State House tours draw hundreds during test weekend

  • Five-year-old Sofia (left) and Isabella Sargeant, 9, of Concord check out the voting buttons used by legislators inside Representative’s Hall during a tour.

  • State House Visitor Center Director Virginia Drew (right) leads visitors on one of about a dozen guided tours through the State House on Saturday. Staffers and volunteers accommodated an estimate of about 200 visitors. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Adam Turner of Chandler, Ariz., takes a photo of the portrait of Gen. John Stark during a guided tour through the State House on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Turner and his family were visiting the State House grounds and were happily surprised to find free tours of the interior. The family is doing a history tour of the Northeast and Washington, D.C. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • State House Visitor Center director Virginia Drew talks to visitors, including Adam Turner (left) of Chandler, Ariz., about Gen. John Adams Dix during a guided tour through the State House on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Turner and his family were visiting the State House grounds and were happily surprised to find free tours of the interior. The family is doing a history tour of the Northeast and Washington, D.C. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 10/8/2016 11:46:33 PM
Modified: 10/8/2016 11:46:20 PM

During a pilot program on recent weekends, hundreds of visitors have been turning out to tour the State House.

Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce President Tim Sink, who has helped organize the test tours, said 300 people participated on the first Saturday.

That first tour, three weeks ago, had a built-in crowd that stemmed from an anniversary ceremony held at the State House that morning. But the following week, 166 people participated in tours leaving every 15 minutes over four hours, Sink said.

“It way exceeded my expectations, to be honest with you,” he said. “We did our best to get the word out . . . but I didn’t expect to see numbers like we saw on both those Saturdays.”

Sink said the visitors included several from out of state and some from out of the country, including Germany, France and Canada.

Now that the pilot program ended this weekend, Sink said it’s time to sit down with chiefs of staff of the Senate and House of Representatives and the staff at the visitor’s center to plan how the program might be fully implemented next year.

It won’t need any further legislative approval to continue, he said.

“We didn’t see any negative issues, and we saw good numbers, so I’m kind of optimistic,” Sink said.

 

(Nick Reid can be reached at 369-3325, nreid@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @NickBReid.)




Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301
603-224-5301

 

© 2019 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy