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The New Hampshire Hotel checks into town
By Sonja Fridell
Friday, January 28, 2005
Standing in front of Nick's Bricks on Main Street, it's hard to imagine that a three-story hotel will be opening there in less than seven months. The parking lot situated between Cumberland Farms and Nick's Bricks, now a deep, concrete hole, will be the new home of The Hotel New Hampshire.
Paul Burton, owner of the hotel and the nearby student-housing complex couldn't be more excited. The name of the hotel may sound familiar to the UNH community. UNH graduate and famous author, John Irving, was the inspiration for the name. Burton secured the rights to the name of Irving's novel, "The Hotel New Hampshire," through written correspondence with the author.
The 67-room hotel will include 18-foot high cathedral ceilings, a fitness center and a conference room. Room rates are affordable at $89 a night and continental breakfast is included. By incorporating UNH memorabilia into the hotel design, Burton hopes to attract UNH alumni and parents to stay. From the UNH archives, Burton hopes to obtain past issues of TNH to display throughout the hotel. "I want to get some of UNH's history on the walls and tie it into the community," Burton said.
Edward McEvoy, superintendent of Martini Construction is enthusiastic about the project. "We'll have to use some strategic planning if we get anymore snow, but things are running along smoothly," McEvoy said. However, the hotel has taken away parking from Burtons 21 units of student housing. Each unit at Nick's Bricks will be granted two parking spots, down from the guaranteed four.
However, The Hotel New Hampshire wasn't Burton's first vision. "Over two years ago I proposed building a new student housing complex, but the town turned it down," Burton said. "The hotel was approved later." Sophomore Alexis Berry is optimistic about the new hotel. "Although more student housing would have been great, I think this hotel will be really accommodating and convenient for weary travelers," she said.
The Hotel New Hampshire will open its doors to the public on Aug. 1, 2005.
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