Steven J Connolly

Entries in DRED (11)


Promoting The Straws. 

For the second time in as many days the Union Leader is running another story about the Balsam’s Resort stalled redevelopment project up in Dixville Notch.

Just like the last story the developers are pinning their $15-$20 million dollar hopes on this EB-5 programme where Chinese or at least asian investors are going to pour in serious money in exchange for U.S. citizenship. Of course the Vermont example continues to be used and like I stated in my last blog on this same subject the entire Vermont Congressional delegation has been working on their application for years and their projects despite this coordinated effort still aren’t a “done deal.” I’m actually reading in the Caledonian Record newspaper that some of the Vermont developers are now seeking U.S. financing sources in addition to the EB-5 application. This says something.

Back in New Hampshire I’d like to ask:  Where is Gov. Hassan on this Balsam’s project? Gov. Hassan touts this whole “innovation idea.” so where is the capital to finance the ideas?  

Where is Rep. Anne Kuster on the Balsam’s project? Might she take some time from her busy Washington schedule to actually do something of substance for her district?

Beyond this the Balsam’s is a historic property and I’m sure the redevelopment effort has some merit in terms of local job creation but is it really that fair for U.S. taxpayers to be offering a subsidy for this redevelopment effort especially since it’s a resort and its market area and usage isn’t as large as the taxbase it’s drawing from?


Vermont Creates Jobs. New Hampshire Does Not. 


There was a front page story in today's Caledonian Record newspaper about a $39 million dollar expansion of Widemann's in St. Johnsbury. This is an industry that makes equipment and components used in electrical transformers.

Creating jobs imagine that.

And Vermont has a sales and income tax too.

Take that Tea Partiers from New Hampshire.


Vermont Is Creating Jobs. New Hampshire is not. This is a shot of Stowe Ski Area in Vermont.  


The Dreaded Call. 


Why Can't Cannon Generate A Profit?

If I have the time this week I'm hoping to make a call that probally won't be very productive or much fun. Hence my delay in making it.

I'm going to call DRED in Concord and try and find out out how the ski season went.

I've already heard the rumors. Cannon closed early, no profits this year "they're blaming the weather."

There are never any profits at the state run Cannon and it has nothing to do with the weather either.

Why is it that every other ski area in the region generates a profit except for Cannon?

Why is this?

I'll report my findings here on NH




Save Money. Create Jobs


This  Maine has helped New Hampshire with Economic Development. And they've done a good is an idea I’ve been thinking for some time.

A short history lesson:

-Back in the day of the stagecoach northern New Hampshire was a major crossroads of commerce whether this was to Vermont, Canada and beyond. What is now U.S. Route 302 was a major route of this commerce and the construction and initial maintenance thereof was paid for by Maine because New Hampshire refused to provide funding for it.

-The history of Berlin, NH is filled with finance of projects and infrastructure from sources outside of New Hampshire mainly from eastern Canada and Maine. This includes capital items like paper machines and natural gas pipelines.

It would seem that Maine would have more of an interest in economic development in northern New Hampshire than DRED does so why not let them have this responsibility and save NH taxpayer money at the same time. Examples include:

Eliminate the DRED position in northern New Hampshire including office space and travel expenses:     Savings to N.H. taxpayers.           $122,000.00 year.

Eliminate all Economic Development Functions of North Country Council Inc. (Regional Planning).     Savings to N.H. taxpayers.           $850,000.00 year.

Eliminate Economic Development Councils like the Grafton, Coos Economic Development Councils.      Savings to N.H., taxpayers.         $750,000.00 year.

Total Savings to N.H. taxpayers.  $1,722,000.00 year.

Then sign a contract with the Maine Department of Economic Development to perform the same functions as the expenses above for $250,000.00 a year with a $75,000.00 performance bonus for every taxbase increase that results in either 50 fulltime jobs or taxable property improvements in excess of $2.5 million dollars.

With history as a basis imagine what might happen.

New Hampshire taxpayers still save money.








Does DRED Fail At Tourism? 


I’m finishing out the 2012 ski season over here at Sunday River Ski Area in Newry, Maine and its really great, the conditions are good and the spring skiing is the best I’ve seen in a long time anywhere; including an experience skiing in Colorado at this time of year.  

The only other ski area that I’m aware is even open now is Wildcat over in New Hampshire. I decided to come over here to Maine because of not only the conditions but the free skiing (Sunday) and the services offered to skiers namely, the streaming hot tub after a long day and then places like the Sunday River Brewing Co. and The Matterhorn among others.  

New Hampshire or at least Wildcat doesn’t offer any of this.

I’m also thinking that starting next year the new casino in Oxford, Maine should be open I believe it will be called the Black Bear Casino which is driving distance from Sunday River.

Think More Tourism in Maine.

Meanwhile over in New Hampshire…

An interesting study that could be done this summer by a legislative committee would be a study of the DRED tourism budget and a financial analysis of exactly how much return NH taxpayers are getting for their investment in this state agency that does things like run a ski area at a loss or marginal profit (depending on accounting model used), purchasing glossy advertising in places like Boston and Philadelphia and hires staff to “coordinate public relations and media activities."


So I’m going to make a reaching guess now. Maine is spending less money on its state tourism budget and actually seeing a higher financial return on its tourism related activities. And I’m also being considerate of the fact that Maine has a sales tax while New Hampshire does not.

So does DRED fail at tourism?  

The taxpayers of New Hampshire deserve an answer to this question.