15 years, and guests gather on the wraparound porch, making friends during their stay.

In July, the hotel quietly celebrated a big milestone: its 120th anniversary. When the hotel opened in 1891, the Web site boasts, it offered guests modern conveniences: a single telephone line and gas lights.

The anniversary “came and went without any mention,” Ms. Rothwell said, but an increase in events has helped to thrust the Harbor View into the spotlight. This year, the hotel hopes to start a new tradition by sponsoring a New Year’s Eve fireworks show in Edgartown and hosting a New Year’s Eve party.

People crowded the hotel on a Friday evening in December to watch the lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse, she said. Over the following weekend, the annual Christmas in Edgartown celebration, the hotel hosted events ranging from inn tours to movies, with a “teddy bear suite” (a hotel room overflowing with teddy bears and Christmas decor provided by Point B Realty) which raised more than $2,500 for the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Martha’s Vineyard.

The prize-winning lighthouse float — it now sits in the Harbor View’s driveway, awaiting a more permanent home — is a symbol of “how much fun all of the staff had,” she said. As the weekend progressed, she said, she was already thinking of new ideas for next year. Other new events are on the horizon, she said, acoustic music on the porch this summer among them.

One idea Ms. Rothwell, once a big fan of the game Clue, said she is determined to do: a Murder Mystery weekend at the historic hotel. “I want to have one of those events here at the hotel this off-season,” she said, sounding excited.