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Old 10-30-2014, 03:05 PM   #101
SIKSUKR
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Sounds like the welcome center is almost as big as the liquor store.

PROPOSED FACILITIES: The redevelopment project includes the following:
ē Construction of a single structure on both the northbound and southbound sites to house:
o 16,000 square foot Welcome Center
o 20,000 square foot state Liquor & Wine Outlet Store
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Old 10-30-2014, 03:23 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by SIKSUKR View Post
Sounds like the welcome center is almost as big as the liquor store.

PROPOSED FACILITIES: The redevelopment project includes the following:
ē Construction of a single structure on both the northbound and southbound sites to house:
o 16,000 square foot Welcome Center
o 20,000 square foot state Liquor & Wine Outlet Store
Priorities, you know!!
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:20 PM   #103
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- I love how everyone assumes I am condemning this project.
- I am simply being realistic about it, and am concerned that this project has gone out of scope....

The positives that I see:
- Gas right off the interstate
- A convenience store instead of vending machines
- new facilities

The negatives
- Sorry the restrooms while bigger then the prior facilities are not big enough, I anticipate line, and the need for Porta Potties still during peak seasons.
- the parking area is now more congested, and will cause issues, it is going to be to much like a shopping plaza arrangement
- The liquor store is way to big

My concerns:
- The restaurant will not last in the long run.... sorry folks I have seen it to many times..... it will be great and profitable at peak times, but the slow times will be horrible. And there will not be a local crowd... and when it hurts the bottom line the company will want to get out.
- The gas prices will ultimately go up... haven't you all heard of introductory rates.
- The liquor store will continue to be the main concern for the state, and if the current situation changes, and the common man group pulls out, who is going to deal with the up keep of the rest of the facility........ oh wait the tax-payers.....

This work needed to be done.... I think they have made some improvements, I just don't feel it was done in a way that is going to work out in the long run.... I don't think the facilities are an eyesore or anything, they scaling just wasn't done correctly.... Smaller liquor store, bigger bathrooms, and maybe some nice accommodations such as showers for the truckers, and maybe just maybe I would think things went in a better direction.
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:35 PM   #104
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Default Not so sure the liquor stores are over-sized

The northbound store is the 6th largest store with over $18M in sales, and the southbound store is the 8th largest store with over $16M in sales. Figures from FY 2014. Here is the link to Seacoast online.

http://www.seacoastonline.com/articl...29737/0/SEARCH
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:25 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIforrelaxin View Post
- I love how everyone assumes I am condemning this project.
- I am simply being realistic about it, and am concerned that this project has gone out of scope....

The positives that I see:
- Gas right off the interstate
- A convenience store instead of vending machines
- new facilities

The negatives
- Sorry the restrooms while bigger then the prior facilities are not big enough, I anticipate line, and the need for Porta Potties still during peak seasons.
- the parking area is now more congested, and will cause issues, it is going to be to much like a shopping plaza arrangement
- The liquor store is way to big

My concerns:
- The restaurant will not last in the long run.... sorry folks I have seen it to many times..... it will be great and profitable at peak times, but the slow times will be horrible. And there will not be a local crowd... and when it hurts the bottom line the company will want to get out.
- The gas prices will ultimately go up... haven't you all heard of introductory rates.
- The liquor store will continue to be the main concern for the state, and if the current situation changes, and the common man group pulls out, who is going to deal with the up keep of the rest of the facility........ oh wait the tax-payers.....

This work needed to be done.... I think they have made some improvements, I just don't feel it was done in a way that is going to work out in the long run.... I don't think the facilities are an eyesore or anything, they scaling just wasn't done correctly.... Smaller liquor store, bigger bathrooms, and maybe some nice accommodations such as showers for the truckers, and maybe just maybe I would think things went in a better direction.
I stopped in last week to the south bound rest area. It was still under construction but I was struck by how poor the layout was. The liquor store was massive but there wasn't a connection to the bathrooms and restaurant. I also was unpleasantly surprised at how small the rest room was. The designers should have visited the relatively new rest area south of Augusta Maine to see an appropriate rest room design. This isn't rocket science. I really was underwhelmed by what I saw.
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Old 11-08-2014, 03:51 PM   #106
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I stopped on the NB one this morning, vast improvement over the old rest area but I would have done a few things different.

Parking lot, too many turns and decisions, I was ok but the guy in front of me was confused, didn't like the turn he made and was trying to back up.

Gas station, they should have put it where the secondary parking is, further north on the property and made the first parking lot bigger. Most other rest areas are like this, bathrooms, food and stores first, then gas.

There is not a lot of parking in the lot opposite the gas pumps and if you choose the wrong aisle, you are screwed.

Signage needs to be better, I didn't know there was a second lot until I was getting back on the highway. When leaving, I saw a guy who picked wrong try to go up the other side, didn't look like it was going to work for him, had there been a sign pointing to more parking he probably would have just proceeded to the second lot. There may be a sign there, but I didn't see it.


The restroom was small, but I suppose it doesn't generate money, the store was massive, that generates money, didn't go to the liquor store.
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:39 PM   #107
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You guys realize that both NB and SB rest areas are still under construction, right? Why can't we wait until construction is complete and both rest areas are fully operational until we complain?
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:34 AM   #108
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Alex Ray is a pretty smart businessman and i haven't seen any common man restaurant go under . He has taken over some losers and turnd them around. I am sure he carefully looked at projections before he invested this much money in very visible projects
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Old 11-09-2014, 09:53 AM   #109
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Alex Ray is a pretty smart businessman and i haven't seen any common man restaurant go under . He has taken over some losers and turnd them around. I am sure he carefully looked at projections before he invested this much money in very visible projects
I agree. However, that doesn't mean the public bathroom design or parking layout will be optimal. He is worrying about one aspect of the facility and that is the restaurant. The concerns voiced so far haven't mentioned the restaurant. I agree everyone should let the project fully open before passing final judgement but it is obvious there are some shortcomings that the dummies at the state totally blew.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:07 AM   #110
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I know I sound like I have some sort of involvement with the way I am defending the new rest areas, but believe me I have none. I live pretty close to both, and the NB store is my go-to liquor store. They are not in my town so they wonít impact my property taxes. I just hope they succeed, and I think they will.

With that said, I stopped by the NB rest area last night. First of all, they built and just opened a new parking lot directly in front of the liquor store. That lot alone is the size of the previous parking lot. It is pretty big. And there is more parking around the far end of the store, not to mention the parking lot that is not yet complete adjacent to the gas pumps. And there is more parking in the back (only accessible from Rt 3A) for those of us not on the highway side. There used to only be about 20 spaces back there, and would get pretty crowded, but there is way more than that now.

On my way in to the rest room, I took a walk through the convenience store. The prices are identical (yes, identical) to the prices at the Irving station convenience store at Exit 10 and the one at Exit 12. That included beer, chips/snacks and cigarettes. I am sure some items (such as the souveniers) are marked up, but I would expect that.

I stopped by the info desk and asked if that was permanent. I got a laugh. They are moving into a bigger space in the restaurant/open area when it is ready.

As far as the rest rooms, I counted 7 stalls and 8 urinals (sorry I didnít go into the ladies room). Compare that size to the old one that had 4 urinals and 3 stalls. So it is double the size.

So I donít get the naysayers, but hey we all have our opinion.
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:06 PM   #111
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Default agreed...

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Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
Alex Ray is a pretty smart businessman and i haven't seen any common man restaurant go under . He has taken over some losers and turnd them around. I am sure he carefully looked at projections before he invested this much money in very visible projects
I have no connection with Alex or Rusty or their enterprises other than having enjoyed many meals there... but totally agree that they both have brought many locations back from disaster to productive and profitable restaurants, employing many people and giving us more options to eat at!

While people may not agree with 100% of what they have both done, it wasn't too long ago that the center of Meredith was an asbestos factory that had gone out of business... they aren't idiots, and are both very 'hands on' business-men... see them both frequently around town and at their businesses...

We ate at the Concord Common Man Sunday evening on the way home and I asked the bartender if they were worried that the new rest area location would cannabalize their Concord restaurant... his response "they opened four in Meredith alone and they are all busy"...

Time will tell how successful the new locations are, and I'm guessing that if the bathrooms are too small, they will build/expand them (and not bring in porta-potties)... will there be a wait on 4th of July weekend? Maybe so, but when I go to Meadowbrook there is always a wait, and I never hear any complaints!

And lastly... Alex's motto for Common Man - "Doing Well by Doing Good"... he gives all employees two paid days every year to do charitable work in NH, each of his locations hosts a charity event every quarter, and have given tons (literally) of food to NH food banks...

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Old 11-11-2014, 01:25 PM   #112
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You guys realize that both NB and SB rest areas are still under construction, right? Why can't we wait until construction is complete and both rest areas are fully operational until we complain?
What fun would that be??
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Old 11-11-2014, 04:35 PM   #113
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Default rest area and useage

Lets say I'm driving a truck from Providence to Montreal , going north its the last rest area to the border , on the way back its the first rest area, Think I'm NOT going to stop ??? Stopping every time !
Lets say I'm driving from Boston going skiing at Killington , I've already had 3 beers driving to the rest area , smoked a little Denver Gold and have the munchies ( don't even think that's not a common thing ! ) The six of us see that rest area , bathrooms and food , last chance till Killington , and we are in there .

the guy driving from Concord to Manchester to work won't stop but he's not the target market . Demographics of the road say this is a winner

Alex is a genius !
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:16 PM   #114
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Lets say I'm driving a truck from Providence to Montreal , going north its the last rest area to the border , on the way back its the first rest area, Think I'm NOT going to stop ??? Stopping every time !
Lets say I'm driving from Boston going skiing at Killington , I've already had 3 beers driving to the rest area , smoked a little Denver Gold and have the munchies ( don't even think that's not a common thing ! ) The six of us see that rest area , bathrooms and food , last chance till Killington , and we are in there .

the guy driving from Concord to Manchester to work won't stop but he's not the target market . Demographics of the road say this is a winner

Alex is a genius !
So, any chance of getting a photo of Billy Bob's vehicle so if we see it, we can take the next right and get away!!!

Sent from my GT-P5210 using Tapatalk
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:42 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Bob View Post
Lets say I'm driving a truck from Providence to Montreal , going north its the last rest area to the border , on the way back its the first rest area, Think I'm NOT going to stop ??? Stopping every time !
Lets say I'm driving from Boston going skiing at Killington , I've already had 3 beers driving to the rest area , smoked a little Denver Gold and have the munchies ( don't even think that's not a common thing ! ) The six of us see that rest area , bathrooms and food , last chance till Killington , and we are in there .

the guy driving from Concord to Manchester to work won't stop but he's not the target market . Demographics of the road say this is a winner

Alex is a genius !
Billy Boob

I didn't realize Alex Ray had the only urinals between Concord and the Canadian border and Concord and Killington. But now that I know, my concern that the rest rooms are too small has been validated by your expert analysis. Thanks

Last edited by secondcurve; 11-14-2014 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 11-13-2014, 01:40 PM   #116
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Default Sunday visit

I stop by the rest area NORTH Veteran's Day and I am impressed! The liquor store has wide aisles and more selections. The convenient store is a nice touch with all things NH. Even has Brothers Donuts and NH coffee!

I saw all the gas pumps. I read somewhere there will be electrical outlets for ecars and propane gas fill ups. I haven't located any but that will be an excellent touch.

The restrooms are nice and clean although it is big I seriously doubt it will handle the Friday night exodus. We will see.

My buddy Alec Ray was on hand and gave me a tour of his 'diner' area. Wait till you see what he has in store. He is pretty detailed and rightly so. Part of his success! There is a window next to the info booth for 'sidewalk supervisors'.

He will welcome 'Goody Good' donuts if they can be delivered to the sight first thing in the morning. That will be a great addition.

Alec is hoping to be open for the holidays. It is doable. Stay tuned!
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:23 PM   #117
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Lets say I'm driving a truck from Providence to Montreal , going north its the last rest area to the border , on the way back its the first rest area, !
Except its not.Canterbury rest areas are north of Hooksett.
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:52 PM   #118
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Except its not.Canterbury rest areas are north of Hooksett.
If you head up 89 to the Montreal area, it will be the last stop unless you want to 'go native'!
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:24 PM   #119
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Default Ahhhhhh, not so.

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If you head up 89 to the Montreal area, it will be the last stop unless you want to 'go native'!
Just in NH, there are rest areas on both the north and southbound side of I89 between Concord and West Lebanon.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:48 PM   #120
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Just in NH, there are rest areas on both the north and southbound side of I89 between Concord and West Lebanon.
On 89 North alone between Concord and Montreal there are 6 rest areas with bathrooms that I know of...

Sutton, NH
Lebanon, NH
Randolph, VT
Waterbury, VT
Fairfax, VT

I personally think the new rest areas in Hooksett are really nice and will serve their purpose and the public well for years to come!

Dan
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