Hampton will hamper smaller inns

To the Editor;

After reading the statements made by "non-innkeepers" at the planning commission meeting that took place on July 9, I felt compelled to finally speak out. I don't believe that simply because a person "seeks out Hampton Inns when he travels" gives him knowledge enough to make decisions concerning a local innkeeper's livelihood. He is correct in saying "That a Hampton Inn in town will bring about more business." It will bring more business. More business to the Hampton Inn. And a lot less to your neighbors. It will do so by taking the business away from the smaller local inns and breakfast places. Local innkeepers, all of whom are struggling in a town that after the closing of two local inns is still saturated with open rooms.

We as lodging properties in the town are mostly in contact with each other when a potential guest needs something we cannot offer. We place phone calls to those that do to see if they can accommodate, thereby keeping the guest in town for the stay. We work together to see that the guest gets to stay here in town. When the chamber (of commerce) is closed, we then become the Chamber.

It's interesting to think that "multiple individuals mentioned on a Friday night on a Friday night during ski season, many cars with out-of-state plates can be seen getting off the highway and turning right toward the mountain." well, of course they are! That is where a guest can 'stay and ski free." Another reason why the Hampton Inn will not necessarily bring more business to town. Especially during "ski season." It is real hard to compete with a free room. Winter is tight in town. It is the only time of year when I wish The Barnstead Inn was located on the mountain and not in Manchester. (It surprises me that so many people with nothing to do on a Friday night actually sit up on Exit 4 and watch cars and know where the drivers are headed. There are at least five local hotels beyond the exit, south on Route 30.

It was mentioned that when "Chris Ams, a 'former' director of Riley Rink had contacted local inn during tournaments they either told him that they did not want a team staying at the inn or they couldn't offer a group discount." I have never heard of, or heard from, Mr. Ams and I would be the only one to speak to at the Inn. We do take teams an offer discounts. In a small town it is a necessity.

This is not whether a "non-locally owned business cannot come to Manchester." It's a matter of whether it should. It will in fact take away from the already, some struggling inns. It is a matter of can they survive it. They will not.

No one at that meeting, especially Kevin Mullaney, vice president of Mullaney hospitality Group, "can honestly look me in the face and say we are not going to take your customers away." because the fact is, you will. If you thin you can "honestly" say that, you may want to think about another line of work. If you think that is not "about us vs. them," wrong again. It is about someone attempting to tamper with another person's livelihood and passion. The "passion" that comes when someone tries to negatively impact another. Another who doesn't only do this for a living but, because they love it and it is also their home.

"Moore said that Hampton Inn will bring business to other retailers and restaurants in town." Of course it will. It will take customers that would normally have stayed with the existing "mom and pop" inns and hotels and send them to the places of business just as mom and pop do now. In other words, the only people that get hurt are the people that are already struggling to fill rooms in a town that after several local inns have closed are still scrambling to fill rooms in an already "room saturated" town.

Will there be "more business sent to these establishments?" Probably not. Because the Hampton Inn may be all you have.

Neil Humphrey

The Barnstead Innstead



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