I-93's welcoming new rest stops get started
A guest looks over the artist's renderings on display, during the groundbreaking for Hooksett Welcome Centers redevelopment project at the I-93 northbound facility on Thursday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Some non-standard implements, like the giant spoon held by Ward D’Elia, foreground, of Samyn De’Elia Architects in Ashland, were put to use during Thursday’s groundbreaking for the new Hooksett Welcome Centers on Interstate 93. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
The new welcome centers will include diners, full-service restaurants, gas pumps, new state liquor stores and other amenities. Samyn-D’Elia Architects
Members of the business community, including Alex Ray, owner of the Common Man family of restaurants, and his partner Rusty McLear, joined local and state officials at the groundbreaking.
Joseph Mollica, chair of the State Liquor Commission, said that the liquore store expansion, which he said would increase the two stores' square footage by 12,000 feet, is expected to bring in $6 million in additional annual revenue once completed.
Hooksett Town Administrator Dean Shankle was also in attendance, and said that he expects the new welcome centers to be a tremendous addition to the town.
Along with the country store, restaurant and liquor stores, the welcome centers will become home to about 16 new fueling stations operated by Irving Oil.
According to Irving Oil President and CEO Paul Browning, Irving is investing $2 million into the project.
Bill Boynton of the state Department of Transportation said the state is very pleased with the expansion, especially since it is a local project.