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18-hole indoor mini-golf course opens at Funspot

LACONIA — Funspot Family Entertainment Center in Weirs Beach has recently opened its brand new 18 Hole Indoor Mini-Golf Course. Featuring hand-made scale models of New Hampshire landmarks, the theme of Funspot's outdoor mini-golf since the 1960s, this 5,500 square foot course is suitable for all ages and costs $5 to play.

In 1964 the outdoor mini-golf was the first attraction built at Funspot after the business moved from its original location above Tarlson's Arcade on Lakeside Avenue in the Weirs.

"One afternoon, shortly after we opened the mini-golf, I was driving to North Conway with my family," recalls Bob. "There was a house we passed that had bird houses outside so I stopped."

That's when Bob met Fred Thompson and the creation of the scale model landmarks took off. "Fred was very talented," Bob remembers. "Everything was built to scale."

Unlike the fiberglass ornaments used on most mini-golf courses today, Funspot's ornaments are made of wood and every year they would bear the brunt of summer weather. For fifty years the models were removed from the course after Labor Day and transported to Funspot's maintenance building for restoration.

"It was time consuming and used a lot of manpower but we were always proud to do it. In recent years, though, the ornaments have been requiring more and more work," said Lawton.

In 2014 it was decided to close the outdoor mini-golf, meticulously restore all of the original hand-made ornaments and open a new 18 Hole Indoor Mini-Golf.

Above Funspot's twenty lane bowling center was a 5,500 sq ft space just right for a project as ambitious as an indoor mini-golf course, but lacking one key element - a floor.

"Obviously the first thing we needed to do was hire a contractor to get the floor put in," said Lawton. "Because of their exceptional reputation, the only company I wanted to do this was Bonnette, Page & Stone. They were remarkable. I can't tell you how happy we are with the work they did."

With the new floor installed by July 3, the remainder of the job was completed over the next several months and the new carpet laid on October 14, 2014.

During this time, Bob and the Funspot crew were busy restoring the historic landmark ornaments. The interiors of the ornaments were completely refurbished with new wallpaper, paint, furniture, LED lights and scale model figures. Then it was time to lay out the mini-golf course itself.

"Laying out eighteen holes in that space was no easy job," Lawton recalls. "We wanted to be sure there was six feet between the green of one hole and the tee of the next. We also wanted to keep every hole twenty inches from the walls to accommodate left handed players."

The layout was finished by November 1st and, as the ornaments were completed, they were brought in and placed in their new location. Some, like the North Conway Station required six people to move.

The room itself is adorned with photos of the actual NH landmarks represented on the course as well as some artifacts that highlight the history of Funspot, the Lakes Region and other areas of N.H.

The new Funspot 18 Hole Indoor Mini-Golf Course is open every day and is completely self-service, accepting both cash and credit cards. It can be enjoyed by all ages and players might even win a free round on the 19th hole.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 May 2015 07:23

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Grafton Economic Development Council to get grant to help fledgling businesses


PLYMOUTH — The Grafton County Economic Development Council has been selected to receive a $97,500 grant to help the council provide assistance to small businesses.

The funds, in the form of a Community Development Block grant, will be used by the council to provide lending advice, one-on-one counseling, and seminars geared toward small-business development.

The New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority approved a Community Development Block Grant totaling $750,000 to help seven economic development organizations in Grafton and Cheshire counties which offer services, education, and programs for micro-businesses.

Organizations like the Grafton County Economic Development Council work with low- and moderate-income people who either own or want to start their own company or service. Operations of fewer than five employees are considered "micro-businesses" and are the kinds of start-ups most in need of technical assistance for long-term success.

The grants still must be approved by the Executive Council.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 May 2015 02:26

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Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage purchases Alton company

ALTON — Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in New England, the region's largest residential real estate brokerage company, announced it has acquired the assets of Curry Realty Inc. in Alton Bay, New Hampshire, which did business as William Raveis Curry Realtors. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is part of NRT LLC, the nation's largest residential real estate brokerage company.

The company's single sales office, located at 3 Riverlake Street in Alton Bay, will now operate as Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Steven B. Gray, the broker of Curry Realty, Inc., will affiliate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in a sales capacity. Gray has more than 30 years of experience in the residential real estate industry.

"We are very pleased to welcome this group of highly skilled real estate professionals who have expertise in marketing luxury waterfront properties along New Hampshire's Seacoast and in the Lakes Region, said Pat Villani, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in New England. "This acquisition bolsters our presence in two of New England's premier destinations for vacation properties."

"By affiliating with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the sales associates will gain the benefit of being able to offer their clients and customers exceptional online marketing programs while also taking advantage of the Coldwell Banker Previews International program to better position themselves and more effectively expose their clients' luxury listings in the high-end market," said Gray.

With more than 4,000 sales associates and staff in approximately 80 office locations, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in New England serves consumers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine. For more information visit www.NewEnglandMoves.com.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 May 2015 02:23

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Laconia-based Orion Entrance Control receives industry award

LACONIA — In honor of outstanding government security products, Security Products magazine and security-today.com awarded Laconia-based Orion Entrance Control, Inc., a leading manufacturer of innovative and customized access control solutions, a 2015 Govies Award in Access Control Devices for their OBSG-HG Optical Barrier Swing Glass, High Glass.

Made with 3/8-inch clear, tempered, "no touch," swinging glass, the OBSG-HG offers an unobstructed view that enhances the look of any lobby while meeting and maintaining the highest security standards. Operating the barrier is easy with the use of an access card or other credential and a reader mounted inside the stainless-steel casework. For authorized entry, a top-mounted, LED-lighted green arrow will glow, pointing in the direction authorized. A chime sound emitted from an 8 ohm speaker will occur simultaneously. However, for unauthorized access attempts and tailgaters, visual and audible alarms will be triggered.

Orion's technology features Beam Scanning Optical Detection (BSOD), an algorithmic pattern that allows authorized users to pass through the lane while manipulating laptop bags, briefcases, bags and purses. Because this technology recognizes patterns of movement through the barrier, should someone attempt to piggyback, a visual and audible alarm is triggered. BSOD allows for faster throughput (up to one person per second based on the access control system's output) as it scans the lanes in both directions simultaneously, and the lane's ¼-inch detection provides a low number of false alarms with the highest degree of security screening.

"We are very grateful for winning the 2015 Govies Award for our OBSG-HG," said Steve Caroselli, President, Orion Entrance Control, Inc. "Our company works hard to create superior optical barrier solutions for the safety and security of facilities, and this award demonstrates our ability."

Last Updated on Monday, 11 May 2015 06:04

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