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Old 10-25-2013, 10:46 AM   #1
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Default New Rest Areas Planned in Hooksett

from WMUR....
Quote:
State announces plans for welcome center on I-93 in Hooksett
$35 million project underway

HOOKSETT, N.H. —Calling it a Welcome Center that will be uniquely a "New Hampshire experience," Gov. Maggie Hassan broke ground on a new rest area complex at Hooksett, Thursday.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:22 PM   #2
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Welcome to New Hampshire! You may commence spending immediately!
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:24 PM   #3
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I would think it would be cheaper to provide access for both North and South bound vehicles and build ONE rest stop. But of course that would be logical and save tax payer's some money.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:54 PM   #4
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Default Welcone center

Leave it to NH to place a welcome center 40 miles from the border inside the state. What's next, a toll both in Colebrook?
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:19 PM   #5
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I would think it would be cheaper to provide access for both North and South bound vehicles and build ONE rest stop. But of course that would be logical and save tax payer's some money.
My guess would be that if it weren't clearly an easy on / easy off situation not as many people would be tempted to stop

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Leave it to NH to place a welcome center 40 miles from the border inside the state. What's next, a toll both in Colebrook?
My guess on this one is that the toll is placed this far north so that instead of only collecting tolls from the traffic coming up 93 they also get tolls from those who came north on 3 or 393 (or even 101) which has merged onto 93 just before the tolls.
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:37 PM   #6
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I am sorry but this seems like a huge waste of money.....

Or is it?

the big question here is how is this all going to be paid for.... if the 35 Million dollar price tag is being picked completely by the state, then this just isn't very cool....

Other things to spend money on, I am sorry... but this is not needed.
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:42 PM   #7
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I would think it would be cheaper to provide access for both North and South bound vehicles and build ONE rest stop. But of course that would be logical and save tax payer's some money.
They have some like that in Jersey. They're a pain in the ass, IMO.
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:58 PM   #8
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Default Sounds like Rusty is paying for a lot of it.

"The $35 million project will be like no other rest area in the country, assured Alex Ray, owner and founder of The Common Man, who with Rusty McLear of the Inns & Spa at Mill Falls in Meredith, forms Granite State Hospitality LLC, the state's new partner."
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:59 PM   #9
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I am sorry but this seems like a huge waste of money.....

The state of New Hampshire sold the Lottery Commission to a private company. No longer in state hands. The private company has to make a profit off the lottery. So how much now goes to education? The actual intended original purpose of the lottery.

The state of New Hampshire sold the entire rest area. Private enterprise.

Instead of the state owning the rest area and the liquor store. Now the state will pay rent for all of this

Win. Win. For everyone.

Private enterprise will make huge profits off of this. With guaranteed income from the state as a tenant - forever.
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:21 PM   #10
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While I know this doesn't fit the narrative about the evils of private enterprise, someone has the landlord and the tenant swapped. This snip is from the Concord Monitor story:

"Ray and McLear will sign a 35-year lease with the state that calls for at least $23 million in rent payments and a tiered percentage of fuel and other sales. In total, the state could bring in about $38 million."

So the state will receive money from this deal.
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:42 PM   #11
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While I know this doesn't fit the narrative about the evils of private enterprise, someone has the landlord and the tenant swapped. This snip is from the Concord Monitor story:

"Ray and McLear will sign a 35-year lease with the state that calls for at least $23 million in rent payments and a tiered percentage of fuel and other sales. In total, the state could bring in about $38 million."

So the state will receive money from this deal.
So the state pays 35 million dollars now and may get $38 million over a period of 35 years? Wow, what's that about .000001% interest? A great deal, NOT!
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by brk-lnt View Post
They have some like that in Jersey. They're a pain in the ass, IMO.
New Jersey also has areas that are in the middle of the 2 roads and are not any harder to get off and on as one sided areas.
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:46 PM   #13
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Default One thing done right in NJ

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I would think it would be cheaper to provide access for both North and South bound vehicles and build ONE rest stop. But of course that would be logical and save tax payer's some money.
That's how the rest areas are set up on the Garden State Parkway here in NJ with one or two exceptions. They also provide park and ride lots adjoining the rest areas for commuters. The northernmost rest area near the NY State border has a long term parking lot with bus service to Newark Airport about 25+ miles to the south.
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Old 10-25-2013, 03:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by songkrai View Post
The state of New Hampshire sold the Lottery Commission to a private company. No longer in state hands. The private company has to make a profit off the lottery. So how much now goes to education? The actual intended original purpose of the lottery.

The state of New Hampshire sold the entire rest area. Private enterprise.

Instead of the state owning the rest area and the liquor store. Now the state will pay rent for all of this

Win. Win. For everyone.

Private enterprise will make huge profits off of this. With guaranteed income from the state as a tenant - forever.
As pointed out, by others the Common man will be leasing from the State....

And if you read the articles it is claimed that this is a 32M$ capital investment for Granite State Hospitality...

What I have not seen is a comment on the entire cost of the project... This includes Highway infrastructure changes some of which have already been done... And many other hidden costs....

So when all is said and done, how Much is coming out of the State Account.

The bottom line is this may not be worth it....

I have seen the model used before, Maine as an example... the problem is the gas station decided to charge a mint... so the revenue is never what is foretasted.... and over time the restaurants loose their charm.... and once again the cost is usually elevated for the convenience of it all. So once again the revenue is not what is forecasted.

Now factor in that after 35 years Granite State Hospitality can just walk away and leave the place for the State to deal with....

I would rather see the state put in Rest Area's just like they have now... there is nothing wrong with that model....Then there is no wondering about the future... no what if Granite State Hospitality folds... etc etc etc.....
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:46 PM   #15
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Default Waste of Money and resources.

Ever since the Democrats takeover, the legislature been selling bits and pieces of valuable property that they deem 'underperforming' or 'not profitable'. A way off filling the current coffers so that they can spend as they damn well please.

When the future comes, they will say, what happened? We got nothing to show! I can definitely see this coming!

I definitely believe the state needs a 'Sunset committee', a group of business analysts that determine if a policy makes sense monetary wise. Gov. Sununnu had one and it paid off at the times.

I can never trust the current legislature to make sound judgments in money matters.
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:51 PM   #16
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I haven't studied the finances of this deal but I just wanted to correct the obvious mis-information.

I'm still jaded against these guys because of the "other subject" but it seems like they scored a coup here. They get pretty much top billing as being "like New Hampshire" for their chain of restaurants. I'm sure they negotiated a deal that they could live with and that they thought would be successful for the rest areas. If not, they will lose money or go out of business.

If the state negotiated a deal that was bad for the state, then we should address that at the ballot box. Governor Maggie Hassan was elected to represented to the best interests of the State of NH, do people doubt that she did?

I hope it turns out well, it will be a visible icon for many visitors and residents. I want NH well represented and I want to be proud of this. The current rest areas are well past their prime.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:06 AM   #17
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Default From Lawerence Eagle Tribune

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineedles View Post
So the state pays 35 million dollars now and may get $38 million over a period of 35 years? Wow, what's that about .000001% interest? A great deal, NOT!
The state is not paying anything...



Quote:
HOOKSETT — Residents and visitors welcomed news yesterday that ground has been broken for a significant upgrade of the Hooksett welcome centers on Interstate 93.
Gov. Maggie Hassan, other state officials and representatives of The Common Man restaurants wielded shovels and oversize cutlery yesterday in the ceremonial event.
The Common Man has a 35-year lease with the state and will fund construction and operations at the welcome areas on both sides of the highway. the state Liquor Commission will continue to fund and operate the two state liquor stores there.
The redesigned centers will feature multiple dining options, a visitors center, gas stations, a bank, a country store and the state liquor stores.
“The Hooksett Welcome Centers project is an innovative public-private partnership that will help boost our economy and support our tourism industry by providing a high-quality welcome for all visitors to the Granite State,” Hassan said. “With the project estimated to create over 130 long-term jobs, the new Welcome Centers will help spur economic growth and offer a uniquely New Hampshire experience that showcases what makes our state special.”
New construction will feature “mill-building architecture.” The Common Man dining options will include a 1950s-style diner, am Italian farmhouse restaurant, a deli and a breakfast option.
There also will be a 24-hour convenience store, two new liquor stores, a bank branch, and an interactive visitors center. Irving Oil will have two gas stations and there are plans for electric vehicle plug-in stations. At 20,000 square feet, the new liquor stores will be twice the size of the existing outlets.
“This is a unique and innovative project involving all New Hampshire-based companies from the owner/operator, bank, architects, construction, and other partners,” said Alex Ray, owner and founder of The Common Man family of restaurants in New Hampshire. “As a long-time resident and business owner in New Hampshire, I’m really looking forward to a fresh statement for visitors and residents at these welcome centers and service areas.”
The project is expected to bring 137 full-time jobs to the area.
Both welcome centers and the liquor stores will remain open during construction, which is scheduled to be completed in April 2015.
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:39 PM   #18
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Default Win / win

I personally think it's a win / win situation for both the state of NH and the Common Man. The Common Man is a good restaurant and very well run establishment. It certainly a hell of a lot better than having a Burger King or Mcdonalds there!

It will be very handy to have the gas stations there as well! Most Irving stations are well run and very clean!

I think this a great decision in a perfect location and will be a very successful endeavor.

Dan
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:52 AM   #19
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I personally think it's a win / win situation for both the state of NH and the Common Man. The Common Man is a good restaurant and very well run establishment. It certainly a hell of a lot better than having a Burger King or Mcdonalds there!

It will be very handy to have the gas stations there as well! Most Irving stations are well run and very clean!

I think this a great decision in a perfect location and will be a very successful endeavor.

Dan
I agree Dan. I don't get the worries that it will cost the state a ton of money. As of right now, the only money they are making there is liquor and lottery sales. When the new rest area is done, they will still make that money (maybe more), and will make more as a % of the sales in the restaurants/fuel.

Not to mention the fact that these will be about 3 miles from my house, and will give me a new dining option. Meal prices will determine how often I go there, but at least it is something.
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:03 PM   #20
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Not to mention the fact that these will be about 3 miles from my house, and will give me a new dining option. Meal prices will determine how often I go there, but at least it is something.
Won't you have to pay a toll to get there
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:45 AM   #21
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Won't you have to pay a toll to get there
Negative. There is non-highway access to both NB and SB rest areas. There are gates so that you cannot get on the highway from there.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:02 AM   #22
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Is this where the current large liquor store is on both sides of 93?
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:59 AM   #23
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The state is not paying anything...
That is not true...

The state has funded major road renovations to make this possible....
The state is more then likely responsible for snow plowing the facility....

There are many hidden costs here, which are not apparent on the surface.

There isn't enough in any of these articles to make me believe this is a win for the state of NH....

The Common Man has done a good job of making this appear outwardly as though they are doing the State a favor... but I think everyone in the end will be surprised...
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:14 AM   #24
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I would think that the 9% meal tax on all the items purchased at the --
Quote:
-- 16,000 sq. ft. NH Uncommon Food Court featuring a 1950s Hi-way Diner, Italian Restaurant, Country Deli/Sandwich Shop and Village Bakery/Coffee Shop
would be more than enough to cover snow plowing.......
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:40 AM   #25
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I would think that the 9% meal tax on all the items purchased at the --
would be more than enough to cover snow plowing.......
Not wanting to argue but, wouldn't people stopping to eat in that area be paying the 9% at another local restaurant anyways? The state is doing what government does best, move jobs or whatever across the street, and claim they have created something.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:53 AM   #26
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I was at the NB rest area yesterday. If you are traveling in the area, please be aware that construction has begun. A portion of the parking area is blocked off, so parking is somewhat limited. And it is somewhat chaotic as well, so drive careful through there.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:55 AM   #27
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Default New Rest Areas Planned in Hooksett

If you think about any rest area / welcome center that you've been in--especially ones in tourist-centric states--what are they stocked with and how are they decorated? Brochures and Data Sheets on attractions in that state, as well as a décor that gets you in the "mood" for that state. (Example: VT has a welcome center on Rte 91 that is rustic / lodge-like, and has a lot of info on the state, as well as lots of info on attractions). I would suggest that the goal of the rest area / welcome center is not to be a money-maker in and of itself, but rather, to get people excited to spend their money in the restaurants, motels, and other tourist attractions in the state. And, to return time after time, and tell all their friends, and maybe buy a vacation home. That is where the real return on that investment is.

In poking around "www.nh.gov", it's fairly easy to find some data that proves what we all know: NH is by and large a Service Economy that is mostly driven by tourism. Just like any business, you want your customers, (the tourists), happy, so they buy from you, (NH restaurants, motels, etc), and not your competitors, (VT, ME, etc). Getting them in "the NH Mood" in the welcome center will help to do just that.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:56 AM   #28
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In 2011 the NH state liquor stores generated $417,000,000 in sales. These sales put $160 million into the state's general fund. In 2013 this amount has already increased to over $600,000.000 in sales! This will put over a quarter of a billion dollars into the states general fund! That's a lot of snowplowing!! Not to mention over 60% of these sales come from out of state.

The state will now add to this profit by trying to collect a 9% meals tax to everyone who visits the Common Man as well as the tax at the gas pumps.

These are not just liquor store rest areas, they are profit centers for the state. I would be willing to bet that the two liquor stores on 93 NB and SB are by far the two most profitable liquor stores in the state drawing millions of people each year.

To those of us NH natives trying to keep a sales tax away from our state, we should be welcoming this.

Dan
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:37 AM   #29
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I'm not a native but I sure as heck would like the state to be able to offset my property taxes with more money collected elsewhere, like the meal tax, etc. I am just not sure that this enterprise will be a good deal for the state when all is said and done.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:59 AM   #30
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Alright so I started doing some digging...

Please read this article, in which it is published that the state will reimburse the developer 8.4 million....for the liquor store cost... and then goes onto state that all the developer is responsible for is the Shell of the building for the liquor store... The State picks up the cost for the interior construction. While not uncommon this is a cost that is not being brought out to the for front.

http://www.unionleader.com/article/2...29995/0/news01

what is unclear is weather this is part of the 32M$ Granite State Hospitality figure or if it is an additional amount on top of that.

So this isn't exactly free to the State now is it?

Believe me there are many hidden costs... That are not being told.....
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:53 PM   #31
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The current Rte. 93/Hooksett N & S rest areas are past their prime and need replacement. On many weekends the parking lot is full or close to its limit for visitors. The bathrooms are old and inadequate for today’s visitor volume. The Liquor stores get extremely over crowded on weekends, especially on holiday weekends. The current rest areas just plain do not meet the requirements and needs of today’s traveler. There are many who are local or traveling to their summer homes or vacation destination but there are many more who are just plain “Tourists” for the day and who will spend money all over NH doing it via Rte. 93. So for everyone traveling up and down Rte. 93 we need an attractive and useful rest area and that is what is coming.
The State has chosen to make a significant investment with a “partner” who will pay for most of what is required to make it happen. That is sure better than funding it by the state alone. The “partners” doing this have great track record in the restaurant and tourism industry and I expect we will see a top quality facility when it is completed that more than does what was expected.
The State’s business is tourism and you need to promote it in many ways. The new rest areas with the restaurants, gas station, liquor store, and tourist information etc. are just one way and will be a big plus for the traveling public. Do some traveling to other states that are tourist destinations and you will find similar rest areas but NH’s will be the newest and nicest.
Traffic volume is increasing and the highway gets very congested on weekends and holidays. On occasion I find myself in stop and go traffic from just north of the Hooksett rest areas to Rte. 89 and on into Concord. So infrastructure improvements to Rte.93 were and are needed with or without the new rest areas.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:58 PM   #32
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In 2011 the NH state liquor stores generated $417,000,000 in sales. These sales put $160 million into the state's general fund. In 2013 this amount has already increased to over $600,000.000 in sales! This will put over a quarter of a billion dollars into the states general fund! That's a lot of snowplowing!! Not to mention over 60% of these sales come from out of state.

The state will now add to this profit by trying to collect a 9% meals tax to everyone who visits the Common Man as well as the tax at the gas pumps.

These are not just liquor store rest areas, they are profit centers for the state. I would be willing to bet that the two liquor stores on 93 NB and SB are by far the two most profitable liquor stores in the state drawing millions of people each year.

To those of us NH natives trying to keep a sales tax away from our state, we should be welcoming this.
Dan
Completely agree... unless people decide to cut back on their alcohol consumption (unlikely given the trend that Dan cited), NH makes a very tidy sum on liquor sales... I'm not sure how much they just spent on building the new store at exit 6 in Nashua, but the State paid for everything including the "shell" and it appears well worth it given the traffic through there... The buildings on I-93 are dated and I'm guessing that the convenience of having a gas station and restaurant will draw in even more people that will also decide that maybe they need a few bottles for the weekend!!

Also totally agree that there are probably lots of hidden costs, however with the liquor sales, food/beverage tax, fuel tax, etc... it will still be quite a profitable enterprise for the State and the service providers, add jobs at that location, and be a really nice gateway for the tourism industry...

I don't agree that "people that stop there would have eaten at another restaurant anyway"... if that was what happened everytime a new restaurant opened... another would close... and there are many successful restaurants opening in NH every year!

Unclear why people (natives or not) aren't celebrating this as a win... politics? I'd be shocked!

PIG - enjoy the lake this time of year, it's beautiful!!
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:11 PM   #33
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Default Part of this is a state activity

The current rest area is just liquor store and bathrooms. The state had to pay to build, maintain, and plow that area. If the state wants to build a larger liquor store I would guess that they have some expectation that they can increase sales to help pay for it. Visitor centers also are common state responsibility to promote the state and available activities. I would expect that the state would continue to cover maintenance and plowing for their own operations (50% of the space).

The question is, how much of the independent business construction costs is the state going to pick up, if any? These will all be money makers for the state because of the tax revenue although there is some validity to the idea of business simply being transferred from one spot to another. Gas purchases for example. However, for food it could be the difference between $30 of fast food or $60 for a better meal. The appeal of "one stop shopping" would also make a more pleasant stop for a visitor and set a good tone for their visit.

I don't think we know enough as to whether this will be a good deal for the state in the long run but public/private partnerships are a good idea in general. The private part will be investing a considerable amount of money and paying taxes on sales. That's not a bad start.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:34 PM   #34
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I suspect most travelers along a highway would be reluctant to get off the highway in search of a restaurant. Some of those heading either way might very well get off at the rest area for lunch or dinner rather than wait until getting to where they are going, whereas (at least those heading south late in the day) they might otherwise just keep going if they had to get off to search for a place. Thus I think there would be a net increase in tax revenue for the state, and not just some shift in which restaurants provide it. I imagine all of this has been studied in depth by both the state and the Common Man orgainzation.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:37 PM   #35
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Default We recently made a trip down to NC via I 90 in MA

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I suspect most travelers along a highway would be reluctant to get off the highway in search of a restaurant. Some of those heading either way might very well get off at the rest area for lunch or dinner rather than wait until getting to where they are going, whereas (at least those heading south late in the day) they might otherwise just keep going if they had to get off to search for a place. Thus I think there would be a net increase in tax revenue for the state, and not just some shift in which restaurants provide it. I imagine all of this has been studied in depth by both the state and the Common Man orgainzation.
We stopped at the Rest Area on I90 after I290 and before I84. Place was mobbed at about 1030 AM. Restaurant services were busy.

I think that it is going to be a win win situation for all involved.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:52 AM   #36
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Like some of the others, I still think this is a “win” for the state. They own the land, and are going to generate more revenue from that.

Think of other rest areas, such as I-93 NB in Salem. That is a good sized lot with rest rooms and vending machines. I am sure the state paid next to nothing for the lot, but it does cost money for upkeep (heat, snow plowing, water/sewer, employees, etc). There is no way that the revenue they get from the vending machines is enough to offset all the costs. At least in Hooksett, they have the liquor store, and now a percentage of profits (plus taxes) from gas/food sales.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:16 AM   #37
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Unclear why people (natives or not) aren't celebrating this as a win... politics? I'd be shocked!

PIG - enjoy the lake this time of year, it's beautiful!!
My Lack of Support is not at all politically motivated.

And while it appears from the tone of my posts, that I am totally against, this realize that I do understand that the current facilities are not adequate and that something needs to be done.

I am just not sure that this is the land fall for the state that others seem to believe that it is. I have done a lot of traveling around this country, by car and visited a great many rest areas, visitor centers, truck stops and the like. I have seen what works and doesn't.

During times of peak travel there is no doubt that places like this do a good business.... But when travel is not at its peak, and they have to maintain staffing the profits get eaten up. Hence why often you see the prices at a premium... So sure in the summer and during ski season business is great... but what about the other 6 months of the year.

In my last posted I pointed out the first of what I am sure are multiple concessions that the state is making in this joint venture, reimbursing 8.4M$. I implore people to continue to look at this deal, and gain the understanding that is needed to truly decide if this is indeed a good deal for the state.

I will be more then willing to fall on my sword, if this venture is truly in the states best interest. However I am skeptical, and believe that it may not be.
Does that mean I am angry about it. No, it means that be involving private business to this level has a risk level, that may not be in the states best interest.

The funny thing is.... if the state had designed the facility, and built it... And then Granite State Hospitality had step in to run the food concessions, I would be much less opposed to the plan.....

Please keep in mind there was venture called Bear Right in Concord. Which is now completely none existent... Restaurant Choices, a gas station, all right off the highway... what happened to that?
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:40 PM   #38
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Please keep in mind there was venture called Bear Right in Concord. Which is now completely none existent... Restaurant Choices, a gas station, all right off the highway... what happened to that?
Bear Right was not a nice place at all. Fast food was served in an oversize, drafty building. We would sometimes stop there to grab something for our kids when they were elementary-school aged, but wait until we got to our destination for something for the adults. This new facility seems much more welcoming, comfortable and attractive. I don't think one can compare the two business models.
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:16 PM   #39
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Bear Right was not a nice place at all. Fast food was served in an oversize, drafty building. We would sometimes stop there to grab something for our kids when they were elementary-school aged, but wait until we got to our destination for something for the adults. This new facility seems much more welcoming, comfortable and attractive. I don't think one can compare the two business models.
Yes and no... your right the business models are not the same...

However Bear right this is a good example of when a business model fails, because developers, and business men, think they have the greatest idea.

This Venture, is just that something that business men and developers have come up with. They can make it look all kinds of impressive on paper, but once they have the project up and running, the results are what tell the true story....

I am just afraid in the end this is not going to be all its cracked up to be... Sure the idea of a nice restaurant at rest area is a great idea... but if the service is not fast enough for travelers ( something none of the Common Man restaurants have ever impressed me with ) then it is going to be lack luster....

If the rest area, was in the middle of no where it might have some appeal... but here in the east when most people can get to there destinations in 2 to 3 hours, stopping for a meal and adding an additional 30 min to 1 hour to the trip is not exactly going to be welcome improvement.

I know some people will disagree with that statement, but remember it is my opinion.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:12 PM   #40
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However Bear right this is a good example of when a business model fails, because developers, and business men, think they have the greatest idea.
This is true of almost every business venture and despite all the study and analysis that people do to figure out whether a venture will truly be a winner, there is still a lot of guesswork and uncertainty in supporting a venture. The track record of the businessmen involved is good and that may be the biggest thing in favor of the plan. They will also have considerable "skin in the game" so they are going to do what it takes to make it successful.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:50 PM   #41
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It is a very poor comparison to use a 1987 private business venture that was not directly on Interstate 93 and relied on Interstate passers-by leaving the highway and other local patrons for their business. It ultimately failed too. It was also too long ago (26 years) to be used for a comparison. Times have changed and the demographics are not the same today as back in 87.

Today it is the State of NH working with a private company to accomplish a goal of a hospitality venue that is directly on and specifically geared to the Interstate 93 traveler.

This private company has a long, excellent and proven business track record in the hospitality industry that they bring to the table. Their methods work period and I believe that will make it a win-win situation for everyone.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:06 AM   #42
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My thoughts are that this will be a huge success. On any given weekend, the parking lots at the present facilities are jammed with cars full of folks spending money at the liquor stores and the vending machines.
And, even if it's only moderately successful, the onus of fiscal risk is squarely on the developer who holds a lease for 35 years and who will be held liable for honoring it in the form of lease payments to the State. (US).
This very respected and successful developer is risking a lot of cash and committment to this project's success. He certainly seems to be putting more skin in this game than the State. The State is putting $8 million for liquor stores that are outdated and inadequate and will generate a ton of $$$. Oh, and they will have to plow the snow in the winter.
I'm sure the State will have more than that vested in the project, but I think this will be a big win for all.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:56 AM   #43
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During times of peak travel there is no doubt that places like this do a good business.... But when travel is not at its peak, and they have to maintain staffing the profits get eaten up. Hence why often you see the prices at a premium... So sure in the summer and during ski season business is great... but what about the other 6 months of the year.
Actually, the rest areas, esp. NB, are pretty busy year-round. I stopped there just the other day (Mon or Tues this week), and it was pretty busy. That was at 4PM on a weekday, in between seasons.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:35 AM   #44
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The funny thing is.... if the state had designed the facility, and built it... And then Granite State Hospitality had step in to run the food concessions, I would be much less opposed to the plan.....
Not sure I understand this logic. You would rather have the state pay much more to develop this than a private company?
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:22 PM   #45
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Default No Comparison

Comparing this on-highway rest area with the off-highway Bear Right does not make any sense. The Manchester Street interchange with 93 is terrible now and was even worse before they "fixed" it (back in the Bear Right days).

You have to really want something at that exit to get off there! Otherwise there are 2 other ramps in that area of Concord (not including 14, that one should be removed), that can get you to either side of that intersection without having to deal with the lower end of Manchester Street at all!
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:54 PM   #46
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The big question for me is - will the hand dryers work in the new bathrooms?

Any chance they could take one ten thousandth of a percent of that 35 mill and fix the hand dryers now?
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:11 PM   #47
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The big question for me is - will the hand dryers work in the new bathrooms?

Any chance they could take one ten thousandth of a percent of that 35 mill and fix the hand dryers now?
They are actually partnering with the NH Humane Society. They will have dogs awaiting adoption at the restroom exits to lick your hands dry. It's proven to be more sanitary than the current hand dryers.
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:49 PM   #48
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Lets all agree to disagree, I have my view points, you all have yours... the true test will be time. I can counter everyone of your arguments as you can counter everyone of mine...

It just is what it is, we will see how it all turns out.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:15 PM   #49
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The big question for me is - will the hand dryers work in the new bathrooms?

Any chance they could take one ten thousandth of a percent of that 35 mill and fix the hand dryers now?
Throw those damn things out and replace them with these.


http://airblade.dyson.com/handdryers.aspx
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:38 PM   #50
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Default NH Business model

Has anyone visit the Liquor Outlet in Nashua? The one behind Christmas Tree shop? That will be the ideal model for the new liquor stores to go in Hooksett. I love the wine and liquor tasting to food cooked in the center court. The store is tastefully designed, with wide aisles. The staff will order liquor that is not in stock.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:47 PM   #51
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Has anyone visit the Liquor Outlet in Nashua? The one behind Christmas Tree shop? That will be the ideal model for the new liquor stores to go in Hooksett. I love the wine and liquor tasting to food cooked in the center court. The store is tastefully designed, with wide aisles. The staff will order liquor that is not in stock.
Yes, that store is practically in my neighborhood. By far the nicest liquor store I've been in. I wonder if this store will be the "model" for the one at the new visitor centers.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:35 AM   #52
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I was just in the Nashua store the other day. Had to get some champagne for a nieces baby shower up in Maine. They have a tax on Booze up there. My Maine relatives always have me shop for them before I go up to Bangor. But, sssshhhhhh.....Don't tell anyone!

BTW I noticed there is construction equipment at both of the rest areas and it looks like construction has begun in Hooksett.
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:06 PM   #53
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I was just in the Nashua store the other day. Had to get some champagne for a nieces baby shower up in Maine. They have a tax on Booze up there. My Maine relatives always have me shop for them before I go up to Bangor. But, sssshhhhhh.....Don't tell anyone!

BTW I noticed there is construction equipment at both of the rest areas and it looks like construction has begun in Hooksett.
That reminds me of a story. I may have already told it but...

It seems that the powers to be in Mass. were tired of losing tax revenue when Mass citizens traveled to NH to buy their liquor, so the Mass State Police were directed to "stake-out" the NH Liquor Store parking lots and look for Mass license plated cars. Upon entering Mass these cars were pulled over and the drivers were cited. Well the NH powers that be directed their State Police to ticket the Mass State Police for loitering in the NH State Liquor store parking lots. The practice stopped after that.
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:59 PM   #54
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I remember that and also the fireworks stores were staked out. And let's not forget MA trying to recoup taxes from stores on the MA/NH border? MA was looking to get taxes for things like tires,and hard goods out of places like PEP Boys and even Sears and Jordan's Furniture who was delivering furniture into MA. Bernie and Phil's always openly advertises about saving the MA sales tax, as long as you can take it with you. I know, because I bought stuff up here while living in MA, they would take your money up in Nashua, and the Shrewsbury, MA store delivered the furniture.
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:00 PM   #55
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Back in the 70's my Connecticut neighbor, now a retired fireman, use to load up his trunk full of booze for friends and neighbors back home. He was stopped one night as his car was weighed down in the rear. He was told to open his trunk and was jailed and fined for interstate transportation of booze over so many gallons. I guess this was a holdover from the Prohibition days and the little use law was never taken off the books.

So yeah there are laws out there that will stick in court!
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:09 PM   #56
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And let's not forget MA trying to recoup taxes from stores on the MA/NH border?
You mean like at JCPenney at Pheasant Lane Mall? They avoided that one by cutting the corner off the building:

(dotted line is NH/MA border)
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:22 PM   #57
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When the mall was built. Something about the parking lot being in Tyngsboro and all that.

There was also an issue with both the Nashua and Tyngsboro police regarding accidents right on the border line. I remember the issue was solve as the parking lot is on private property and the state and or towns have no jurisdiction on private property. I'm glad I don't shop at malls......
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:16 AM   #58
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Default 93 North- Hooksett

I wonder how much business/ goodwill is being lost during the present pre-construction phase. Friday afternoon (3:00 or so) parking lot was blocked off to about half capacity due to work being done; cars were exiting 93 to go into parking lot, driving through without finding a parking space or place to circle around through again and re-entering 93 without having stopped. Wonder if scheduling couldn't be planned to be friendlier to customers/visitors?
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:12 AM   #59
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When the mall was built. Something about the parking lot being in Tyngsboro and all that.

There was also an issue with both the Nashua and Tyngsboro police regarding accidents right on the border line. I remember the issue was solve as the parking lot is on private property and the state and or towns have no jurisdiction on private property. I'm glad I don't shop at malls......
The State Police and town police do have jurisdiction in mall parking lots. The determining factor is "everywhere the public has a right of access".

You can't really think if a robbery, murder, or car theft occurred in a mall parking lot that all the police departments would have no authority to take action.

You can also be cited for motor vehicle violations in a mall parking lot as well. Again, when the public has a right of access, public safety and the greater good require the enforcement of laws to maintain order.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:57 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by wobbelbill View Post
I wonder how much business/ goodwill is being lost during the present pre-construction phase. Friday afternoon (3:00 or so) parking lot was blocked off to about half capacity due to work being done; cars were exiting 93 to go into parking lot, driving through without finding a parking space or place to circle around through again and re-entering 93 without having stopped. Wonder if scheduling couldn't be planned to be friendlier to customers/visitors?
Those who travel 3A North through Bow knows there is an entrance to the liquor store from that road. You can use the entrance to avoid the entrance and save a buck!
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:00 AM   #61
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The State Police and town police do have jurisdiction in mall parking lots. The determining factor is "everywhere the public has a right of access".

You can't really think if a robbery, murder, or car theft occurred in a mall parking lot that all the police departments would have no authority to take action.

You can also be cited for motor vehicle violations in a mall parking lot as well. Again, when the public has a right of access, public safety and the greater good require the enforcement of laws to maintain order.
I agree with you there, but the states made some kind of agreement as to patrolling the parking lots. Its been so long ago I can't remember the agreement. I can also remember a stake out at one time finding Mass residents trying to escape the sales tax.
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:50 PM   #62
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We stopped at the Rest Area on I90 after I290 and before I84. Place was mobbed at about 1030 AM. Restaurant services were busy.

I think that it is going to be a win win situation for all involved.
That place is a mad house! When I worked for Papa Gino's that restaurant was the top sales restaurant in the entire company.

So the pictures I see looks like the town of Ashland has their fingers in that project... Hiltz construction and Common man ... Hmmm
Just another one of Alex Rays slop and serve joints. He should work on improving his current establishments before opening another one.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:26 AM   #63
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That place is a mad house! When I worked for Papa Gino's that restaurant was the top sales restaurant in the entire company.

So the pictures I see looks like the town of Ashland has their fingers in that project... Hiltz construction and Common man ... Hmmm
Just another one of Alex Rays slop and serve joints. He should work on improving his current establishments before opening another one.
HMMM...Papa Gino's or one of the Common Man's restaurants....let me think about which I would prefer.
C'mon Legionnaire 70, how can you dun the place before we know what will be there for restaurants? The rest area now consists of a liquor store, some vending machines and some toilets. I think what is being built will be a welcome upgrade and may even being some revenue to the State.
I'm anxious to see how this turns out. If's a success, we all win. If not, then Alex Ray, et al, will be the biggest loser. He is taking the biggest risk by far and based on what we've all seen him accomplish in Meredith, my money is on him.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:28 AM   #64
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I'm sure they took into consideration new developments in Hooksett like the 149,000 sq. ft. Bass Pro Shops that will attract millions of people alone over the next couple of years.
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:01 AM   #65
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Default Bass Pro nearby

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I'm sure they took into consideration new developments in Hooksett like the 149,000 sq. ft. Bass Pro Shops that will attract millions of people alone over the next couple of years.
Nice! Too bad they're not going to be co-located. Now THAT would be a destination. Beautiful stores. Bass Pro web site indicates they'll be about 3 miles south of that location:

"Hooksett, New Hampshire - Bass Pro Shops, America’s most popular outdoor store, will locate a new store in Hooksett (Manchester), New Hampshire. The mega 149,000 square-foot Bass Pro Shops® Sportsman’s Center will be located at the intersection of I-93 and I-293."
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:06 AM   #66
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I'm sure they took into consideration new developments in Hooksett like the 149,000 sq. ft. Bass Pro Shops that will attract millions of people alone over the next couple of years.
Cabella had their shot a decade ago. The state and Hooksett spent thousands of dollars wooing Cabellas and making plans at the Palazzi plant. Maine snatch the deal offering no property tax and sales tax for a number of years. Almost in front of LL Beans door!

Hooksett has a lot to gain. I think if the rest area concept is tasteful, like a liquor store modeled after the Nashua location, a diner similar to the Tit'n Diner or the 104 Diner and a Welcome Shop featuring NH Craftsmen gifts will be a far cry than what we have now. Of course politics being as it is will frig the whole thing up.

I hope Rusty doesn't use his 'tacky' Adirondacks decorating here, they belong in Upper state NY.
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:26 AM   #67
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HMMM...Papa Gino's or one of the Common Man's restaurants....let me think about which I would prefer.
C'mon Legionnaire 70, how can you dun the place before we know what will be there for restaurants? The rest area now consists of a liquor store, some vending machines and some toilets. I think what is being built will be a welcome upgrade and may even being some revenue to the State.
I'm anxious to see how this turns out. If's a success, we all win. If not, then Alex Ray, et al, will be the biggest loser. He is taking the biggest risk by far and based on what we've all seen him accomplish in Meredith, my money is on him.
I wasn't comparing the two to each other, did you read my post before you jumped all over me??? C'mon!
By the way, that Hooksett rest area is a toilet!
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:08 PM   #68
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Default New Hookset rest areas....

Drove by there this weekend and excavation has begun!
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:28 AM   #69
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Drove by there this weekend and excavation has begun!
And how- they are cranking away! The stores are the only buildings left that I saw. I wonder where all the tractor trailers will be parking until it is done.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:50 AM   #70
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And how- they are cranking away! The stores are the only buildings left that I saw. I wonder where all the tractor trailers will be parking until it is done.
I have seen them parked on the ramps from the rest areas to the highway.
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:57 PM   #71
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I was by there today and they are really going at it with clearing and grading. There are now trailers with the rest rooms in them and parking is definately at a premium.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:09 AM   #72
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these pics posted today on FB by Bill Hemmill of Lakes Region Aerials
First pic is the southbound area and second is the northbound
Attached Images
  
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:39 PM   #73
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Wow, looks like a 4 fold increase at least in square footage.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:39 PM   #74
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Default Cannon Tram car

Looks like I found the other gondola. One is at the entrance to the ski museum in Franconia.

This will be a nice touch to the Welcome Center!
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:36 AM   #75
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Default Hooksett

We will be up there in August. Does anyone know the completion date for this project? Can't wait to see it.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:40 AM   #76
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We will be up there in August. Does anyone know the completion date for this project? Can't wait to see it.
The massive public-private construction project, which began last October on both the north and south sides of Interstate 93, is two months ahead of schedule and could be completed late next winter.

http://www.wmur.com/escape-outside/u...#ixzz34nzo6aO6
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:42 AM   #77
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Looks like I found the other gondola. One is at the entrance to the ski museum in Franconia.

This will be a nice touch to the Welcome Center!
I've been eyeballing that tram for many years at the Cannon maintanance building wondering how I could pull off that going missing.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:18 AM   #78
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Heard yesterday on the news that construction is way ahead of schedule... the liquor stores and rest area will open in September, followed by the restaurants and convenience stores later in the fall...

We check on progress every weekend when we go by and they are going really fast, maybe they have some incentive payment for finishing early?

Now if I could get the crew to spend a week at my house...

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Old 07-09-2014, 09:26 AM   #79
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Heard yesterday on the news that construction is way ahead of schedule... the liquor stores and rest area will open in September, followed by the restaurants and convenience stores later in the fall...

We check on progress every weekend when we go by and they are going really fast, maybe they have some incentive payment for finishing early?

Now if I could get the crew to spend a week at my house...

Boat, swim, paddle, sail, enjoy... the summer is upon us! -PIG
There was an article in the Union Leader that there was a friendly rivalry between the two projects. It gives the workers incentive to speed up the process. I wonder what the prize is?
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:41 AM   #80
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A case of your choice of liquor.
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:42 PM   #81
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There was an article in the Union Leader that there was a friendly rivalry between the two projects.
Thank you BH, that answers a question that I had been pondering! Both sides were going along pretty much in sync, which seemed sort of odd because I was thinking that the specialized trades would do one, and then the other... but with two separate crews competing, it now makes sense!

And I do like your idea of the prize SS, it should be quite the party!

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Old 07-09-2014, 10:26 PM   #82
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Default One more travel plaza on its way...

I was reading the papers on line this morning, and there is construction starting on a new Travel Plaza in Londonderry at exit 5. Red Arrow diner, fuel, liquor store and more. Can't remember an expected completion date.
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:11 AM   #83
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I was reading the papers on line this morning, and there is construction starting on a new Travel Plaza in Londonderry at exit 5. Red Arrow diner, fuel, liquor store and more. Can't remember an expected completion date.
This has been a truck stop. It is being built on the current Sunoco gas station site on the south side of 28 at Exit 5 that caters to truckers. Shell has a spot w/trucker parking on the north side of 28 at exit 5 already. I pass both of these every morning on my way to work.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:05 AM   #84
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Default Boston.com reports Hooksett State Liquor Store is now open...

....The new state liquor store at the new Hooksett Welcome Center is now open, according to boston.com. Note the Massachusetts perspective, however, that the store "is 10 years too late", under the premise that it was built to combat lack of Sunday booze sales in MA, as opposed to being part of a huge new Welcome Center....

Yellow journalism at its finest....


http://www.boston.com/news/local/new...l_sub_headline
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Old 09-12-2014, 02:17 PM   #85
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....The new state liquor store at the new Hooksett Welcome Center is now open, according to boston.com. Note the Massachusetts perspective, however, that the store "is 10 years too late", under the premise that it was built to combat lack of Sunday booze sales in MA, as opposed to being part of a huge new Welcome Center....

Yellow journalism at its finest....


http://www.boston.com/news/local/new...l_sub_headline
That is a ridiculous comment, which they contradict at the end of the same article: "More than half of the state liquor stores’ customers are from out of state, with the majority coming from Massachusetts."

I live pretty close to the rest areas and have access to the liquor stores on both sides of the highway (from the non-highway side). The northbound store is right on my way home from work, and I stop in there often. There is absolutely no shortage of out of state vehicles in that parking lot particularly on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays. It is a VERY busy store on Fridays, all day long. 10 years too late? Maybe only because they could have done more business in a bigger store over the last 10 years. But I am not sure about that, since I have never noticed someone going into the store and coming out without buying anything.
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Old 09-13-2014, 07:28 AM   #86
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Default How about the restaurants?

Great to hear. Yes, that was a poorly written article. I sincerely doubt MA residents would have been driving all the way up to Hooksett just to get booze.

Does anyone know if the new restaurants being built there are open yet as well?
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:43 AM   #87
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Great to hear. Yes, that was a poorly written article. I sincerely doubt MA residents would have been driving all the way up to Hooksett just to get booze.

Does anyone know if the new restaurants being built there are open yet as well?
Here is a little info...

Quote:
New Liquor and Wine Outlet opening on I-93 north

Posted: Sep 11, 2014 6:40 AM EST Updated: Sep 11, 2014 6:40 AM EST
HOOKSETT, N.H. (AP) - A new 20,000 square-foot New Hampshire Liquor and Wine Outlet is opening at the renovated northbound Hooksett Welcome Center on Interstate 93.
The store, which is opening Thursday, is more than double the size of the existing highway stores. It has a kiosk with four iPads to provide customers with product information and food pairing ideas.
The northbound center's new convenience store, fuel station and restrooms are expected to open next week. It's expected to be fully operational with a food court in early 2015. The southbound side is expected to open next spring.
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:47 AM   #88
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.....since I have never noticed someone going into the store and coming out without buying anything.

I have done that.....to get four quarters for a dollar changed.....just so's I could purchase a Concord Monitor for 50-cents.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:33 AM   #89
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Default so far so good...

from a casual drive-by last weekend...

both new liquor stores are open and the old ones are gone... they've done a really good job and it all looks really nice from the outside...

the north-bound gas station is open, plenty of pumps, run by Irving, and good to see that the price is the same as other Irving stations (not gouging like a typical highway rest stop)...

I believe the convenience stores are open as well...

Just waiting for the restaurants to come on line, and we'll be stopping in!

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Old 10-22-2014, 01:17 PM   #90
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Old 10-23-2014, 12:10 PM   #91
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I thought the wife said you can now get beer there too not in the liquor store but the country store if I heard her correctly. I very rarely listen to her on the way up.
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Old 10-26-2014, 03:55 PM   #92
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I thought the wife said you can now get beer there too not in the liquor store but the country store if I heard her correctly. I very rarely listen to her on the way up.
on the way up Friday stopped in and toured around...

the 'country store' does carrry beer, along with other convenience store type stuff and a whole lot of "NH made" products...

the liquor store is big and well stocked!

restrooms are nice and clean, vast improvement over the porta-potties...

gas pumps are open (northbound side only)...

diner is being worked on...

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Old 10-29-2014, 12:30 AM   #93
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Default The math . . .

is about right. That's the interest you eventually earn on your social security contribution.

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So the state pays 35 million dollars now and may get $38 million over a period of 35 years? Wow, what's that about .000001% interest? A great deal, NOT!
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:16 AM   #94
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I stopped by the southbound rest area this weekend, and I am not impressed. The goal of this project should have been less about the Liquor store and more about amenities for travelers. Instead I found an over sized liquor store, and a restroom facility that is not going to big enough to handle the volume in the summer or winter peak season. I am also not impressed with what I believe is going to be an inadequately sized parking situation, even when complete.

I think its great that they have opened the facility as is, and didn't wait for full completion. But I hate seeing a facility that while is nicer then the old facility is not sized correctly for its intended purpose.

All in all I am still left with my main concern, which is that a private business was allowed to much involvement with this project. That private business is interested in one thing generating revenue for themselves. Not in making sure an adequate and appropriate facility was constructed, with the intended correct use model as a rest area. This area appears to have the intended use model of a revenue creating business venture, which was allowed to be along side the highway...
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:41 AM   #95
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I have to agree with you here. The information booth is relegated to the old gondola on the Northbound. Small convenience store that sells mostly beer and small restroom area. Huge gas area and liquor store!
It's all about the money.........................

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I stopped by the southbound rest area this weekend, and I am not impressed. The goal of this project should have been less about the Liquor store and more about amenities for travelers. Instead I found an over sized liquor store, and a restroom facility that is not going to big enough to handle the volume in the summer or winter peak season. I am also not impressed with what I believe is going to be an inadequately sized parking situation, even when complete.

I think its great that they have opened the facility as is, and didn't wait for full completion. But I hate seeing a facility that while is nicer then the old facility is not sized correctly for its intended purpose.

All in all I am still left with my main concern, which is that a private business was allowed to much involvement with this project. That private business is interested in one thing generating revenue for themselves. Not in making sure an adequate and appropriate facility was constructed, with the intended correct use model as a rest area. This area appears to have the intended use model of a revenue creating business venture, which was allowed to be along side the highway...
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Old 10-29-2014, 05:35 PM   #96
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Default new rest area

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I have to agree with you here. The information booth is relegated to the old gondola on the Northbound. Small convenience store that sells mostly beer and small restroom area. Huge gas area and liquor store!
It's all about the money.........................

I agree with you as well. The convenient store is very small. Not much added value for a out of state traveler. The liquor store is way too large. Did not have a good feel about the place. Granted it will look much different when finished. I certainly was disappointed for what I saw.
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Old 10-29-2014, 09:52 PM   #97
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Default remember where NH gets revenue from...

I guess I look at what is there now versus what was there and see progress in the right direction... it used to be a run down liquor store, a bunch of vending machines, and porta-potties...

What amenities do travelers want on I-93? certainly easy access to gas, which Irving is providing at the same price as their "off highway" stations, a rarity when you see the price-gouging of "highway service centers" in other states...

The restroom seemed plenty big to me, more stalls/urinals in the men's room than all the old porta-potties combined that served both men and women...

I too question the parking, but it looks like there will be more down in back by the restaurant... time will tell, and there's enough real estate to build more parking if needed...

Convenience store? How much do you need? There were plenty of snacks, drinks, and typical "road food"... people aren't doing their weekly grocery shopping there...

Lastly, the liquor store... let's remember, this isn't a private business... this is a State monopoly and where NH gets a hefty portion of their revenue... helping to keep us from having a sales or income tax... I say build it bigger and better and get more $$ from the tourists who just love to shop there!!

I still believe it's a lot better already than what was there before... but time will tell if it works out or not... hopefully for us NH tax payers... it does!!

-PIG

Last edited by Pine Island Guy; 10-30-2014 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:45 AM   #98
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P I G, I'm with you on this. Let's at least give them a chance to finish the project before we condemn it. I don't think what we are seeing now is close to what it will be upon completion. I'm also willing to bet that there will be ample parking when this is done too.
And let's also remember who is holding the bag if it does fail. The State of NH can only benefit from this project so let's all hope that it will be successful.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:46 AM   #99
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I agree completely with P.I.G. It is way better than what was there.
-The old restrooms (northbound) had about 5 urinals and 3 or 4 stalls, and it was a pit. The new restrooms are much larger, and obviously cleaner and nicer.
-The old convenience store-oh wait, there was never a convenience store. Just some vending machines.
-The old liquor store, while pretty big, would get very over-crowded on Thursday and Friday nights, and even on Saturday morning. The new larger store should help alleviate that.
-The old restaurants-oh wait, there was never a restaurant.
-The old parking lot was pretty big, I very rarely saw it filled up. Take note that both north and southbound areas are not complete, so there will be a lot more parking than what you see today.
-The old information booth consisted of a small desk in the restroom area, with various pamphlets and flyers on wall racks. While the new one is currently in the gondola outside, if you look at the artists concept drawings, there are information booths inside the main building of the new area.

I have no dog in this fight, but my opinion is that the rest areas are miles ahead of what was there before. Give it a chance. Once they are totally completed, I think they will at the very least meet most peoples expectations.
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:18 AM   #100
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Here's the Hooksett Rest Area Redevelopment Information Sheet. It shows among other things that there will be 380 parking spots on the Northbound side and 310 parking spots on the Southbound side.

http://www.nh.gov/dot/org/operations...15970_rafs.pdf
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