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Entries in Hampshire Hills Athletic Club (1)

Tuesday
Feb092016

NH Primary Preview: Hampshire Hills Athletic Club Hosts Donald Trump Rally 

Hampshire Hills Athletic Club in Millford, NH, one of IHRSA's founding members, made national news last week when the club hosted a Donald Trump presidential campaign rally on February 2.

The rally, where former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown endorsed Trump, generated coverage that mentioned Hampshire Hills in The New York Times and Forbes, among others. An estimated 5,000 people attended the event.

(Photo by Damon Winter/The New York Times)

“We are proud that one of our businesses is an event center replete with more food and activity choices than any other event center in New England,” says Hampshire Hills Owner Rick Holder. “We are listed year over year as the number one largest event center in New Hampshire in the NH Business Review Book of Lists.” 

Holder’s decision to rent the venue to the Trump campaign was driven by business, not politics. The health club often hosts events to maximize revenue opportunities to help maintain its facilities, a 77-acre campus that includes indoor and outdoor pools, a quarter-mile indoor bicycle track, a fifth-of-a-mile running track, and an indoor golf driving range. 

(Photo by Getty Images)

“We are proud to have hosted—without a hitch—the largest political dinner in the entire history of the State of New Hampshire,” Holder says. “We have rented space to companies large and small, as well as having donated space to schools and organizations, including the National Guard and other branches of the armed services. We have rented space to republicans, democrats, and independent political groups, including five presidents as well as dozens of would be presidents.” 

(Photo by the Donald J. Trump for President campaign)

While Trump can be a polarizing figure, Holder says most members understand that Hampshire Hills hosts these types of events as a business service, not to make political statements. 

“We rarely have negative comments, but if we do it is probably from someone more angry with a politician than the venue they chose,” Holder says. “We are careful to never endorse any candidate.”