Tele-Talk Responses: What are Mount Washington Valley’s strengths and weaknesses as a tourism community?
There were 17 responses to this week’s Tele-Talk question: “What are Mount Washington Valley’s strengths and weaknesses as a tourism community?” The top strengths people cited were scenic beauty and outdoor recreation, with six mentions each, with hiking, biking and skiing receiving particular mention. Four people mentioned local restaurants, inns and small businesses. Two people mentioned: people who live here, shopping, entertainment and activity options and jobs. Other strengths included: North Conway Village, the airport, cleanliness, The Conway Daily Sun, foreign workers, the fact that everybody knows everybody, and a stubborn planning board. The top votes for weaknesses were traffic (five) and crime (three), low-paying jobs (three). Other perceived weaknesses were: lack of access for the disabled, not enough activities with children in bad weather, the Valley is losing small-town charm, seasonal employment,large corporations replacing small local business, tourists who don’t clean up after themselves, foreign workers, too many trees cut down, too many stores are empty, over-development/ too much shopping, artificially inflated home and food prices, high taxes, the fact that everybody knows everybody, foreign workers, and lack of support for the airport.
The best attraction is The Conway Daily Sun newspaper. It is free and widely distributed throughout the valley. It’s wide range of coverage is really great. The Sunday New York Times and The Conway Daily Sun are my favorite newspapers. While traveling I have purchased many town and state papers and none compare to the excellence of The Conway Daily Sun. So thank you for being very special. Local residents and tourists are fortunate to have The Conway Daily Sun in our valley. Thank you.
The strengths as a tourist community are obvious: surroundings, jobs and money being spent. The weaknesses are the most glaring however, really bad drivers, traffic, crime and the cost of groceries.
The strengths are the surrounding mountains, lakes and rivers. It doesn’t take long to get away from it all and enjoy nature, the scenic beauty and outdoor recreation. Love the great Valley Original restaurants and pubs, local charming inns and North Conway Village. Entertainment, activities and events abound. Mount Washington Valley is a good destination year round. The weaknesses are the valley could be more accessible to those who are disabled. Also we have so many trails in the woods but do not have a scenic, paved recreation path. As with many outdoor recreational areas, it’s a challenge to find things to do, especially with children when the weather doesn’t cooperate. And little by little we are losing our small-town charm. But all in all it’s a great place to visit or live.
I’m calling from Chocorua. I believe our strengths lie in our natural amenities, such as the forest that we’re trying to preserve and our Fish and Game Department, which helps by stocking. But it doesn’t really help the tourists because they still have to come here and buy an extra pass besides the one they might actually have for their own license. I believe our weaknesses lie in the fact that everything around the valley is seasonal and it really hurts employment for people who live here. And also the fact that a lot of corporate businesses are putting out our smaller mom and pop stores and it doesn’t really leave a whole lot of options for income.
Well the strengths are we have beautiful mountains, we have excellent shopping areas, we have dining, many attractions. But, being a resident of New Hampshire for the past 25 years, I have to say that I am done feeling like a tourist. If the tourists want to come up and pollute our rivers and not clean up after themselves and leave all the blame to the people who reside within this community, I find that a weakness. I’m 47 years old. I have been coming to New Hampshire and I now live here because I love it so much — it’s all these tourists and the traffic is a major bustle and hustle, and people are outright just plain rude, but we need the economy to back us up, so therefore we’re flaunting our ways on the tourism. What happened to the beautiful mountains and scenic view? When I was coming up here from Massachusetts, I could afford visiting New Hampshire. I now reside here and I cannot treasure what this place has to offer anymore because we are hiring people from outside this area — foreigners — who are taking over our jobs and we’re all sitting around homeless and helpless while we cater to the tourists. So there are strengths and there are weaknesses. But if we come together as a community we can find our strengths and we can get over the weakness. I’m calling from Albany.
This is Eric from Tamworth. Mount Washington Valley’s strengths for tourism are the people and the local businesses. I have to say the weaknesses, however, are with the roads and the way the traffic is set up, it’s not designed whatsoever to handle the congestion and the amount of tourism that we receive and if anything I think it’s an annoyance, because there’s nothing worse with sitting for an hour and a half waiting to get through Center Conway, especially as a local when you’re trying to get to work. But the people who live here are definitely the strength of this community and why tourism should come to the valley. We have a wonderful community here and everybody should experience it. But I think the traffic is the biggest issue.
The valley’s strong point is that it is very clean. It’s weak points are this: Too many trees have been cut down and also the number of shops that are empty. Any store that wishes to open in the valley should be required to first see if any of the vacant stores could suit their purposes before any more buildings are constructed in the area. And finally, to accommodate our wonderful guests from Massachusetts and also the many residents in the valley from Massachusetts, in Schouler Park we should erect a statue of Barack Obama so these people can come and worship at the alter of their leader. This will not only attract more tourists but also the first time visitor might want to come back again and visit the statue. The point is to make the valley as prosperous as possible. But, like I say, it’s strong point, no matter how obscure it is, it is a very clean place to be. Another strong point of the valley is its people. The people who work here and live here could not be any kinder or more generous to the average visitor. And after a while, even when the people from Massachusetts move here, they are molded to take the way of the original New Hampshire people to be kind and generous to our guests. However there are some, like your columnist Susan Bruce, which can never relieve herself of the political hatred which she spews forth.
Strengths: Friendly local residents, fantastic scenery, adventure aplenty, great shopping, fantastic dining. One BIG weakness: No bypass, so those who do not want to stop in Conway/North Conway have no choice but to languish in, and get frustrated by the traffic jams. Locals avoid going into town because of the congestion. It is time to make everyone happy and build a bypass so those who want to stop can, and those who wish to avoid local traffic can go on their merry way … merrily, merrily, merrily, what a wonderful life it could be. Mick Bloom, Freedom.
The Valley’s greatest strength as a tourist destination is our winters because we have at least eight ski mountains and six Nordic centers within a half hour drive of North Conway. In the off seasons, we have great hiking and biking. There are a lot of active people in this area, and it is still a draw for those activities, but when you drive by Settlers Green on a beautiful day and see the parking lot full of cars, you know there’s another side to all of this, and it has nothing to do with the natural beauty that we’ve been blessed with. And that is the problem, because the whole area will continue to be paved over for endless retail and the pursuit of cheap goods from China. There seems to be no end in sight, and it will ruin the very thing that people like about the Valley.
The obvious weaknesses of Mount Washington Valley are artificially inflated home prices due to the second home owners, thanks for nothing, big gap between the haves and the have-nots due to lots of minimal-paying jobs and the extreme price-gouging that goes on with food prices here. The strengths are the general area around here, something for everyone, the town road crew in the winter, my girlfriend and my friends, oh, and a free paper.
The strength of the Valley is definitely the hot foreign workers; the weakness is also the hot foreign workers.
Mount Washington Valley’s weakness is the absurdly high taxes and then a person who pays the absurdly high business taxes to the town can’t have access to the recreation department because he lives one town over — are you kidding me? Is that really what we’ve come to, something as petty as that? I hope everyone involved feels good about that one. Ironically, the strength of the Valley is people having another’s back, looking out for each other in need and that goes along with another weakness, crime. Too much crime has come in and happened in our small town, but that’s what happens with a tourist community, crime just keeps rising unfortunately. However the greatest strength would have to be all the volunteers in the Valley that make sure our tourist community doesn’t die.
Strength: Everybody knows everybody. Weakness: Everybody knows everybody’s business. Strength: Stubborn planning board. Weakness: No strip club. Strength: Plenty of jobs, Weakness: Don’t pay much. Strength: North South Road, Weakness: no bypass. Strength: Lots of good-looking people. Weakness: too many choices.
It’s good news and bad news. The bad news: Obama is intentionally running the American economy into the ground. The good news: Those pain-in-the-butt tourists won’t be able to afford to come here anymore. This is Ralph in Eaton.
The following Tele-Talk responses were posted on The Conway Daily Sun’s Facebook page:
The main strength is that the natural world is less than five miles away from any point in the valley while all the comforts of a big city are at your disposal. The main weakness is that it has a transportation and road system that was developed by drunken chimpanzees who forgot to take their Ritalin. You have a gateway of the beautiful Conway Village where people are forced into a column of bumper-to-bumper traffic long before they get to anywhere they might want to stop, forcing them to give up on any idea of exploring the village so they can get the heck out of that mess. You have the very confusing DOT signs at the lights in that village causing some to end up in the Washington Street turn lane because they thought it was the Route 16 turn lane of the next lights; you have absolutely no signage on the roundabout on North-South Road, or anywhere on that road, for that matter. OK, I will stop now. The view from the top of bowling alley hill is still breathtaking, but they really should have buried the utility wires.
One big strength is it has an airport. The Eastern Slope Regional Airport. Seven towns from the Mount Washington Valley of New Hampshire are in its service area: Bartlett, Jackson, Freedom, Albany, Madison, Chatham and the Conways. One weakness is that the Conways have not supported the airport in recent years for the infrastructure improvements it needs to make it an even bigger economic engine than it is currently. “One mile of highway takes you one mile. One mile of runway can take you anywhere!”