'Disappointing and inaccurate'
To the editor:William Norton's recent article, "The state of retail in North Conway," was an extremely irresponsible piece of journalism.Basing his writing on a drive-by, an obvious lack of understanding of snowmaking and a bartender's awareness of a particular business' position indicates that Mr. Norton has an overly enthusiastic opinion of himself and his real estate-advising capabilities.I did not receive a fact-checking call, nor am I aware of a call to any of our commercial real estate brokers to verify his flawed hypothesis.In fact, a quick call to Dick Badger of Badger Realty uncovered the facts. North Conway has a vacancy rate of 10 percent and North Conway Village is at 5 percent. Let's get real -- if the vacancy rate was "30 to 35 percent (maybe more)," as Mr. Norton stated, that would mean that 3 1/2 of every 10 stores would be closed.Fact: Three of the retail units in North Conway Village on which Mr. Norton may have based his drive-by analysis are now opening with new businesses.Mr. Norton defines himself as a "curmudgeon." According to the Free Dictionary by Farley, that is "an ill-tempered person full of resentment and stubborn notions." Mr. Norton needs to apologize for his irresponsible journalism and for contributing to what he calls "a hard slog ahead."Janice CrawfordExecutive directorMt. Washington Valley Chamber of CommerceNorth Conway