Letters to the Editor

Claremont’s downtown is full of promise

To the editor:

Although I agree with most of John Walter’s story, “Real Estate Markets turning red hot in Claremont and Newport” (Jan. 6-19 New Hampshire Business Review), I was disappointed about his negative view and description of Claremont’s downtown.

As the owner of the fitness center he grouped with second-hand stores and described as “not exactly high-rent tenants,” I take offense. Our business, has been operating very successfully in Claremont’s downtown since 1991. My husband and I have owned the business and building for over seven years. We have put hundreds of thousands of dollars into both our business and our building.

Twisted Fitness is growing more year after year. Our membership has tripled since we took it over. We’re progressive and happy tenants in Claremont’s downtown. We’re continuing to grow — we’re opening Twisted Kids in April and are in the midst of many other business additions this winter and spring.

We have plans to rehabilitate our building as well, as we only occupy the bottom two floors with two floors of opportunity up above.

So, excuse me if I seem defensive, but I am proud of our progress and I am excited about our bright future. We are not “low-end tenants.”

John’s comments were insensitive and inaccurate. Unfortunately this was a poor attempt at comparing Claremont and Newport’s downtown. This is not a comparison even worth making.

The two downtowns are very different in size and in content, both wonderful in their own ways. Instead of looking for the negative (the 17 empty storefronts John saw), I prefer to look for the positive. When I look at Claremont’s downtown I see thriving businesses — a beautiful furniture store, hobby shop, “high-end” jeweler, frame shop, comic book store, stained glass store, gift shop, paint store, natural food store, art galleries, shoe store, bookstore, candy store, guitar store, a handful of chain stores, many service businesses, a large serving of eateries and some vacant storefronts ready for entrepreneurs with dreams.

And coming soon: Granite State College; a new coffee shop; and yet another restaurant.

If John wanted to compare downtown communities he should have looked at the content of each instead. That tells the complete and real story.

I guess when it comes down to it, we all see exactly what we want to see. I choose to see the good.

My husband and I are proud to be from Claremont and love running our business in such a warm and friendly community. We’re optimistic about our future and our city’s future. We’ve know for a very long time what others are beginning to discover, Claremont is full of promise!

Leigh Ann Root
Co-owner of Twisted Fitness

Don’t bet on slot machines

To the editor:

Flotsam & Jetsam told New Hampshire legislators in the Jan. 20-Feb. 2 issue to pay attention to the fact that slot machines in Bangor, Maine, took in over $60 million in the first two months.

However, the same machines gave back $56 million to winners, and netted only $4 million, or $151 per machine-day — half of what the current New Hampshire advocates of slot machines have been promising here. And, yes, Manchester is a lot closer to major population than Bangor, but it is also closer to Connecticut’s 13,600 slot machines and Rhode Island’s 4,000. Both states having had major increases in the last two years.

Market saturation does not make for rosy revenues. And inviting in an industry with so many collateral problems is not a good business decision for the state.

N.H. Rep. Susan W. Almy

Categories: News