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Thread: Hotel on Mt Washington??!!

  1. #121
    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I am curious if he is waiting for one of his supporters to introduce changes to the planning regulations so they don't need to go for a variance.
    I'm assuming that these changes, to the county zoning ordinance -- if they were to be proposed -- would require first a series of public hearings, and then eventual approval/adoption by the governing body (residents of the county)? Right?

  2. #122
    Member Greenmountaingoat's Avatar
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    Not sure how things would work in NH (Live free or die!!) but the permitting of this project would seem to be a pretty big uphill climb. I would be pretty stunned if this ever got built. Might just be a publicity stunt.
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  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barkingcat View Post
    I'm assuming that these changes, to the county zoning ordinance -- if they were to be proposed -- would require first a series of public hearings, and then eventual approval/adoption by the governing body (residents of the county)? Right?
    You are correct. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of folks who participate in County government, someone like Fred King who is hotel supporter could push these changes through. Even if the changes in the zoning laws are not made the state supreme court tends to give the local jurisdictions a lot of leeway on variances and the wording of the zoning laws does give some weasel wording that could justify a variance. I believe that unlike the towns, changes would not go to a general election for county voter approval, rather it would probably be the county commissioners who decided and they are decidedly pro development (and reportedly quite willing to do back room deals).

    As for Greenmountain goats comment, permitting is actually not that hard once they get past the county planning and zoning hurdles. The fed has no control over it and the State has pretty minimal requirements plus potentially would encourage it as it solves the sewerage issue on the top of Mt Washington. The Fed can make it difficult by opposing a slackening of the setback requirements as the primary abutter but they generally try not to mess with local policies. The current WMNF supervisor is retiring and it will be up to his successor to decide policy. Given that the WMNF is regarded as a retirement post, the supervisors tend to be big on good PR but rarely want to rock the boat as they don't want to end up with temporary assignment to a forest service hellhole because of bad PR from messing with local politics.

  4. #124
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I caught a thread on FB the other day, that made me think of the Hotel and it's potential pitfalls. Some people who were not that experienced on steep trails, intended to take the Cog up, to access LOTC for a nights stay. Now don't get me wrong, they can certainly do as they wish, but the Cog eliminates the need to have the skill's to get up there, thus dropping them off in some pretty gnarly terrain if it's a bad day. I mean they leave the comfort of the train and now have to traverse in bad weather in potentially dangerous terrain. I can see people staying at the hotel, wandering off towards the Northern Peaks in city clothes, when a storm system slams the ridge all of a sudden. What was a " intended stroll " turns into an SAR event. Maybe a moot point, if I was a betting man, (actually I am) I'd put good money there will not be a hotel up there.

  5. #125
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    Mt. Washington is already a zoo. I don't really see a small hotel on the cog meaningfully changing anything. I am somewhat agnostic I guess. If they build it, hopefully is like the many European summit hotels/hostels. Same with the Balsams -- while I enjoy the current state of the north country, I'm not a local looking for work and in any event do not feel I am entitled to decide local policy.

  6. #126
    Senior Member Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    You are correct. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of folks who participate in County government, someone like Fred King who is hotel supporter could push these changes through. Even if the changes in the zoning laws are not made the state supreme court tends to give the local jurisdictions a lot of leeway on variances and the wording of the zoning laws does give some weasel wording that could justify a variance. I believe that unlike the towns, changes would not go to a general election for county voter approval, rather it would probably be the county commissioners who decided and they are decidedly pro development (and reportedly quite willing to do back room deals).
    So do you think this hotel is going to be built, pb? If so, odds on how many years before it goes up in flames, like so many of its New England mountaintop predecessors?
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  7. #127
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    I am definitely on the fence if a hotel can be built and may come down to health and safety regulations and insurance companies.

    Many of the white mountain hotels were burnt intentionally or by accident after they ceased to be worth running, they were built cheap with no regard for fire codes. The last major burn was the Glen house ski area lodge and it burned as it was built with little or no regulatory oversite. It took a hundred years but they Glen House finally figured out that sprinklers might be good idea considering the past history of multiple structures.

    The proposed cog hotel is a commercial entity with overnight lodging. The county has finally enacted regulations with teeth and I expect the insurance companies are not going to write a policy unless there is quite a lot of oversight. I expect the cost is going to be quite significant to the point where the economics may go south.

  8. #128
    Senior Member Scubahhh's Avatar
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    Weren't most of those old grand hotel fires attributable either to burning coal or arson?

    Say what you will about the Presbys; they do have a vested interest in the area and know what they['re doing.
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  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The proposed cog hotel is a commercial entity with overnight lodging. The county has finally enacted regulations with teeth and I expect the insurance companies are not going to write a policy unless there is quite a lot of oversight. I expect the cost is going to be quite significant to the point where the economics may go south.
    That's my feeling. A fool's errand. That summit cone's already burdened enough.
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  10. #130
    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    I do work for the Cog at times.. I can tell you they are jamming with business now. And I know they would build a very stylish hotel there if they do. Not only safe but they will be successful. Great views from the Skyline area. Easy to walk and hike out. As much as I hate seeing any changes..It won't bother my view feelings at all of Mt.W. Not any worse then the Lake of the Clouds Hut, the expansion of AMC at Highland and other places they want to go or towers that stick up into air or the mess up there at the summit. The hotel would not even be visible most days and when it is most won't see it as it will blend in and be faint to pick up. Heck... I would even try a night there. The price at the summit is out of my budget.

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    . The price at the summit is out of my budget.
    FWIW, the proposed rates for the hotel ($350-$500) are pretty much the same as the OBS ($399-$475)

  12. #132
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    While we have been discussing the potential hotel above tree line, they have already broken ground on the 68 room hotel going in at the base of the auto Road.

    http://www.unionleader.com/business/...-Road-04182017
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  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven View Post
    While we have been discussing the potential hotel above tree line, they have already broken ground on the 68 room hotel going in at the base of the auto Road.

    http://www.unionleader.com/business/...-Road-04182017
    That doesnt bother me as much. Not sure why they feel the need for another overpriced hotel in the valley, but whatever. I would hate to hike the Presidentials and look out over urban sprawl.

    Does it make me a bad person that while hiking alongside the cog railway, I was fantasizing about all the trains crashing into each other and and falling to a fiery crash at the base of the mountain?
    Last edited by egilbe; 07-07-2017 at 06:56 AM.

  14. #134
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    The hotel at the base of Mt Washington replaces a prior cross country skiing facility that incidentally burnt to the ground. Unfortunately the new hotel was supposed to be located on the east side of the road but ended up on the west side on in one of the nicer view spots. It was going to be built during the last real estate boom and may be an indication that we are nearing the peak on the current boom. They are building it "green" they are upgrading the existing hydroelectric system already present at the base station and putting in geothermal heating. The odd part is I don't see a restaurant in the current plans.

  15. #135
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The hotel at the base of Mt Washington replaces a prior cross country skiing facility that incidentally burnt to the ground. Unfortunately the new hotel was supposed to be located on the east side of the road but ended up on the west side on in one of the nicer view spots. It was going to be built during the last real estate boom and may be an indication that we are nearing the peak on the current boom. They are building it "green" they are upgrading the existing hydroelectric system already present at the base station and putting in geothermal heating. The odd part is I don't see a restaurant in the current plans.
    **Momentary Discussion of Base Hotel**
    Glad they are using geothermal heat...and glad glad to see you used quotes around "green" for hydroelectric. Sustainable? Maybe. Green? Absolutely not. But if it's an existing system at least it's likely not destroying an existing riparian ecosystem like creating new hydroelectric has a tendency to do. "Upgrade" is a watchword. I had understood this was replacing the old ski building. Although for the record, I'm okay not replacing previously existing buildings and letting the environment revert back to a more natural state. I think this is an ideal goal for the summit itself. We only have one Mount Washington. Progress.

    Lack of a restaurant in the plan would surprise me too. There's not much competition for food in the notch. I do like the PNVC restaurant but the breakfast is meh standard buffet breakfast. (and I saw the most unlucky restaurant locale in Gorham is out of business.....yet again).
    **End Discussion**

    OK, not trying to drive this thread off topic. Back to discussing the above treeline fantasy hotel. Dinner cruise around Lakes of the Clouds anyone?

    Dining al fresco? There's a lovely breeze this evening.

    Pardon me sir, do you have any Grey Poupon? Mine just blew away.

    Peakbagger - always appreciate your detailed knowledge of the North Country goings-on and willingness to share on the board. Hope you are enjoying the new wood lot.
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