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.
By: Paul Feely, New Hampshire Union Leader
Citing the successful closure of a portion of Elm Street to vehicular traffic earlier this month in support of a taco-eating event, city aldermen will explore the possibility of closing Manchester’s “main street” more often in the future.
Alderman At Large Joe Kelly Levasseur raised the possibility under the “New Business” portion of Tuesday night’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen at City Hall.
“Today is one of the most exciting days as an alderman,” said Levasseur. “It’s always been a dream of mine to close Elm Street. It’s something I’ve been pushing quietly for a very long time, and I’m very surprised by a strong outpouring of support from the aldermen.”
On May 3, Elm Street was closed between Lake Avenue and Bridge Street from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. for an annual taco-eating event that regularly draws 20,000-plus people to the downtown area.
By: Roger Amsden, Laconia Daily Sun
David McGrath, general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, says that he and the staff at New England’s largest professional sports venue aren’t looking in the rear view mirror as the 2018 event season opens.
“We’re very focused on the events we’ll be hosting this year and maintaining the close relationships we have with our fans and the town of Loudon. We know how to host major events and make them enjoyable experiences. We’re a world class track and we’re engaged and hitting on all cylinders,” said McGrath.
He says NHMS moved quickly to fill in the hole left in its schedule by the loss of its September NASCAR race to its sister track in Las Vegas. This fall will mark the first time in 20 years that the track will have only one top-tier NASCAR race.
By: Tom Eastman, Conway Daily Sun
Dot and Russ Seybold announced Tuesday afternoon the sale of the Conway Scenic Railroad to Profile Mountain Holdings Corp, led by President David Swirk.
The sale closed Tuesday, and Profile Mountain Holdings will take over operations immediately in anticipation of the season's opening in April.
The iconic railroad and tourist attraction, complete with its historic 1874 train station, has enjoyed 44 continuous years of operation.
Originally named president and general manager of the railroad in 1990, Seybold was instrumental in the expansion to Crawford Notch and the commencement of a truly world-class railroad experience.
The Seybolds purchased the railroad in 1999 and continued to expand operations with the addition of two full-service dining cars, including the Chocorua and the Hattie Evans, and the dome observation car Dorthea Mae.
They were key founders of the highly successful Polar Express holiday excursion. Other signature annual events including Day Out With Thomas, Pumpkin Patch Express, Santa’s Holiday Express and Railfans Weekend, all of which generate tens of thousands of visitors each year.
By: John Koziol, Union Leader
After four winters of increasing success, Utah-based Ice Castles LLC is again bringing its ephemeral creativity to this resort town in the White Mountains.
Next year, it will move to its own property in neighboring North Woodstock.
In 2013, the company created its first Ice Castle on the East Coast at Loon Mountain. It was so popular there that it moved to a much bigger venue at the Hobo Railroad the following year.
At the Hobo, Ice Castles annually added 30 percent more lights while also seeing its attendance, which was in the tens of thousands, go up by 20 percent each year. That kind of growth ultimately led the company, which this winter will have four Ice Castles in the U.S. and two in Canada, to make the decision to buy its own site.
"We've never had this opportunity before," said Tayler Christensen, the Lincoln Ice Castle "build manager" and the nephew of company founder Brent Christensen. During a recent interview, he said "the sky's the limit" on the 60 acres the company has acquired in North Woodstock on Clark Farm Road.