Deadline passes on lodging offer

MANCHESTER - The lodging association proposed by the Mullaney Hospitality group has been rejected. The lodging association, and the roughly $35,000 to fund it, was contingent on an appeal of the Design and Development Review Board permit approving the Hampton Inn and Suites, along with the three retail buildings, being dropped by a local group of innkeepers opposed to the project.

Kevin Mullaney, vice-president of Mullaney Hospitality Group, said in a statement the Mullaney family is committed to bringing this project to fruition. "Many of the residents, business owners including inns and innkeepers have shown their support for the redevelopment of the High Ridge project," he said in the statement. "We are disappointed that our proposal to fund a lodging association has not been accepted by a few opposing it. Our goal was to forge a partnership with innkeepers prior to opening the Hampton Inn & Suites."

The appeal of the project was filed by Steve Bauer, owner of the Inn at Willow Pond. While he is the only appellant, Bauer has support of other local innkeepers including Sal Asciutto, owner of the Olympia Lodge and Bruce Welsh, owner of the Aspen Motel. There are some other innkeepers supportive of the project as well.

When asked for a statement regarding the lodging association and the appeal, the innkeepers declined to comment as of press time Wednesday.

The High Ridge redevelopment project is not totally halted. While the DRB permit is being appealed, they are still in the Act 250 process. Warren Foster, District 8 natural resource board coordinator, said the Act 250 permit does not depend on a local permit. However, an applicant needs both permits before beginning construction.


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