July 21, 2024

Legislation that would have paved the way for an expansion of New Hampshire’s historic Hampton Beach Casino died in the state legislature last week.

Sal Lupoli
Sal Lupoli, pictured above. He’s president and CEO of Lupoli Companies, as well as the majority owner of Hampton Beach Casino. He wants to expand the New Hampshire gaming property. (Image: NH Business Review)

The bill, HB 1215, failed to get approval in the House of Representatives after a 261-102 vote on Thursday. Earlier, it was approved in the Senate by a voice vote.

The proposal was an amendment to other legislation on development approvals and appeals.

It would have allowed Hampton, N.H.’s Board of Selectmen the ability to close a local street. In turn, that could have led to the expansion of the 125-year-old waterfront complex.

The Hampton Beach gaming property’s majority owner, Sal Lupoli, who is president and CEO of Lupoli Companies, wants to add a convention center, 500-room hotel, a parking garage, and increase the size of the site’s ballroom, according to the Portsmouth Herald, a New Hampshire news outlet.

The concert ballroom, which now seats 2,200, would be expanded to seat about 3,500, according to the proposal.

The entire project is estimated to cost about $600M.

Last year, Lupoli acquired the nearby Mainsail Motel and Cottages for $7.35M.

Promises Economic Growth

The project has many supporters.

If redevelopment moves forward, it would “revitalize the Hampton Beach boardwalk area” and “lead to millions of dollars of economic growth in the region,” state Rep. Joe Alexander, R-Goffstown, said in a summary on the legislation, the Herald reported.

It would be wonderful to have a new venue because the property has become pretty rundown,” added state Rep. Kelley Potenza, R-Rochester.

Supporters further argue if the redevelopment takes place, the casino would draw customers year-round.

Concerns About Proposal

The fact that the legislative proposal was added as an amendment to a bill led to concerns from state Rep. Jim Maggiore, D-North Hampton. He also pointed out it was approved only by a voice vote in the Senate, adding that it would have become a “needless doubling of exemptions.”

Even if the amendment was approved by the legislature, the local Board of Selectmen would have needed approvals from other local boards before moving forward. The local boards include the Hampton Planning Board, the Hampton Beach Village District, and the Hampton Beach Area Commission, the Herald reported.

Without the state legislation getting approved, the town will likely need to have a local vote before officials could eliminate D Street.

The earliest that vote could take place is at the March 2025 Hampton annual town meeting. That later date means the whole schedule gets delayed. The casino expansion project will take about three years’ worth of construction.

The post New Hampshire Casino Renovation Proposal Faces Delays After Legislators Reject Bill appeared first on Casino.org.

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