By: Michael Cousineau, NH Union Leader
The foliage may be a little slower than usual in turning this year, but that isn’t bothering the folks at the RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain in Lincoln.
“It’s just going to help push us into late October (with more bookings),” General Manager Renee Blood said this week. “From a business perspective, it’s great all the way around.”
State travel officials on Wednesday predicted a record number of visitors and spending for the upcoming Columbus Day Weekend, the state’s third-busiest travel weekend of the year. The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development expects more than 300,000 out-of-state, overnight visitors will spend more than $115 million in New Hampshire over the long weekend — a 5 percent increase in both spending and visitor totals over last year.
“Huge; it’s a really big weekend,” said Mary Ellen Delaney, co-owner of Delaney’s Hole in the Wall, a North Conway restaurant.
“Consistently over the past couple of years, the fall is very busy and people start coming in the first week in September and will continue to come in until the middle of November,” Delaney said. “That hasn’t changed in the last five years. It stays very, very busy. Weekends, it escalates.”
By: Ryan Lessard, Union Leader Correspondent
Tuscan Brands CEO Joe Faro says he made changes to the Tuscan Village development to expand outdoor entertainment after visiting new developments across the country.
The recently updated plans took a single structure that would have housed a cinema and bowling alley and split it into two buildings. The gap between them will be a courtyard used for outdoor shows such as music concerts, festivals and other forms of family-friendly entertainment. It can also be used as a skating rink with a Christmas tree in the winter.
“The Tuscan Village will program that entertainment as a service to the development,” Faro said.
He said the buildings bordering the courtyard will have restaurants in the upper floors with terraces on which people can eat, drink and watch the show below.
Faro said he thinks it would give people more reason to visit the new downtown space. He got the idea after visiting a number of “aspirational” developments in states including Texas, Ohio and California.
“There’s some interesting things happening,” Faro said.
At the Legacy West development in Dallas, Texas, Faro was particularly awed by a country music concert in an outdoor stage area made of shipping containers with a gravel floor; diners in second- or third-floor restaurants could watch the show.