City leaders in Laconia, New Hampshire, are in a stinky situation, forced to pay five times more than in years past for port-a-potties to accommodate huge Bike Week crowds next week.
“It was interesting, the price was up five-fold,” Laconia City Manager Scott Myers said.
The price to rent 34 port-a-potties has gone from an average of $5,000 to nearly $25,000, he said.
“We’re not sure if it’s inventory issues or if coming out of COVID and people aren’t geared up to handle larger events. We really don’t know,” Myers said.
The problem is that most boardwalk businesses shut down their public restrooms during Bike Week, which this year runs June 12-20. After a scaled-down edition during the pandemic last year, the city is expecting the regular influx of about 200,000 people, not to mention the port-a-potties -- which attendees need, since some shops don't offer public access.
People who have been to Bike Week before say port-a-potties are a necessity.
“Otherwise you’re going to have guys peeing all over the place,” said Dale Rheaume of Belmont.
“You got to have them. There is nowhere else to go,” said John Yak of Moultonborough.
City leaders agree, and say the extra cost won’t fall on taxpayers but instead come from a Bike Week surplus account.
“We are not cutting back, we are providing full service,” Myers said.
And that decision comes as a huge relief for visitors and local employees alike.