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Old 02-25-2020, 09:26 AM   #1
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Default Colonial Theater

I can now sleep at night knowing that the auditorium of the Colonial Theater is being named after our former do nothing, city-destroying mayor. He hoodwinked the taxpayers into buying this albatross so it is only fitting that it be named after him.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:37 PM   #2
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Agreed! Why not just keep the same name it had?
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Old 02-25-2020, 02:25 PM   #3
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Default Only the auditorium

Only the auditorium will have the name change. Still will be the Colonial Theater.

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Old 02-25-2020, 03:39 PM   #4
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Liberalism at it's best. He did nothing for Laconia other then Bring more Drug uses and Low income housing to Laconia. I TOTALLY disagree with that decision.
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Old 02-26-2020, 08:00 AM   #5
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He's a nice guy, but totally feckless.
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:49 AM   #6
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Default More Money

Here is a surprise! The Colonial Theater project will need more money and be over budget. Who would have ever imagined this?

https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...ticle-nav-next
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:54 AM   #7
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No surprise.
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Old 04-14-2021, 11:02 AM   #8
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Can somebody please explain to me how these expenditures will ever be recovered?

What is the ROI?

Why are we in this business at all?
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Old 04-14-2021, 11:40 AM   #9
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Common sense and one’s wallet have little in common. Or should I say taxpayers


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Old 04-14-2021, 11:45 AM   #10
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This sounds like a real money pit ! I hope there was a clerk of the works who can account for all the costs ! Everyone wants to see the Colonial restored but 14 million+ who knows how much more,must be GRAND inside !
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Old 04-14-2021, 11:50 AM   #11
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again, maybe should have spent that $14million and counting on numerous other things the city actually needs, like road infrastructure and a host of other items.

Could have invested in buying up the Weirs and then selling to one developer with a plan or co-owned, you know something that would actually bring money into the city
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:03 PM   #12
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This sounds like a real money pit ! I hope there was a clerk of the works who can account for all the costs ! Everyone wants to see the Colonial restored but 14 million+ who knows how much more,must be GRAND inside !
I would respectfully disagree. EVERYONE does not want to see the Colonial restored. Many very concerned taxpayers thought, and still think, it has been and continues to be a waste of taxpayer funds.

Restored by private investors? Yes, that would be fine.

If it was a good investment a private investor would have taken the whole project on.
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Old 04-14-2021, 03:24 PM   #13
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The article states that the extra money is needed to shore-up the stage....it is warped and un-safe. Maybe I am naive, but given that the main purpose of a theater is for live performances--which require a stage--shouldn't that have been one of the FIRST things that was assessed in determining the extent of the renovation project? From prior articles, it seems that all of the focus, (and money), was on restoring the grandeur of the theater and only now, at the very end, is anyone looking at the condition of the stage. Really??
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Old 04-14-2021, 03:28 PM   #14
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The article states that the extra money is needed to shore-up the stage....it is warped and un-safe. Maybe I am naive, but given that the main purpose of a theater is for live performances--which require a stage--shouldn't that have been one of the FIRST things that was assessed in determining the extent of the renovation project? From prior articles, it seems that all of the focus, (and money), was on restoring the grandeur of the theater and only now, at the very end, is anyone looking at the condition of the stage. Really??
You make some great points. Hopefully, our mayor from Gilford will speak to this

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Old 04-14-2021, 03:49 PM   #15
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The article states that the extra money is needed to shore-up the stage....it is warped and un-safe. Maybe I am naive, but given that the main purpose of a theater is for live performances--which require a stage--shouldn't that have been one of the FIRST things that was assessed in determining the extent of the renovation project? From prior articles, it seems that all of the focus, (and money), was on restoring the grandeur of the theater and only now, at the very end, is anyone looking at the condition of the stage. Really??
I think it was Willie Brown who said the most important thing with any construction project is to just start making a hole and make it so big it can only be filled with money. I'm sure they knew about this all along but there is no way they could ask for extra funds at the end to fix up the plaster. Now it's too far along to give up.
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Old 04-14-2021, 05:56 PM   #16
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You make some great points. Hopefully, our mayor from Gilford will speak to this
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Mayor from Gilford? Please explain.
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:16 PM   #17
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Mayor from Gilford? Please explain.
Someplace earlier it was pointed out that Mayor is/was living on Governor's Island.
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:20 PM   #18
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Default Possibly a good thing

I don't pay Laconia taxes and I've never actually been inside the Colonial. I don't renovate theaters and I've never 'trod the boards' (outside of grade school). From the pictures I've seen, the $14 million spent on an historic hundred-year-old building are impressive. Not noticing that someone poured concrete on the stage (does Laconia require permits and inspections?) is a bit hard to understand, but the fix is certainly required and shouldn't be too expensive, $90/sheet plywood, not withstanding. Assuming the final price tag at about $15 million, that comes to $20,000 per seat (750 seats) -- a pretty hefty investment.

However, where similar rehabs have been undertaken, the results have been very good. In my memory, the Lowes Ohio Theater was less that two weeks from the wrecking ball. It was saved by a citizens group (CAPA) and totally restored to its original grandeur by a combination of private/corporate funds and government grants. Today, it's the home of the Columbus Symphony, hosts touring Broadway shows, and a variety of events. There is a waiting list. The project was so successful that CAPA has restored or built six other venues of varying sizes.

As for the Colonial, the money has been spent. Whether or not it was the right price or if it should have been done at all is entirely moot. The question now open for discussion is how best to use the theater. What attractions will be offered? How will it be promoted?
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:53 PM   #19
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The Boston Opera House was renovated for $38m at $14,615 per seat and was funded privately. It is interesting they never published how much it would have cost to just build a brand new one. I bet it would have been a lot less to build and maintain.
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:11 PM   #20
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Someplace earlier it was pointed out that Mayor is/was living on Governor's Island.
Thank you Descant. I remember that now (with your help) but the comment didn't make it click.

I wonder what happened with that? At that time the Mayor said he and his wife purchased the Governors Island home in conjunction with his wife’s new career in real estate investment. Seems fishy.

That was in November. Do they still own the home? How many other houses has his wife purchased or sold in conjunction with her new career in real estate investment?
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:22 PM   #21
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Talking Colonial Stage

Gee, I have no idea why the stage might need repair.

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Old 04-14-2021, 08:26 PM   #22
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Thank you Descant. I remember that now (with your help) but the comment didn't make it click.

I wonder what happened with that? At that time the Mayor said he and his wife purchased the Governors Island home in conjunction with his wife’s new career in real estate investment. Seems fishy.

That was in November. Do they still own the home? How many other houses has his wife purchased or sold in conjunction with her new career in real estate investment?
I think if you buy one GI house for, say $2mm, and within a year, sell it for $3.mm, that's a career. You don't have to do any more for a couple of years to put "successful RE Career" on your resume. I recall a guy doing that on GI in the 80's. Bought, lived in, sold a bunch of houses. Took the $$ and went to someplace in the Caribbean for awhile, then moved back (when he needed more money?). Who says you can't "time the market?"
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:44 PM   #23
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Gee, I have no idea why the stage might need repair.

Jetskier
Are you saying the stage was used as a staging area? Hahaha

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Old 04-15-2021, 06:59 AM   #24
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The article states that the extra money is needed to shore-up the stage....it is warped and un-safe. Maybe I am naive, but given that the main purpose of a theater is for live performances--which require a stage--shouldn't that have been one of the FIRST things that was assessed in determining the extent of the renovation project? From prior articles, it seems that all of the focus, (and money), was on restoring the grandeur of the theater and only now, at the very end, is anyone looking at the condition of the stage. Really??
When you are going after public funds, you make sure the LAST thing that gets paid for is among the most essential. That way, when you exceed your budget, it is almost impossible for extra money to be refused. All the places where you might have cut costs have already been paid for.

Yes, it sounds cynical but I have seen it happen over and over.

Consider also that refinishing the hardwood stage had to be a KNOWN expense. Concrete had been poured on it. At a minimum, it would have to be spot repaired, sanded, and refinished. Only an idiot would have ignored the possible damage of the weight of the concrete on the support structure but that is the only work that is a "surprise".

Laconia is already committed to this project. Any extra cost WILL be funded. As to the success of the theater, that is a long way off and will involve a lot of factors including programming for the theater and the general "feel" of the downtown area being attractive to people who might come to see a show, including parking, safety, dining, ambiance, etc.

The deed (renovating the theater) is done. I wish them good luck.
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Old 04-15-2021, 08:46 AM   #25
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When you are going after public funds, you make sure the LAST thing that gets paid for is among the most essential. That way, when you exceed your budget, it is almost impossible for extra money to be refused. All the places where you might have cut costs have already been paid for.

Yes, it sounds cynical but I have seen it happen over and over.

Consider also that refinishing the hardwood stage had to be a KNOWN expense. Concrete had been poured on it. At a minimum, it would have to be spot repaired, sanded, and refinished. Only an idiot would have ignored the possible damage of the weight of the concrete on the support structure but that is the only work that is a "surprise".

Laconia is already committed to this project. Any extra cost WILL be funded. As to the success of the theater, that is a long way off and will involve a lot of factors including programming for the theater and the general "feel" of the downtown area being attractive to people who might come to see a show, including parking, safety, dining, ambiance, etc.

The deed (renovating the theater) is done. I wish them good luck.

Fully agree, seen it time and time again. Its like a recurring plot that no one in the spending side wants to change in movies because it works.

As far as return. I did see the area of the Hanover theater in Worcester get turned around in a few years solely based on the theater being renovated with restaurants, bars and a little taste of the theater district nightlife like Boston. Bigger population to draw from and higher ticket prices yes. also wasn't funded by Worcester, was private with a little help of donations and some city help. I do not see the Colonial theatre being able to do the same for Laconia unless they can draw in the shows that produce, as well as local productions. Maybe the Winni Playhouse will move over to there with some enticement
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Old 04-15-2021, 10:38 AM   #26
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Thanks for the shout out but we are unlikley to get involved in the Colonial project. The city has already contracted with a company out of MA to manage the programming and a separate local group will be producing community theatre there.

It's not an easy business and we wish them all well.
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Old 04-15-2021, 11:36 AM   #27
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Thanks for the shout out but we are unlikley to get involved in the Colonial project. The city has already contracted with a company out of MA to manage the programming and a separate local group will be producing community theatre there.

It's not an easy business and we wish them all well.
Sit tight...

A few years from now when this project collapses financially they will be begging you to make it your new home!
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Old 04-15-2021, 12:17 PM   #28
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Just can't understand why the city spent millions to buy the buildings off Baldi when she already did millions in damage!
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Old 04-15-2021, 12:52 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by jeffk View Post
When you are going after public funds, you make sure the LAST thing that gets paid for is among the most essential. That way, when you exceed your budget, it is almost impossible for extra money to be refused. All the places where you might have cut costs have already been paid for.

Yes, it sounds cynical but I have seen it happen over and over.

Consider also that refinishing the hardwood stage had to be a KNOWN expense. Concrete had been poured on it. At a minimum, it would have to be spot repaired, sanded, and refinished. Only an idiot would have ignored the possible damage of the weight of the concrete on the support structure but that is the only work that is a "surprise".

Laconia is already committed to this project. Any extra cost WILL be funded. As to the success of the theater, that is a long way off and will involve a lot of factors including programming for the theater and the general "feel" of the downtown area being attractive to people who might come to see a show, including parking, safety, dining, ambiance, etc.

The deed (renovating the theater) is done. I wish them good luck.
exactly so and re enforces the point I made earlier. You will never see "we need a tax increase to pay for bloated public pensions" it's always "police and fire will be cut" Sadly, the public almost always fall for it.
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Old 04-17-2021, 05:20 PM   #30
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I'm glad to see it get restored.

A lot of that money went back into the local economy I'm sure.
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Old 04-17-2021, 06:56 PM   #31
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Were local contractors and businesses significant participants in the restoration of the Colonial ?
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:32 AM   #32
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I'm glad to see it get restored.

A lot of that money went back into the local economy I'm sure.
Agree, Laconia and the lakes region needs more projects like this to continue to draw in people who will visit and spend money .
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Old 04-20-2021, 04:21 PM   #33
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Were local contractors and businesses significant participants in the restoration of the Colonial ?
I know at least a Tilton contractor was involved. Not Laconia, but close enough.
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:18 PM   #34
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Having a revitalized theater won't be enough to draw people downtown.

An interesting blend of stores and eateries is required to keep them coming back.

It's been years since I've been downtown, but last time I was there it was but a shadow of the place I recall when growing up.

I really liked the old Army-Navy store, for example.

I applaud the city fathers for taking on the challenge, but I have to ask are there or will there be enough groups to use it often enough to justify its cost?

Let's hope so.
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Old 04-28-2021, 11:17 AM   #35
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Default The city is coughing up the Dough....

...there was a small article deep in the LaDaSun today that stated that the City Council has approved to spend $50K to fix the stage....
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Old 04-28-2021, 12:00 PM   #36
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...there was a small article deep in the LaDaSun today that stated that the City Council has approved to spend $50K to fix the stage....
If correct, that is a 0.36% cost overrun of a 14 million dollar effort. It is insignificant.

MY OPINION is that if you have a significant construction project and don't anticipate there might be as much as a 10% cost overrun, you are being naive. I always get a chuckle over the house renovation TV shows where the costs start to slip over the budget and panic ensues.
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Old 04-28-2021, 03:01 PM   #37
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Default Bonnette Page and Stone

Have a great reputation of being on time and within budget. The problem is most projects go to low bidders and they tend to overrun.
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:14 PM   #38
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Have a great reputation of being on time and within budget. The problem is most projects go to low bidders and they tend to overrun.
I totally agree with this. Many public bid projects are intentionally underbid on the original contract to win the job and then hit with massive change orders to make them profitable.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:28 PM   #39
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On a central Artery project in Boston that I was involved in change orders were huge.

My company was a sub-contractor to the contractor who won the bid. The contractor had four full time people working on change orders and looking for items involved in the project that were different than specified in the original RFP. They recovered a very substantial amount of money.
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