LACONIA — Stephan Nix of Gilford, who skied the slopes of Gunstock Mountain Resort as a child in the early 1960s, was easily elected to a five-year term on the Gunstock Area Ciommission last night, claiming 12 of the 14 votes cast by members of the Belknap County Convention.
The other two candidates, Tim Lang of Sanbornton, the supervisor of technical services at the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, and Scott Dunn, the town administrator in Gilford, each received one vote.
Nix, an attorney and land surveyor, stressed his experience in real estate development, land use planning and conservation, which he suggested would apply directly to much of the work of the commission. In particular, he reminded the convention that its Memorandum of Agreement with the Gunstock Area Commission stipulates that the Master Plan for the resort is scheduled to be updated in 2016.
All three candidates were interviewed prior to the vote. Representative Brian Gallagher (R-Sanbornton) referred to the Memorandum of Agreement and asked if they anticipated any need for changes, especially in the the annual payments the resort makes to the county. Nix acknowledged that the resort has become "something of a profit center for Belknap County," but said he would prefer to review the financial performance and future plans of the resort more closely before committing himself to specific changes. He was echoed by Lang and Dunn, who both noted that since the county owns the resort it should share the revenue.
Likewise, when Representative David Russell (R-Gilmanton) asked if the resort should develop a residential component, like condominiums, all three candidates declined to offer an opinion one way or the other, but expressed a willingness to consider the prospect. The three candidates remarked on the resort's successful transition from a winter attraction to a "four-season destination."
Nix will succeed Chuck Lowth of Meredith, who retired after serving on the Gunstock Area Commission for 17 years.
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