Steven J Connolly

Entries in NH Tourism (6)


More Bad Bailout. 

Note: It's my understanding that that the Municipal and County Government has withdrawn from Senate Bill 30 and it's now been moved and amended to House Finance Committee with a hearing set for next Tuesday at 1:00pm in Reps. Hall.

It's a do-nothing amendment too. From statements I'm reading that the "state will only be held liable for $20 million" instead of $28 million.

What's a few million among some serious flaws?

This is a letter to the Editor that I'm working on (DRAFT).

To The Editor:

Legislation is moving forward that could prove disastrous to the future of New Hampshire.

Senate Bill 30 is a state sponsored bailout of the Balsam's Resort in Dixville Notch. Sponsored by Sen. Jeff Woodburn, this allows a state loan guarantee of $28 million dollars to be used to finance a project that is completely surrounded by speculation, risk and unanswered questions.

SB 30 is bad politics of the worst sort. New Hampshire faces a budget deficit of $250 million dollars, essential programs like bridge maintenance and human services are being cut and eliminated. Yet Sen. Woodburn wants to finance an upscale luxury resort or in his own unsubstantiated words, "revitalize this historic landmark and the economy of Coos County."

Senator Woodburn needs to get sent to the rail.




Desperation Never Works. 

This will be a point, click, write and shoot blog. I'm just going to write my thoughts and see where it lands. Right now I don't have alot of time for in-depth editing. This blog might also be a bit derogatory, but this is also politics so that is just the way that it goes...

It's really sad and unfortunate to see experienced politicians like Senate President Morse and Sen. Lou Dellassandro(sic) try in desperation and vein to get the expanded casino legislation passed. Actually, it's basically pathetic to watch these two individuals beg. It's one thing to pan handle for some food and drink and it's yet another for an elected official to be groveling to attempt to shape policy for the future.

In both case(s) desperation can never work.

I've made the statement and yes, I'm making the statement again. Expanded casino gaming in any state can be a positive force in a number of areas. Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maine have done it and now have the financial statements, employment and tax base to demonstrate that it can be successful. And it could be successful too in New Hampshire, but it won't with the current politics and small minded stupidity that exists in the statehouse starting with the two above mentioned and the cadre of lobbyists that can't see the forests through the trees.

New Hampshire should back off the casino legislation just dump the issue, it isn't going anywhere except to waste time now. No more filing legislation, no more press conferences and no more begging!!! Penn National Racetrack. New Hampshire Should Withdraw From Expanded Casino Gaming Legislation.  

New Hampshire should do what Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maine did. Convince a large well established casino developer/operator of the long term benefits of being in New Hampshire. I'm talking a major player that has enough capital to go the distance and then let run the show, literally.

I'd encourage you to look at the Penn National Racetrack as an example: use this as a model and follow this as a model, and keep the local politicians like Sen. Morse and Sen. Dellasando (sic) out of the mix. But this won't happen in New Hampshire. This is the problem when "insiders" get so far entrenched with seniority and establishment they can't be objective anymore and take action(s) that benefits what the NH Statehouse is for: to Serve New Hampshire.  

I'm sure some of you think I'm wrong and these outside casino operators will come in an take advantage of New Hampshire. Why is it that it is working in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maine and it can't work here? I'll tell you why --politics and business as usual.

Some might believe how effective these same legislators in New Hampshire are. This is an argument, I don't believe it for a second. Please feel free to take a few minutes and respond to this blog with exactly what has been accomplished during this current legislative session?

I'll look forward to what you have to say. So far I haven't found anything.




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.