Warmer weather brings crowd to boat, RV and motorcycle show in Rochester
ROCHESTER - Sunday's mid-60s temperatures gave birth to thoughts of enjoying New Hampshire's outdoors, making the Lilac Mall's 14th annual recreational vehicle, boat and motorcycle show a popular place to be.
And the selection was diverse.
Steve LaRoche, of Belmont's Winnisquam Marine, has been in the business for 26 years and has seen many trends.
"We have a great selection of watercraft here," said LaRoche. "This year, interest has been particularly strong in pontoon boats."
Not the pontoon boat of the past, the current models are much less tippy and very group-friendly.
Despite the forbidding economic forecasts nationally, LaRoche was very upbeat about his business.
"People are buying boats; it gives them quality family time."
Visiting to "do a little looking" at the boats scattered throughout the interior of the mall were friends Dave Thompson and Chuck Hardy of Eliot, Maine, who own a boat together.
"We're not necessarily in the market," said Thompson. "We came over to see what is new."
With a variety priced from the seven thousands, to pontoon boats "bargain" priced at $22,065, there was a large selection to choose from. Recreational vehicles were also featured.
Dennis Tuttle of Northwood RV finds the economy a bit of a challenge.
"We get more people just looking and seriously contemplating whether to step up to a larger RV, or to hold on to their current home away from home and do some upgrades," he said.
Tuttle was offering RVs from $8,500 to upward of $37,000, and answering a lot of questions from visitors.
Mark Cicchetto, a long time Rochester businessman, had a busy day as he helped out Rochester Motorsports. Cicchetto was constantly in action, moving from ATVs of all types.
Not just for riding in the woods anymore, according to Cicchetto "many people are buying them for year-round use in their yards and property. We sell them with plows and trailer hitches."
That use was not on the mind of nine-year-old James Turner of Rochester, however, as he tried a 4-wheeler on for size.
There with his mother, father and brother Matthew, James was thinking of "doing doughnuts easier."