NH News
2:34 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

The Walmart Rest Area? NH Selling Naming Rights To Welcome Centers

With many of New Hampshire’s rest areas struggling financially, the state is selling the naming rights to businesses as a way to generate revenue.

House Minority Leader Gene Chandler says the revenue will be used to support roughly a dozen of the state’s rest areas, many of which have had to close due to budget cuts.

“Walmart or McDonald’s, someone will be able to sponsor a rest area, have their sign there to generate some money. And it’s been estimated that as much as maybe $200,000 or more a year could come in from these sponsorships.”

The Long Range Capital Planning Committee approved the bidding process earlier this week, and a request for proposals will go out in January.

Chandler, who helped author the bill to start the program, says a state that relies so heavily on tourism needs to keep its rest stops open.

But he says it’s also important to ensure there are some standards.

“I think there is a line and we just need to make sure we don’t cross it.”

Businesses promoting the use of alcohol or tobacco would be restricted, as would political advertising.

Governor Maggie Hassan and the Executive Council must sign off on any advertising contracts.