To the editor:

I gotta be honest. As a young person living and working in the Mount Washington Valley, I couldn’t care less about why you “need” your short-term rental.

The constant stream of letters from STR owners only galvanizes me to take more action against the insidious upper class “me-ism” that defines you boomers. You’re so focused on your own retirement that you can’t see the long-term effects of letting this area bow to the allure of unfettered tourism.

It’s not hard to imagine a future where the people who bake your bread and serve your meals can’t afford to live anywhere in the valley. It’s not hard to imagine because it’s happening right now. Many of my peers have left for greener pastures and many of your favorite restaurants and coffee shops can’t keep up because they have no one to work for them.

Furthermore, the argument that your STR guests stimulate the economy falls flat when often the point of booking such a space is to cut costs. Every weekend Hannaford and Grant’s fill with out of town families loading up on tax free groceries. Is that what you want? Or are you too busy sitting in your Boston brownstone counting your money to give any thought to those who live here year round and actually keep the economy running?

Joel Fisher-Katz-Keohane

North Conway

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(7) comments

MEPD Ret

Your anger and envy are completely misdirected.

The Conways has always been a "destination" vacation spot and desirable place to retire.

Maybe you should look to the Town Officials and their hand in the over-development and lack of foresight.

There is such a thing as "Too much of a good thing". Currently, there are more large, big-box retail stores in a Valley that never had the population to support them. And soon, a 3rd large supermarket.

Just how much retail square footage do we need here? Ever hear of over saturating the market? Ever notice all of the vacant spaces or shorter hours of operation we have now? Anyone wondering what's taking Chipotle so long to open?

Yup, Conway used to be the place to visit because of its quaint country charm, a few outlet stores, and the great outdoor experience.

It is becoming a victim of its own success and poor planning.

DavefromConway

Your anger should be directed toward the two guys who own almost all of the towns' commercial property. One guy owns almost 50% of the commercial property in the town. Why does that matter? Clout. Do you think he wants cheap apartments and housing? The STRs are just a convenient scapegoat young man. Your anger is misdirected because you are not educated enough to know what the real deal is. Get some education about life to go along with your attitude.

Thaddeus

Thank you. Thank you. Amen, I could not have said it better myself. If I hear another out-of-stater complain about how they need rental income to afford their second home here, I'm going to lose it. These people are SO out of touch with valley life and yet they have the audacity to consider themselves "one of us." Let me put aside the simple financial wisdom that if you can't afford your second home without a constant stream of rental income, you CANNOT afford it. Even with that basic personal finance truth aside, out-of-staters appear to be completely unaware, or perhaps willfully ignorant, of the fact that they are the main and primary cause of skyrocketing home prices in the Valley and many other "vacation" areas in the state. What happened at Winnepesaukee is happening in the Valley and it will not stop until out-of-state second home owners are reined in. I could not care less if some Bostonian cannot afford their second home any longer. In fact, good riddance I say. Sell it to someone who is actually going to live and work here full time, year round, as it should be.

DavefromConway

How do you propose to 'reign in' out of state (or in-state) buyers? Do you plan on re-making the constitution? You cannot control who buys property. Conway is a victim of its own success. Deal with it. If it has become to big, move to a smaller town.

CSV

37% of 2nd homeowners are NH residents. Tell us you knew that. Are you thankful for Paul Revere or maybe even the Tea Party? I see your invalid point, I get your frustration. Are you strictly only saying you’re inclusive to only locals in the #1 tourist town in NH or are you just bitter you now live in what you think is a mess? Just remember the #1 part.

Your leadership created this through the decades and succeeded in the expansion. A home is a home. STR has very little to do with it. Do your research with state law. The issue is the town. Less than 200 building permits in 10 years. They care? They built it this great town. They just didn’t support the employee infrastructure and still don’t. And you might just vote for the same people again. That’s on you and others who despise us intruders. I only wish the town would get serious about their part in this. I don’t rent. But maybe later. It’s in my bundle of rights as a NH homeowner. The towns in NH have not been given the rights to discriminate against property owners. Per RSA 48:1

DavefromConway

I agree. I want to move into my vacation home. Those who think Conway has gotten too commercialized and too big should move. It isn't going to get smaller. It will level off after the pandemic. Vote for folks who will address affordable housing. The town should work with the state and feds to buy tracts of land and build affordable housing.

dave_goldberg

Bro. Bitter much? In case you haven’t noticed housing sucks everywhere. It’s not STRs in the valley causing the problem. A few rentals isn’t making this place unaffordable. It’s a desirable location and that drives demand and prices up. Turn some of the anger toward the elected officials who aren’t doing enough to incentivize affordable housing and are instead riling everyone up over a non-issue. Start with fixing the real issue then see if you care so much about a few reinstalls.

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