Balsams Ownership Pushing for October Groundbreaking
The group now hopes to reopen the resort for the 2018 holiday season.
Friday, August 4, 2017, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
In an unscheduled appearance at the Coos Planning Board, Dixville Capital's Ed Brisson filed an application to begin construction of a hotel at the shuttered Balsams Resort in October. According to the group, quick approval is needed in order to start construction in time for a 2018-19 winter opening.
According to the Colebrook Chronicle, Les Otten's team has yet to file an application with the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority for state backed funding. In 2015, Otten pushed legislation allowing the Balsams to borrow up to $30 million in state backed bonds, stating "It is the last chance to save the ship before it goes down." The bill then passed and signed into law by then Governor Maggie Hassen in May 2015.
Developers then blamed the legislation for missing a June 1, 2015 groundbreaking. The project was delayed again during that summer with a new groundbreaking date set for fall 2015. Subsequently, a June 1, 2016 groundbreaking date was suggested. When that goal was missed, a fall 2016 groundbreaking date was disclosed, "certainly starting work this year ."
Otten has yet to procure roughly $100 million in loans to fund the $143 million phase one project. The State of New Hampshire Business Finance Authority is expected to back $28 million of the debt following former Governor Maggie Hassan's passage of SB 30 in 2015. An additional $12 million in backing is being sought from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development. $5 million has been reportedly loaned to the project by Northern Pass's Forward NH fund.
According to the Conway Daily Sun, developers have invested $8 million into the project thus far.
The northernmost chairlift served ski area in New Hampshire, the Balsams Wilderness operated from 1966 until 2011, when the Dixville Notch Balsams Grand Resort was shuttered. While equipment has been sold and some hotel related structures demolished, the ski lodge and triple chairlifts remain in place.