June 2, 2015
By Kirstan Lukasak
Berlin Daily Sun
BERLIN – The place that was once known as the 'City that
trees built' is getting a new lease on life when N.H. Magazine picked Berlin as
the 'City on the Rise.' Each year the N.H. Magazine rolls out a lineup of
places and businesses that are worthy of being labeled as 'Best of N.H.'
Among the categories includes 'City on the Rise,' which highlights a city or
town that shows new life and promise.
Berlin was chosen by N.H. Magazines editor Rick Broussard, because of the city's commitment to putting Berlin back on the map. He cited the work of the chamber to rebrand the city using a new slogan.
"The new motto, 'Your Adventure Starts Here,' introduced by the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce exemplifies the city's and the regions push to turn Berlin and the surrounding area into a hub for tourism and we are happy to that it's working," said Broussard. The Chamber of Commerce has been working hard to make the North Country a destination spot for tourists, and their hard work is paying off. The abundance of quality outdoor activities, lodging, shopping and restaurants make this area a popular location for travelers.
"We are thrilled to be marketing our area in ways never done before! While we realize that tourism is only a part of our economic recovery, our businesses are reporting a positive impact due to the increased commerce of this new economy! More than ever, our events and partnerships with the City of Berlin, Town of Gorham, Androscoggin Valley ATV Club, the Main Street Program and others have resulted in a change of attitude about how we and others feel about our community! There is truly a sense of pride about all we have to offer and who we are," said Mark Belanger, president of the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Paul Grenier said the award shows that people in the state are noticing the efforts the city is making to improve its appearance and attract visitors. Grenier said the city has made a lot of progress in the last ten years especially in cleaning up blighted housing and buildings. "It's starting to make a difference," he said. Grenier cited the work of Community Development Director Pamela Laflamme, City Manager James Wheeler, and Housing Coordinator Linda White. He said the three work very hard and don't receive enough credit for the work they do.
The city has also worked with other organizations to promote the region to ATV enthusiasts. The city council has approved allowing ATVs to operate on city streets to access trails and businesses. The mayor announced the award at the beginning of Wednesday's budget hearing, but the official announcement will not be made until the 2015 Best of N.H. party held in Manchester on June 16.