State liquor store moving from Woodstock to Lincoln
Move scheduled for early January
December 30, 2009
LINCOLN-WOODSTOCK—A New Hampshire State Liquor Store, long an anchor business on Woodstock's Main Street, is moving about a mile away onto Route 112 in Lincoln.
The move upset many in downtown Woodstock, who said the store brought people to the downtown. The move to nearby Lincoln is based on the higher traffic on Route 112, which state officials hope will translate to more revenue.
Jim Fadden, a Woodstock selectman and owner of nearby Fadden's Store, is not so sure. He doesn't believe a liquor store is the type of business that needs traffic and drive by business to be successful.
"It could be located on the top of Mount Washington or Mount Moosilauke and people would still make the pilgrimage there," Fadden said. "Most people going to the liquor store decide they want to get some and then drive there."
The benefit is more to neighboring businesses such as restaurants and gas stations that people might patronize while visiting the liquor store, he said.
"There has been a liquor store in downtown Woodstock for at least 40 years, I think there are more important things the state could have been fixing," Fadden said.
Deanna Huot, a Lincoln selectman and business owner took a more neutral approach to the matter.
"I think the important thing is that it stays in the area, in one of our two towns," Huot said. "It's an important feature for both our communities. It's an important aspect for tourism."
She said she understood the state's position that it would choose a location that would bring in the most revenue for the state.
"We want the state to be efficient," Huot said.
At the same time she understood the perspective of Woodstock businesses about the importance of the store and how it brought people to the town and she hoped a new business would move in there quickly.
Alyssa Yolda, of the Lincoln-Woodstock Chamber of Commerce, said her organization took a neutral stance on the issue since it represented both towns.
Sen. Deb Reynolds, of Plymouth, who represents Woodstock and who used to live in the town, said she is familiar with the store and its importance to the town. She agreed with Fadden and said she doesn't believe sales will go up when the store is moved, despite studies the state produced that is what would happen. While she thinks the State Liquor Commission is doing what it thinks best for the state, she isn't sure this is it.
The store is scheduled to open sometime in January. While no one from the State Liquor Commission returned calls, Herb Lahout, owner of the building where the new store will be located, confirmed he has a signed contract with the state and that they are due to open in the beginning of January.
Ed Claremont, owner of the building in Woodstock where the liquor store is moving out of did not return several calls for comment.