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DavidNH
12-02-2016, 12:19
This must be stopped. Cog Railway owners are proposing to build a 35 room hotel (high priced no doubt) 2/3 of way up Mt Washington along side the railroad track.

http://www.concordmonitor.com/cog-railway-hotel-proposed-6622865




DavidNH

rickb
12-02-2016, 12:36
Worst idea ever.

Someone in the state with clout needs to tell them if they proceed with this plan for even a little while longer, they will do everything in thier power to limit, fight and otherwise legally obstruct the continuing operations of the Cog itself.

PennyPincher
12-02-2016, 12:42
Worst idea ever.

Someone in the state with clout needs to tell them if they proceed with this plan for even a little while longer, they will do everything in thier power to limit, fight and otherwise legally obstruct the continuing operations of the Cog itself.

Unfortunately TPTB in NH like crap like this.I think last year they voted to spend a bunch of money to help redvelop a privately owned resort.

Old Grouse
12-02-2016, 12:43
Will there be work-for-stay?

Slo-go'en
12-02-2016, 12:47
Mixed feelings about this. The mountain is already trashed, so what the heck. You got a road going up one side, the railroad up the other side and a pill box on top. It probably wouldn't cost much more then staying at a AMC hut. Peakbagger will likely have something to say about this.

Slo-go'en
12-02-2016, 12:54
Worst idea ever.

Someone in the state with clout needs to tell them if they proceed with this plan for even a little while longer, they will do everything in thier power to limit, fight and otherwise legally obstruct the continuing operations of the Cog itself.

Unfortunately, the Cog RR owns a 99 foot wide strip of land up the side of the mountain and they have owned it for nearly 150 years. The state has a lease for the power cables which go up along the tracks to power the summit station. Try to pressure the Cog owners and they could cut the power to the summit. Similarly, the state is beholden to the auto road (which is also private land) for access to the summit station.

FrogLevel
12-02-2016, 13:09
Mixed feelings about this. The mountain is already trashed, so what the heck. You got a road going up one side, the railroad up the other side and a pill box on top. It probably wouldn't cost much more then staying at a AMC hut. Peakbagger will likely have something to say about this.

Don't forget all those hiking trails carved all over the mountain. :)

rickb
12-02-2016, 13:31
Unfortunately TPTB in NH like crap like this.I think last year they voted to spend a bunch of money to help redvelop a privately owned resort.

You are probably right.

I recall they exempted the COG from all sorts of environmental laws before it converted many of the engines over to diesel.

I feel a need to hold out some hope for something beyond the power of petitions, however.

DavidNH
12-02-2016, 14:15
work for stay? you are joking right? I suspect if this hotel ever got built rooms would go for 200 + a night and be filled months in advance. No way would this hotel be hiker friendly. It's alll we need.. more snooty flatlanders in the mountains.

Old Grouse
12-02-2016, 14:41
Of course I'm joking, David - just as I was when I suggested you practice hiking back and forth to Penny-cook!:D

moldy
12-02-2016, 14:42
When they build this hotel, and they will build it, It will have no effect what so ever on the Appalachian Trail. Mt Washington will be the exact same "three ring circus" that it is right now. We will have the same path that we have now. AT thruhikers will hold our breath, keep our heads down and get to hell out of there as fast as we can, just like we do right now. Mt Washington, been there, done that. Gave up on it decades ago.

tiptoe
12-02-2016, 15:53
Aargh. I am imagining a Trump Tower with adjoining golf course, with improved RR track leading to it. Infrastructure, infrastructure.

dudeijuststarted
12-02-2016, 16:06
ok well i'll just have to show them my ass too then!

hikernutcasey
12-02-2016, 16:13
If I were a billionaire I would spend my money buying up any moron companies that tried to do stuff like this and make them go away.

rafe
12-02-2016, 16:17
In the article I read two things that, in a just and perfect world, would be contradictory: a) the site of the proposed hotel is pretty much where the AT crosses the railway, and b) it's privately owned land.

There might be a creative way to stop it. In my own town, the Unitarian congregation was prevented from putting solar panels on the roof of their church -- by the state's Historical District Commission. The church is suing the HDC over that ruling. Private property, even a church, isn't always sacrosanct.

http://edenkeeper.org/2016/08/17/unitarians-religious-freedom-solar/

Hikingjim
12-02-2016, 16:40
NOBO thru hikers running overbudget can rummage for half eaten beef tenderloin in the back trash bins of the new hotel.

This doesn't seem great to me, but who goes to Mt. Washington for wilderness experience? Other than off season, when this place will be closed anyway

peakbagger
12-02-2016, 17:13
I am participating in a similar thread of VFTT.org. It is a moderated site and tends to keep on topic a bit more than freewheeling whiteblaze. (no insult implied) There is a change org petition against the development if folks are interested.

I got the impression that the proposed facility is much lower on mountain, around treeline at or near the set of double tracks. This location is 1000 feet vertical or more down off the AT and a mile off the AT corridor similar to the Jewell trail bootleg site that thru hikers use. In this case there is no trail access and the FS would need to allow a new trail to access the facility unless it were wholly on Cog property. It would be interesting to find out what rights the NPS extracted from the cog when the AT corridor was protected across this strip of private land.

I expect the state of NH has a pretty solid right of way on the cog property for the power cable, not very worried that the Cog has the legal right to shut it down. If they tried I expect eminent domain would be applied quickly.

With respect to the observation about the Mt Washington zoo, there is very nice piece of classic trail building that skirts the summit of Washington called the West Side trail. Its is mostly out of sight of the zoo on the summit. It is the original AT route over the summit according to the 1939 Cutter map of Mt Washington. I have heard references that it was intentionally rerouted to its current location that just skirts the buildings to the west of the summit as thru hikers were going to the summit anyhow.

Starchild
12-02-2016, 17:14
Anyone been to the 'cog railway' in Chamonix? Multiple stops, hotels, taverns, hiking trails, even livestock, everywhere etc. Sometimes standing room only (no reserved seating, more like a NYC subway ride during rush hour). People not just going to the top, it actually stops short of the top, but hiking throughout this area. I would WAG that it what some people would like to see happen here (minus the livestock perhaps).

Starchild
12-02-2016, 17:18
I expect the state of NH has a pretty solid right of way on the cog property for the power cable, not very worried that the Cog has the legal right to shut it down. If they tried I expect eminent domain would be applied quickly.

. there may not be much the state could do, I don't think it would be the case for eminent domain, as the state owns all other land. I believe the Cog would just have to wait till the new line was complete and power switched till they could end the lease. This happened with a power cable over a old railroad bridge over the Hudson River, the owner wanted much more money for the lease, the power company just laid the cable on the river bed.

atraildreamer
12-02-2016, 17:31
Aargh. I am imagining a Trump Tower with adjoining golf course, with improved RR track leading to it. Infrastructure, infrastructure.

I want an escalator installed. :) .37263

tiptoe
12-02-2016, 17:42
Well, in fairness, we should note that hotels once "graced" the summits of Moosilauke and Roan Mtn. (Cloudland), and possibly others as well.

Lone Wolf
12-02-2016, 17:56
Well, in fairness, we should note that hotels once "graced" the summits of Moosilauke and Roan Mtn. (Cloudland), and possibly others as well.

lafayette and whitetop

Sarcasm the elf
12-02-2016, 18:30
If I were a billionaire I would spend my money buying up any moron companies that tried to do stuff like this and make them go away.

I'm with you 100%, but the fact that we think like that is part of the reason we aren't billionaires. :(

RockDoc
12-02-2016, 22:11
There's already been a lot of buildings up there. What the heck... Same thing with Pikes Peak, but so what.

peakbagger
12-03-2016, 10:01
The proposed hotel is not at the summit complex its about 1 mile west in an area that previously didn't have any structures

egilbe
12-03-2016, 11:34
Well, in fairness, we should note that hotels once "graced" the summits of Moosilauke and Roan Mtn. (Cloudland), and possibly others as well.

Where are they now? Did the economic climate change so drastically that it could still be profitable building eyesores on top of mountains?

tiptoe
12-03-2016, 11:55
I'm not arguing for building structures on top of mountains; I'm just noting that there is a precedent, back in the Gilded Age when millionaires had to go somewhere to relax. Any similarity between the robber baron era and the present-day is, of course, coincidental. :rolleyes:

imscotty
12-03-2016, 12:15
After taking a day to stew this over, I still reach the same conclusion: this would be a sin, it should be stopped. The septic system issue alone is an ecological nightmare.

I could support a small facility at the summit, it has already been defiled. Or why not build a hotel at the Cog Railway Base Station and include a trip to the summit as part of the package. This plan is just wrong.

imscotty
12-03-2016, 12:26
The local politics of this proposal should get real interesting. I imagine it will be difficult (and a bit hypocritical) to deny a local family run operation permits to build on their own land when you look at what the AMC has been allowed to do on public lands

Slo-go'en
12-03-2016, 12:35
After taking a day to stew this over, I still reach the same conclusion: this would be a sin, it should be stopped. The septic system issue alone is an ecological nightmare.

They plan on piping the sewage down to the base station for treatment. Getting water up there might be a bigger issue.

Uriah
12-03-2016, 13:05
This must be stopped. Cog Railway owners are proposing to build a 35 room hotel (high priced no doubt) 2/3 of way up Mt Washington along side the railroad track. http://www.concordmonitor.com/cog-railway-hotel-proposed-6622865 (http://www.concordmonitor.com/cog-railway-hotel-proposed-6622865) DavidNH

The mighty dollar demolishes everything in its path. Let's hope that if people really care they'll do more than air complaints to those who also oppose it. Unfortunately, apathy reigns. I myself have lost all hope in such matters, but I take solace in knowing that the Earth will one day wipe itself clean of we humans and start all over again...hopefully with a wiser set of species.

Best to enjoy what's left, while it's left.

rickb
12-03-2016, 13:38
They plan on piping the sewage down to the base station for treatment. Getting water up there might be a bigger issue.

Why? They can ship it in by rail.

salsi
12-05-2016, 15:58
I hope that the proposed hotel gets stopped, yes mount Washington is a zoo currently but this will just make it worse for wear.

Toolshed
12-05-2016, 21:20
I don;t think it is a big deal. I say go for it. It is private land. Of course, It will piss off all the rich hikers in Boston (except those that have Cog Ownership), but it offers Jobs to the locals. How much more can it damage all the crap that is there already, including the movable circus. ;)

rickb
12-05-2016, 22:49
I don;t think it is a big deal. I say go for it. It is private land. Of course, It will piss off all the rich hikers in Boston (except those that have Cog Ownership), but it offers Jobs to the locals. How much more can it damage all the crap that is there already, including the movable circus. ;)

Private land is routinely subject to restrictions -- not sure wheryou live, but I suspect that your neighbors could not start a commercial hog farm next door. Good, right?

This would be worse.

rafe
12-05-2016, 23:37
I hope ATC is planning to fight this forcefully. I'll be disappointed if they don't.

imscotty
12-06-2016, 00:20
I hope ATC is planning to fight this forcefully. I'll be disappointed if they don't.

Hopefully the ATC will fight this. I would like to see a compromise worked out that keeps any development near the Base Station.

Meanwhile, I expect the AMC will be biting their tongue to keep from calling the kettle black.

Toolshed
12-06-2016, 20:18
yes but this isn't a hog farm now is it...?

Lone Wolf
12-06-2016, 20:24
much ado over nothin'

Toolshed
12-06-2016, 20:25
BTW, I work out of MBO, so I know you're not one of those Rich Cogs ;)

rafe
12-06-2016, 20:59
much ado over nothin'

Every square inch of America must be monetized. Move on, there's nothing to see here, just business as usual.

Lone Wolf
12-06-2016, 21:12
Every square inch of America must be monetized. Move on, there's nothing to see here, just business as usual.

the Cog is a private business wantin' to build a small lodging facility. good for them

rickb
12-06-2016, 21:27
the Cog is a private business wantin' to build a small lodging facility. good for them

It's a private business that was given all sorts of special considerations over the years -- like exemption from clean air regulations when the were still burning coal.

I am sure there are more.

A pox on them and any private landholder that builds on a ridge line or right on the shore of a great pond.

Lone Wolf
12-06-2016, 21:36
America.................

rafe
12-06-2016, 21:52
. . . . . . . . . http://img.over-blog-kiwi.com/1/54/12/20/20151005/ob_e66464_x.jpg

bamboo bob
12-06-2016, 22:28
Don't see this as being much worse than the AMC huts. It can't cost much more per night either. What with the toll road and the cog and the huts its not exactly a remote wilderness.

saltysack
12-07-2016, 08:10
. . . . . . . . . http://img.over-blog-kiwi.com/1/54/12/20/20151005/ob_e66464_x.jpg

So true.....
http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20161207/2d1124dca869dec3daf0e590854cf04c.png


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DavidNH
12-07-2016, 09:34
I love the Hubert Reeves quote Salty Sack! lot of truth to it!

colorado_rob
12-07-2016, 11:28
the Cog is a private business wantin' to build a small lodging facility. good for themYeah, truly. What's the fuss? Mt. Washington is already highly cluttered with so much stuff, a tastefully done lodge sounds like a great idea to me, and would probably help the overall aesthetics.

DavidNH
12-07-2016, 12:21
Interestingly... those of you who don't seem to mind this proposed hotel all live far away and probably only rarely come to the White Mountains...

colorado_rob
12-07-2016, 12:40
Interestingly... those of you who don't seem to mind this proposed hotel all live far away and probably only rarely come to the White Mountains...Well, guilty as charged, though I love the whites and do plan on returning from time to time.

We have similar situations all the time out here in Colorado, some I oppose, others I support. It's circumstantial. Having been on Mt. Washington twice now, and see all the multitude of hodge-podge structures, one more doesn't seem like it will hurt, in fact, as I said, it could help.

Pikes Peak will be undergoing a major overhaul with their summit house, and even though they will be replacing a truly-ugly building with a brand new, site-appropriate summit house, folks are whining about that too. Some folks just simply whine about anything man made. Ayn Rand has a good essay on what she calls "man haters", though I cannot find it right off online.

Anyway, here's the new Pikes Peak summit house design:

http://www.architectmagazine.com/project-gallery/pikes-peak-summit-house

Lots of similarities with Mt. Washington. Cog railroad to the top. Road to the top. Huge tourist attraction. Already lots of stuff up there, and it ain't going away.

Ktaadn
12-08-2016, 10:52
The new summit house looks nice, but incredibly inaccurate. I didn't see a single marmot in any of those pictures. Are they building some sort of marmot proof fence that will be out of sight?

imscotty
12-08-2016, 12:31
If this was a proposal for the summit I would be less concerned. Problem is it is a proposal for the west face of the mountain which is undeveloped (except for the Cog Railway itself). I have not found a map yet that pinpoints the exact location of the development, but I believe it is in an area near the Westside Trail. This would totally change the viewscape and I believe the hiking experience up there. Really, it would be a shame if this were built. I will be looking for the ATC speak in opposition.

imscotty
12-08-2016, 12:32
The first hearing on this proposal is scheduled for tonight in Lancaster, NH...

http://www.concordmonitor.com/cog-railway-hotel-meeting-advance-6717493

chrismagness
12-15-2016, 23:02
To the supporters, I urge you to reconsider your position. This is nothing like an AMC hut, it's a resort. A full service, posh resort. With a restaurant, bar, common areas, and lodging. I can't imagine a structure less than 10,000 square feet. And as for cost? A $200 guestimate was mentioned earlier.. keep dreaming! You think Presby would go through this effort and not achieve a profit? I'd expect the cost of a room to be $500 or more.

It'll be constructed at 5200', well into the Alpine Zone. Yes, it'd be possible to construct a concealed structure that was mostly below ground, but that isn't going to happen here. Whatever is built will be a visual impediment for miles in almost every direction. The environmental impact will be devastating.

A bar? What an awful idea! So we'll have drunkards stumbling around the mountain? How are police/ fire/ rescue going to service the hotel? There are a multitude of problems here.

For those of you from out of the area: this isn't the Rockies or the Cascades. Our resources in the Northeast are limited and fragile. Mount Washington is an endearing place, a rugged summit that's far to accessible and heavily used. We need to preserve it as best we can, to mitigate our impact and reduce our footprint for future generations. Because infrastructure existed in the past, or exists now, doesn't make it right, and is certainly not a justification to build more.

This project will not create good quality jobs. Any employment will likely be part time and seasonal. Wayne Presby, his family, and his cohorts are the ones that will profit from this; we have nothing to gain.

And yes, a good contingent of folks are beginning to band together. We intend to --and will-- stop this thing, but we need your help. If you haven't signed the change.org petitions, do so. Contact your elected officials, email the Cog, be tactful and BE VOCAL!

Hoofit
12-16-2016, 08:37
It was over thirty years ago that Sugar Mountain was forever ruined by a five story condominium complex, perched on top for all to see from some fifty miles on a clear day !
What happened?
Five stories turned into Ten ! Restrictions on doing such development were implemented afterwards when freezing pipes burst and damaged many of the lower units plus it looks just darned ugly and out of place on a beautiful mountain.
Just because someone owns the land does not give them rights to do whatever they want with it !

saltysack
12-16-2016, 10:28
To the supporters, I urge you to reconsider your position. This is nothing like an AMC hut, it's a resort. A full service, posh resort. With a restaurant, bar, common areas, and lodging. I can't imagine a structure less than 10,000 square feet. And as for cost? A $200 guestimate was mentioned earlier.. keep dreaming! You think Presby would go through this effort and not achieve a profit? I'd expect the cost of a room to be $500 or more.

It'll be constructed at 5200', well into the Alpine Zone. Yes, it'd be possible to construct a concealed structure that was mostly below ground, but that isn't going to happen here. Whatever is built will be a visual impediment for miles in almost every direction. The environmental impact will be devastating.

A bar? What an awful idea! So we'll have drunkards stumbling around the mountain? How are police/ fire/ rescue going to service the hotel? There are a multitude of problems here.

For those of you from out of the area: this isn't the Rockies or the Cascades. Our resources in the Northeast are limited and fragile. Mount Washington is an endearing place, a rugged summit that's far to accessible and heavily used. We need to preserve it as best we can, to mitigate our impact and reduce our footprint for future generations. Because infrastructure existed in the past, or exists now, doesn't make it right, and is certainly not a justification to build more.

This project will not create good quality jobs. Any employment will likely be part time and seasonal. Wayne Presby, his family, and his cohorts are the ones that will profit from this; we have nothing to gain.

And yes, a good contingent of folks are beginning to band together. We intend to --and will-- stop this thing, but we need your help. If you haven't signed the change.org petitions, do so. Contact your elected officials, email the Cog, be tactful and BE VOCAL!

Well said!


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saltysack
12-16-2016, 10:32
It was over thirty years ago that Sugar Mountain was forever ruined by a five story condominium complex, perched on top for all to see from some fifty miles on a clear day !
What happened?
Five stories turned into Ten ! Restrictions on doing such development were implemented afterwards when freezing pipes burst and damaged many of the lower units plus it looks just darned ugly and out of place on a beautiful mountain.
Just because someone owns the land does not give them rights to do whatever they want with it !

Condo at sugar is definitely an eye sore.......the one CR posted in Co looks great and blends with its natural environment....if people would live within nature and embrace it and not against it we would all be better off....


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DavidNH
12-16-2016, 10:34
Well said!



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Chris Magness.. having read your post I am now even more horrified. If there is anything I can do to help in the fight against this I'd be glad to help. feel free to private message. meanwhile I'll visit petitions.org. It might be worth contacting the Gov Elect Sununnu.

Slo-go'en
12-16-2016, 10:50
A neighbor of mine works as an Engineer for the Cog. I happened to see him the other day and asked what he though about it. He said it was a very bad idea to put a building in that location. The winds can be as strong or stronger there as at the summit. Once they had the roof of the passenger car ripped off by the wind while at the transfer station - and yes, people were in it. He said more then once he thought the whole train would be knocked off the tracks by the wind.

Besides that, will the hotel guests really stick to the trail when they go out to watch the sunset or will they "explore" and scramble around the rocks and trample tundra to get a better view?

A friend of mine is on the country planning board which would have to approve this project, I'll ask him about it next time I see him. But from what I understand they (the planning board) can't do anything until a formal proposal is presented, which hasn't been done yet.

DavidNH
12-16-2016, 10:58
I just signed the petition at change.org. But I think it is out of date. There was a planning meeting in Lancaster back on December 8 (to which this petition I believe was to be delivered) and now it is Dec 16. But like I said.. count me in as opposed and I'll do what I can, just tell me how i can help.

Hajra
12-16-2016, 11:06
Where are they now? Did the economic climate change so drastically that it could still be profitable building eyesores on top of mountains?
In NC the abomination that is the Sugar Mountain Condos (see image http://sugartoprentals.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Sugar-Top.jpg) resulted in the Ridge Law which prevented further construction of this type on mountain tops. Sugar Top is grandfathered in and even boasts about their special status on their website.

saltysack
12-16-2016, 12:05
In NC the abomination that is the Sugar Mountain Condos (see image http://sugartoprentals.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Sugar-Top.jpg) resulted in the Ridge Law which prevented further construction of this type on mountain tops. Sugar Top is grandfathered in and even boasts about their special status on their website.

Too bad that POS didn't burn down...what an eye sore!


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peakbagger
12-16-2016, 12:16
resulted in the Ridge Law which prevented further construction of this type on mountain tops. The proposed Cog structures are potentially in violation of a no development rule in effect for the proposed location. The proposed hotel is in an "unorganized territory" in NH and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of county planning board. The county planning board has requested a legal opinion if the current ban applies to the hotel. The summit of Mt Washington is predominantly state of NH property surrounded by the USFS land the state doesn't have to follow country rules, thus a hotel on the summit on state land would be legal.

Hajra
12-16-2016, 12:37
resulted in the Ridge Law which prevented further construction of this type on mountain tops. The proposed Cog structures are potentially in violation of a no development rule in effect for the proposed location. The proposed hotel is in an "unorganized territory" in NH and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of county planning board. The county planning board has requested a legal opinion if the current ban applies to the hotel. The summit of Mt Washington is predominantly state of NH property surrounded by the USFS land the state doesn't have to follow country rules, thus a hotel on the summit on state land would be legal.
You missed the "In NC" part, I posted in response to mention of mountain top development in WNC so I am aware it has no bearing in NH. I have never been to Mt Washington but I understand it is somewhat developed already, maybe a case where it is best to keep all development concentrated on one mountain in order to preserve others?

peakbagger
12-16-2016, 14:10
I didn't miss the "In NC" part I was just referring to the salient point of your post which I thought was in the vein of "there ought to be a law" My point was unlike NC having to pass a law after the fact the local county in NH had the foresight to put a law in place in past to prevent developments like the Cog Hotel

Hajra
12-16-2016, 14:34
I didn't miss the "In NC" part I was just referring to the salient point of your post which I thought was in the vein of "there ought to be a law" My point was unlike NC having to pass a law after the fact the local county in NH had the foresight to put a law in place in past to prevent developments like the Cog Hotel
Got ya. Definitely wasn't trying to imply that NC is anything but reactive, whether it be mountain tops or bathrooms :D

chrismagness
12-16-2016, 17:04
Now is a critical time. We need to create significant hurdles to construction so that Presby forgets this terrible idea or the planning board doesn't approve variances.

Here are links to the 2 change.org petitions:

https://www.change.org/p/john-scarinza-chair-coos-county-planning-board-derail-cog-railway-hotel-proposal

https://www.change.org/p/hiking-community-stop-the-cog-railway-from-building-a-motel-on-washington

chrismagness
01-25-2017, 11:24
Hey folks!

Keep this thing on your radar. Wayne Presby is full steam (pun!) ahead. There is a very real possibility of hotel being built on Mt. Washington. We expect a formal building permit application as early as March, that would enable construction to begin this spring.

Perhaps this should be a sticky thread until the issue has been resolved?