Locals Impressed by Lupoli's Approach

HAMPTON -- After hearing about his work helping to revitalize the city of Lawrence, Mass., with the Riverwalk Properties, local officials say they are eager to see what Sal Lupoli will bring to the Casino property and Hampton Beach.

More than a dozen stakeholders of Hampton Beach, including local officials and business owners, met Tuesday with Lupoli, who is now the majority owner of the Hampton Beach Casino and property north of it, including the Water Slide Park.

Lupoli is president and CEO of Lupoli Companies, which includes Sal's Pizza and several real estate properties.

At the meeting, Lupoli emphasized that his goal is not to tear down but to breathe new life into the century-old Hampton Beach landmark, having already invested a half-million dollars in upgrades with plans to do much more.

"I think a lot of people were nervous and I think he reassured everyone that he's not coming in to totally change things and that he wants to reinforce what we already have," said Tom McGuirk of McGuirk's Ocean View Restaurant.

Lupoli said he called for the meeting because he wants to work with the community similar to the way he did with the city of Lawrence on his Riverwalk Project, creating jobs and stimulating the economy.

He said it would have been held sooner but he was attending the MIT Sloan School of Management Fellowship Program.

John Nyhan of the Hampton Beach Area Commission said he was impressed by what Lupoli had to say, including his vision for the property.

"It appeared as if he read the Hampton Beach Master Plan page by page," Nyhan said.

"He talked about his emphasis on revitalization, consistency in the look, jobs, economic development and extending the season. All the things we have been talking about at the beach commission meetings."

Chuck Rage, chairman of the Hampton Beach Village Precinct, said they are looking forward to working with Lupoli.

"I mean look what he did in Lawrence," Rage said. "It was the biggest project that Massachusetts had ever seen and it was done in one of the worst sections of the city."

When Riverwalk Properties was purchased in May 2003, the complex had fewer than 35 businesses and 300 workers.

Lupoli redeveloped the property and by the end of 2007 it had grown to more than 200 companies employing more than 3,500 people.

Phase II — the development of an additional 1.5 million square feet — is currently under way and is projected to create 2,500 new jobs.

"I think he showed himself as someone who cares for the community that he does business in," Nyhan said. "I think it showed in Lawrence and I'm hoping the same type of impact made there will be made at Hampton Beach."

By Patrick Cronin · October 12, 2012 · Hampton Union