If constructed, the Balsams would be one of the largest ski resorts in New England.
Friday, March 24, 2023, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
The Balsams Resort received two key county approvals in recent days as the decade-plus redevelopment project looks to move to the construction phase.
On March 15, Coos County granted conditional site plan approval, which includes new ski terrain and lifts. On March 22, the county approved the financing plan for the Balsams Resort Redevelopment District, which would pave the way for the issuance of $35 million in bonds for the project.
Provident Resources Group, which had been involved in the recently cancelled Big Squaw-Moosehead redevelopment project, would construct and own a hotel as a 501(c)(3).
A revised start date for construction has not yet been announced. In June 2022, developer Les Otten stated that, "I am cautiously optimistic that the bond markets will be receptive to new issuances this fall, presenting the opportunity to reach a financial close and start of construction within the calendar year."
A December 2022 map shows six or seven new lifts, including a gondola connecting from the resort area to the top of the former Balsams Wilderness ski area. The main snowmaking pump house would be located off Route 26 southeast of Dixville Notch.
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. Daniel Dagesse and Daniel Hebert acquired the resort later that year. While equipment has been sold and some hotel related structures demolished, the ski lodge and triple chairlifts remain in place. Les Otten has been involved in the project since 2014, purchasing Dan Dagesse's stake in 2017. Annmarie Turcotte joined as a partner circa early 2021. Plans include 22 ski lifts serving 1,200 acres of skiable terrain. At present, vacation rentals are operated on the property.