Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Mt Washington Commission Meeting

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    5,361

    Mt Washington Commission Meeting

    Lots of interesting tidbits in the article, Yankee Building Plans, Autoroad and Cog owners not playing nice and a mention of timing on a path forward for the proposed Cog Hotel

    http://www.conwaydailysun.com/newsx/...hes-on-parking.

    Despite past commentary that its the increase in hikers that are overwhelming the summit, both the Cog and the Autoroad (particularly the Cog) have substantially increased traffic year over year to the point where combined with hikers, the summit facilities are overcrowded most weekends and even on nice weekdays in August and September. The Cog and Autoroad do contribute some resources to run the summit facilities but there really is no long term capital funding plan other than ask the state to spend more money on capital improvements. The State Park budget is supposed to be self funded so there isn't a lot of capital dollars to spend on major infrastructure projects beyond trying to keep up with the ever growing maintenance backlog or putting in projects that can self fund. The various electric power users at the summit pay a surcharge on power usage to fund summit operations but that just dumps most costs on the various transmitter owners and really doesn't apportion costs fairly on usage which is much more linked to visitation. I expect its one of the reasons why the Cog wants their own facility separate from the summit and has graciously offered the state the option to pay for part of the proposed sanitary sewer along the Cog right of way.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Lewiston, and Biddeford Maine
    Posts
    557
    How do they figure the 10's of hikers to the summit on any one day is more of a burden then the 1000's that take the cog or drive up?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    5,361
    I would guess hundreds of hikers is more accurate on a nice day. The Pinkham Notch lot and the overflow lots easily contain 200 cars. Assume 2 people each and that could be 400 folks from Pinkham. The base station and the FS lot down the road is probably good for another 150 cars or 300 people. Add in AMC hut to hut folks in both directions and that adds another 200 folks and then add in thru hikers and backpackers and I would guess another couple of hundred. Could be pushing a 1000 hikers. The only revenue from hikers is food sales and maybe a few T shirts.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    MA & NH
    Posts
    167
    I would think that we hikers are the cheapest of the lot in terms of spending money at the summit buildings, whereas the drive up types and cog users will buy merchandise. Seems that there may some mentality of "if you build it, they will come -- and spend". Doesn't surprise me. But it's not likely that hikers will bring the revenues. From the article, sounds like some testiness between Presby and the autoroad folks.
    Last edited by NHClimber; 07-25-2017 at 09:39 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Верхоянский хребет
    Posts
    996
    This could be interesting, as an outcome from a tussle over who (Cog, Auto Road, and MWOBs) has rights to what portions of the summit area.

  6. #6
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,731
    1. State promotes tourism: https://www.visitnh.gov/things-to-do/recreation/hiking

    2. Crowds come.

    3. But State unwilling to spend a little more money to provide the necessary infrastructure to support crowds.

    4. Everyone looks for someone else to call the villain.

    Sounds just like here in the Adirondacks...

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    5,361
    Definitely one to bring a big bowl of popcorn to. Way too many competing interests on the summit. Its the tragedy of the commons, the issues have been building up for years. Things went well for years when everyone was polite but Presby minus a partner has upset the already tenuous apple cart. The obs has not been pulling its weight for years but others have looked the other way as they have setup a non profit bed and breakfast to keep the organization solvent. The summit facilities are seriously overwhelmed by the increased cog and auto road traffic along with hiker traffic on summer weekends. The telecom antenna owners are unhappy that the electric charges that were supposed to go down really didnt with the power line installed as the state dumps other summit expenses like increased year round staffing and support on the power bill. AMC is a hostage as they need summit access to keep LOC running unless they staff up. Sure they could hire a bigger crew to lug perishables up and down the Ammo but its a heck of lot easier to bring them down off the summit.

    The two tourist businesses (and the Obs pseudo B&B) are by nature going to expand to exceed the capacity of the summit. The cog has the most capacity to expand usage and of late the most aggressive owner and he is upset that his recent purchase has lost some future value as Coos county is in the way of aggressive expansion . The state park system is self funded and the type of capital expense required to expand the summit facilities is not going to be covered by the minimal revenue stream generated by selling chili dogs. Given Coos county's recent reestablishment of regulatory control over summit activities, commercial entities are going to have a rough time making significant upgrades so it falls on the state which conveniently can ignore county regulations.

    Unfortunately King Solomon is no longer available so the courts and the legal profession will ultimately have to figure it out. I dont see it being a quick process. I expect Dartmouth is glad they sold their 8 acres 10 years ago.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 04-15-2018 at 11:37 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    5,361
    Another article with more information

    http://www.unionleader.com/politics/...-peak-20180413

    Wonder if the cog plans to be putting up concrete barriers this summer?

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,084
    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The state park system is self funded and the type of capital expense required
    I know the entity formerly known as DRED likes to say the park system is self-funded, but it's incorrect.

    The parks are supposedly self-funded on an O&M basis, but not on a capital basis. The big, multi-million dollar capital investments in the New Hampshire state park system come out of the general fund (e.g. your tax dollars) and are *not* funded by the parks.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    5,361
    I hear what you are saying with respect to capital improvement projects in the park system, the reality is that the park system rarely gets capital infusions unless there is an expectation that it will be a revenue enhancer or to buy raw land to "protect it" usually with funds from other groups. Cannon is obviously a different story as its has access to the revenue from Sunapee that can be diverted to it.

    I use the Jericho Lake State Park capital plan as an example on how things typically get funded. There is a big potential for higher usage and revenue by building out the capital improvement plan that was created soon after the park was purchased as the current facilities are booked full during ATV season. To date the improvements are done under the state park budget with a lot of free labor from the local Berlin High School trades department. This is not park maintenance, this is putting in place an expansion of the main drive up campground and an additional remote ATV campground on the undeveloped side of the lake. The standard reply to the lack of build out is lack of capital by the state parks budget. I believe major improvements to the Lake Umbagog State Park also were partially postponed due to budget issues last year.

    I wasn't around for the prior upgrade of the summit of Mt Washington with the construction of the current summit building but expect the funding debate wasn't very clean as I expect various parties pointed out that the main reason to build out the building was to improve the experience of the paying guests of the private businesses to provide a destination at the summit.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    5,361
    Here is another article on the issues that is best I have seen so far

    https://www.conwaydailysun.com/berli...5feca4d8e.html

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,084
    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I hear what you are saying with respect to capital improvement projects in the park system, the reality is that the park system rarely gets capital infusions unless there is an expectation that it will be a revenue enhancer or to buy raw land to "protect it" usually with funds from other groups. Cannon is obviously a different story as its has access to the revenue from Sunapee that can be diverted to it.
    The department formerly known as DRED gets general fund infusions much more frequently than most are aware. In the case of Cannon, millions of dollars from the general fund have been diverted to the ski area (not including the millions of intra-departmental funds from the Sunapee lease), with general fund dollars flowing as recently as a year ago.

    Unrelated to Cannon, $3.7M in general fund capital dollars are allocated to DRED from the most recent Governor's Capital Budget, including about $1.5M in DRED building repairs. If the department formerly known as DRED was actually maintaining its own capital costs on its books, perhaps it wouldn't be having as much of an issue with deferred maintenance.

  13. #13
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    'Springtime' on the Carters (Somerville, MA)
    Posts
    1,739
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket21 View Post
    I know the entity formerly known as DRED likes to say the park system is self-funded, but it's incorrect.

    The parks are supposedly self-funded on an O&M basis, but not on a capital basis. The big, multi-million dollar capital investments in the New Hampshire state park system come out of the general fund (e.g. your tax dollars) and are *not* funded by the parks.
    I don't live in NH, so any money I contribute would mostly come through meals tax when I visit NH. If the purpose of my trip involves visiting ba state park, I have no issue with some of that tax going back into the system. While the parks may not be self funded, their contribution to the general fund is a non-zero number. Don't ask me to quantify it without data though.
    | 63.0% W48: 19/48
    Trail Adopter of the Guinea Pond Trail (Pemi District)

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,084
    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    While the parks may not be self funded, their contribution to the general fund is a non-zero number.
    The general fund contribution is likely negative, as there are expenses recognized in other departments that are actually incurred by the parks.

    The "self-funded" myth is dangerous. We have seen ridiculous spending because people were led to believe the project was "self-funded." On the other side of the spectrum, a few years ago, the entity formerly known as DRED was suggesting that volunteers had to purchase insurance at their own expense in order to continue to volunteer in the parks because parks were self-funded and thus couldn't take on any other expenses.

    Fortunately, DRED backed off from requiring volunteer work groups to pay for insurance. Hopefully with the reorg and new leadership, parks will start allocating funds toward maintaining and improving the parks.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •