Steven J Connolly

Entries in NH Tourism (4)


Bad Balsam's. 

Update: Yesterday, I had a very good e-mail conversation with one of the state representatives that serves my district. We talked about the legislation itself, (SB 30) and I responded to his concerns about economic conditions and employment in Coos County. Which has been affected greatly by economic factors.

In any case, I'm confident that I at least advanced the idea that SB 30 should be found: inexpedient to legislate.

This is a draft of a letter to Editor that I'm working on:

Legislation is advancing in the statehouse that could have some very bad consequences for the future of New Hampshire. The Balsam's Hotel is in bad condition. The NH Treasury Should Not be A Bank That Grants Loans.

Senator Jeff Woodburn has introduced Senate Bill 30, which if passed will enable the Business Finance Authority to create a $28 million dollar state loan guarantee for the closed, dilapidated and rotting Balsam's Hotel in Dixville Notch. This is quite a concept. This means that the NH treasury and it's taxpayers will be used as collateral for a loan to private business.

Senate Bill 30 is bad legislation. Nowhere in the NH State Constitution does it state that the treasury can be used for a loan of this size, for any reason. And even if this loan were worthwhile, which this one isn't. The Balsams Hotel is in bad condition, its been closed since 2010 and my research revealed that it hasn't shown a profit since 1974. If Senate Bill 30 passes, and this project fails New Hampshire taxpayers will be left holding a $28 million dollar bag of debt, plus interest, payable to a private bank.

Please contact your local state representative, as I have, and ask that they review Senate Bill 30 and make a vote of: inexpedient to legislate.






The Swearing In. 

April 1st will be a day in New Hampshire history.

A Day In New Hampshire HistoryDRED Commissioner Jeff Rose gets sworn in.DRED Commissioner Jeff Rose.

I’ll have to be honest upfront from what I’ve seen of the Hassan Administration and her Governor’s Council the best that can be hoped for is that the voters see how little that they’re getting from the ambition that exists in Concord.

Darkness Is The Absence Of Light. Notice I Didn't Say Anything About Leadership.Ambition is the right word here.

Notice I didn’t say anything about leadership.

I’m also looking forward to any responses that I get from Commissioner Rose that I submitted via Governor’s Councilor Burton.

I’ll post them here on


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.



Snow What Snow.  


As is my policy I do not deal in rumors on this board but this one I think is valid or at least some of the major points that were stated to me.

So several nights ago I'm having a coffee in an establishment and happen upon a gentlemen that owns two tri-axle dump trucks in New Hampshire in the summer he contracts them out to companies like Pike Industries and Continental Paving the latter of which is doing a quality job of reconstructing I-93 up through Franconia Notch. During the winter he contracts the trucks out to the State of New Hampshire DOT and uses them to plow snow. Certainly a good business model.

This is assuming that New Hampshire is going to plow snow this winter.

"The state isn't going to plow the interstate below 3" of snow and the secondary roads won't be plowed below 5" inches." he said. He also stated that in most cases, sans a severe storm all plowing on the state roadways will stop at 9-10 at night and won't resume until at least 5 am. He said that there won't be as many contractors used this year, as the state will attempt to clear all the roads on their own and "the roads they can't get to will likely be left for the next shift which could be hours." he said.

So lets assume there is something to what I've heard. I see more accidents, a loss in tourism revenue and down shifting to local communities. For starters Massachusetts drivers can't navigate on dry pavement imagine what this is going to bring. Compound this with delayed emergency response times and the delays to other drivers on the same road. Many of these secondary roads are the major arteries for towns in central and northern New Hampshire, and for example routes 49 and 175 in Campton: if they're not plowed: the roads to Waterville Valley and their own Fire Station. 

Imagine the BMW driving Harvard success matrixes that can't get to their prized condo.The Town of Campton will be plowing the roads whether the local taxpayers want to do this or not. Some of these Harvard people are very powerful. They know how to get it done their way!!! The great societal thinkers that they are.

I did make a joke though. If New Hampshire stops plowing it will be like Vermont. Vermont doesn't plow at all. I didn't get much of a response to this.

Eithier should New Hampshire.