St. Helena land to become seven house lots


LACONIA — Peter Morrissette, the principle of PEM Real Estate LLC, which acquired the lot on Endicott Street South where St. Helena Mission Church stood for 60 years before it was razed last year, plans to develop a residential subdivision on the property.

Morrissette has applied to divide the 3.38-acre parcel into seven house lots ranging in size from 14,536 square feet to 22,416 square feet, all served by municipal utilities. Morrissette said that the development of the property will be undertaken by his brother Kevin Morrissette of N.W. Morrissette & Sons, a well known local homebuilder.

"It's really his development, not mine," he said. Morrissette anticipated the single-family homes would be priced around $250,000.

The property is surrounded by a 30-acre tract where the Planning Board has approved a cluster subdivision, including four waterfront lots.

Morrissette purchased the property in 2014 from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester for $185,000, well below the asking price of $349,000, after the property had been listed for about a year.The Roman Catholic Bishop of Manchester, the prior owner of the property, limited its future use by placing permanent restrictions on the deed that run with the land. Without the authorization of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Manchester the property cannot be used as a place of worship or to house the performance or promotion of services contrary to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. Likewise, the property cannot be used for any purpose "inconsistent with the faith and morals of the Roman Catholic Church."

Originally Morrissette proposed using the church as a storage facility and applied to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for the necessary variance. However, he withdrew his request in the face of bitter opposition from residents of Pendleton Beach Road and Boathouse Road.

Happy Kia Day

05-20 AutoServ ribbon cutting

Employees, customers, friends and even competitors of AuoServ joined the Gaudet family at a reception Thursday to celebrate the opening the Kia dealership in Tilton.  Dennis Gaudet, chief executive officer, with the scissors snipped the scissors with direction and encouragement from his sister Donna Hosmer, the corporate attorney, wearing hot pink. (Michael Kitch photo/Laconia Daily Sun)

For its 20th season, Bank of NH Pavilion bringing big names to Gilford

airview concert

Courtesy photo by BNHP staff photographer


GILFORD — It was in 1996 that The Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion was founded. Then known as Meadowbrook Farm, its first concert was held on Labor Day, with a temporary stage and temporary seating, with the legendary Johnny Cash as the headliner. Each year, under the leadership of founder Bob Harding, and later, his son R.J., the facility has grown in scale and prominence. Now, for its 20th season, the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion can lay claim to the title of premier outdoor concert venue in northern New England, and perhaps even further.

"It's been a little bit of progress in each year," said Marci DeCarli, marketing director for Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion.

Those "little bits" of growth have added up to something big. As of the 2014 season, the venue had grown to accommodate 8,000 fans, 5,500 under the roof and 3,500 on lawn seating. This year, the venue is offering fans the option to pitch a tent to stay overnight after the show. And, all along, the management team has leveraged the nearby attributes of the area – namely, Lake Winnipesaukee – to provide visiting artists a welcome respite in the middle of a grueling tour schedule.

Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion provides its musical guests with mountain bikes to ride through trails on its nearly 100-acre property. The backstage area provides a camp-like atmosphere, and artists can avail themselves of a boat or two to spend some time on the lake.

"Once an artist has been here, it is a place they want to return," said DeCarli. "I have to believe it's the atmosphere we provide. We want them to come here ... and be like a working vacation for the artists."

Over the years, the venue has made a name for itself by bringing in shows with strong audiences within a particular genre. For example, Meadowbrook/Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion has been nominated six times for the Academy of Country Music Association's Venue of the Year honor. The Pavilion has crossed a threshold this year, though, booking several acts that have broad, cross-genre appeal. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band, and Rod Stewart are all on the show list this year. The best example of the venue's rising profile, though, is the booking of the Dave Matthews Band for two consecutive nights in July, which sold out quickly after their announcement.

As DeCarli explained, word of the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion experience has spread within the music industry, and now artists that can sell out larger venues are willing to find a spot in their schedule for a short stay in Gilford. The Zac Brown Band has stopped several times in Gilford, going back to the Meadowbrook days. That band's management company recommended Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion to one of its higher profile clients, Luke Bryan. That management company was so pleased with the treatment of its talent that it booked a third client, The Dave Matthews Band.

"In the industry, as some of the larger artists are coming here, word of mouth spreads," said DeCarli.

The venue has also worked to cultivate a similar, fun environment for the fans.

"We enjoy having people come as soon as parking opens," said DeCarli. Tailgating in the parking area is encouraged by management, though alcohol is prohibited outside of the gates. Once through the gates, guests are entertained by small stages in a concourse area, which is ringed by food and drink concessions. Those food service areas are being improved this year, with permanent structures taking the place of tents and trailers, and a new food and beverage contractor, Best Beverage Catering Company, serving audience members.

"There's going to be an overhaul of what's available at the venue," said DeCarli.

Less visible than the new dining options, but just as important, is the new, in-house public address system installed this spring. Until this season, the venue relied on PA systems provided by the visiting artists. It was a bit awkward, with Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion staff having to ask the tour's sound crew to use their system to make announcements. More significantly, the in-house PA system will allow the venue to make broader use of the facility.

One of the new ways that the venue can be utilized is for movie nights, for kind of a drive-in movie feel but without all the cars. The first movie night, held this year as a kind of experiment, will feature a double-header of '80s classics "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club." The movie night will be held on Monday, Aug. 8, beginning at 6:30 p.m. It will cost just $5 to get in and see both films.

"I think it will be cool. I'm super excited about it," said DeCarli.

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The Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion can seat 5.500 fans under its roof, and another 3,500 on its lawn. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)