LASC unlikely to reopen soon

LACONIA — The owners of the Laconia Athletic and Swim Club have notified members they are unlikely to reopen soon, and that if they do reopen it will be under a new corporate name and identity.


Thomas and Lori Oakley sent an email to members saying they are in the process of closing the current corporation and are working with the Attorney General's Office to process refunds and are current with the $50,000 bond to make the refunds.

The memo also said that "in order to be fair to all of our members and staff, we can no longer realistically be able to provide a potential reopening date."

According to the Secretary of State website, the Oakleys have two registered corporate names on file. Laconia Athletic & Swim Club, Limited Partnership, which was formed in 1991 and reorganized in 2013 to include Lori Oakley, and LASC Inc., also formed in 1991. Both are still active companies.

The swim club, as it is known by its members, closed Thanksgiving Day after 34 years of operating on North Main Street.

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Belmont fire chief resigns

BELMONT – Fire Chief Dave Parenti will resign on Jan. 22 to accept the position of fire chief in the state of Massachusetts.

Parenti took over the helm in June of 2010 following the retirement of former chief Jim Davis. According to news reports at the time, he was the first chief hired from outside of the department in a number of years.

Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin said yesterday the position is being advertised through a state-wide newspaper and the New Hampshire Municipal Association.

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Motorcycle Week vendor rents are going up

LACONIA — The cost of doing business as a vendor at Motorcycle Week is going up.

The City Council this week voted to increase the rent for 14 spaces on the boardwalk owned by the city and leased to vendors during Motorcycle Week from $1,250 to $1,500 for the nine-day event.

Originally, the 10-foot-by-12-foot spaces were rented for $2,000, but in 2011, when demand for the spaces slackened, the council reduced the rent to $1,250.

In a memorandum to the council, City Manager Scott Myers reported that private property owners at The Weirs charged significantly higher rents. Thurston's Marina rents 10-foot-by-15-foot spaces for $1,800. On the lot that once housed the water slide, 12-foot-square spaces rent for between $1,500 and $3,000 depending on their location. At Crazy Gringo, 10-foot-square spaces rent for $1,800 while space of the same size between the Weathervane Restaurant and Weirs the Beef rent for between $800 and $2,500.

Nevertheless, Councilors Ava Doyle (Ward 1) and David Bownes (Ward 2) urged the council to temper any increase with an eye to attracting new vendors. Doyle recalled that during a forum on the future of the rally earlier this year, many speakers remarked that "There's nothing to do." She suggested a more diverse mix of vendors would improve the event. Bownes offered that a "modest" increase of 5 percent, or $62.50, would not be unreasonable.

Mayor Ed Engler reminded the council that the $450 licensing fee the city charges vendors for the entire event has not changed since it was introduced in the early 1990s.

Councilor Bob Hamel (Ward 5) noted that the economy is improving and offered a motion to increase the rent on the 14 spaces by $250 to $1,500. With Doyle and Bownes dissenting, the motion carried four-to-two. At the suggestion of Councilor Henry Lipman (Ward 3), the city manager was granted some discretion to negotiate the rents if he anticipates the spaces might go begging. Myers assured the council he would seek its advice before entering any any rental agreements.

The rents on six 10-foot-by-12-foot spaces on Weirs Boulevard remained unchanged at $550, or $2,000 for one 12-foot-by-75-foot space. Likewise, the six 10-foot-by-12-foot spaces at the Lakeport Fire Station will continue to be rented for $250 each.

Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, told the councilors that the small increase in rent would be a deterrent to vendors in light of the desirability of the location on the boardwalk. At the same time, he recommended steps be taken to improve the lighting along Lakeside Avenue during the rally, which vendors and visitors find inadequate.


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