NOTE: 73% spoke in OPPOSITION to resort expansion at the public hearing held at Mount Sunapee State Park on May 5, 2015. Here is some of the testimony presented on the amended plan for Mount Sunapee. To share YOUR comments, email: Info@friendsomountsunapee.org
My name is Catherine Bushueff of Sunapee. I am a member of the board of directors of Friends of Mount Sunapee.
I oppose resort expansion at the park.
As a former New Hampshire business owner for nearly 30 years, I believe this plan represents bad planning and bad economic development that we cannot afford.
From a planning perspective, we are discussing expansion of a treasured state park, and yet we have no description of what the State or the resort operators envision after five years. Absent from the plan is any explanation as to if – or how more resort development will ensure balanced use and affordable access by all.
A state park study in 2010 found that more than 70% of NH residents want their parks to provide traditional outdoor recreation opportunities: for hiking, snowshoeing, picnicking, camping, fishing and alike. I believe if we are planning the future of our park, we need to account for these needs NOW in the planning process with ample opportunity for public engagement and input.
If the State and the resort want to expand the park, let’s see the long term build out plan, evaluate its viability, assess all its impacts including environmental during this process, not after decisions are made.
From a dollar and cents perspective, this expansion plan will not help grow our economy and provide for a more affordable and livable community. Actually, I believe it will have the opposite effect. Property taxes around the mountain will continue to rise and drive more locals out. This also discourages young families and new business owners and entrepreneurs from moving in and investing here and in our State.
After 17 years of resort-managed operation of the ski area, we are stuck with a stagnant and declining job market, which suggests to me that we need to move in a different direction.
Good jobs and authentic experiences have great value. Resort expansion will not offer either.
This expansion plan represents a misuse and bad use of our most valuable of public natural resources – our public lands. And it represents bad economic development. I strongly oppose this plan.