Today is Race Day at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. As NASCAR fans from all over New England (and even farther away, sometimes) enjoy this motorsports spectacle, just a few miles down the road New England's elite will be boating on New Hampshire's lakes, where homes can go for more than $10 million. Is this a great state, or what?
New Hampshire has a long and wonderful tradition of drawing vacationers and sight-seers from all walks of life.
From the days of the grand hotels through the golden era of Hollywood and into the New Economy of hedge fund managers and Internet billionaires, the natural beauty of the Granite State has lured the rich and famous. And throughout the years, the glamorous set always has crossed paths with average folks heading into the woods to camp, to the lakes and rivers to fish, and now to Loudon to watch races or Weirs Beach to enjoy the camaraderie of Bike Week.
We hope that it always remains this way. What a loss it would be if New Hampshire vacation spots all become so developed that land prices push rental rates beyond what the average Joe can spend. The multi-million-dollar homes on Lake Winnipesaukee and at Rye Beach are beautiful, and the economic activity they bring is most welcome. But New Hampshire would lose so much character if most of its vacation spots and tourist destinations looked like that. We don't want to be Martha's Vineyard, thank you very much.
Now and then we hear people complain about NASCAR and Bike Week traffic, or the crowds at Hampton Beach. For our part, we are thankful that this state is a place where the common man (and his family) can and regularly does vacation along with (if not alongside) the cufflink-wearing crowd. May it always be that way.