Balsams Files State Loan Guarantee Application
The proposed resort is attempting to secure $28 million in state backed financing for redevelopment.
Wednesday, December 20, 2017,

Balsams Wilderness (file photo)

The resurrection of the Balsams took a major step forward yesterday, as the redevelopment group announced it had filed for a $28 million state backed loan guarantee. The arrangement was enabled in 2015, when then-Governor Maggie Hassan signed SB30 into law, allowing the Balsams to borrow up to $30 million in taxpayer backed bonds from the Business Finance Authority.

The group has changed lenders, using Service Credit Union of Portsmouth instead of the Northern Bank & Trust Company of Woburn for the loan. The group, led by Les Otten, has also received a $5 million loan for the project from the Northern Pass transmission project. The group has not announced where the rest of the $170 million in project funding will come from.

"With the majority of our permits in hand, and more than $26 million worth of potential real estate sales under deposit, it is exciting to take The Balsams rebirth to this next, critically important level," said Otten in a press release. "Enhancing our credit through the NH BFA was one of the first recommendations proposed by the NH Division of Resources and Economic Development when they pledged to support The Balsams redevelopment years ago. We look forward to working with Service Credit Union and the NH BFA during the review process."

On November 20, 2017, the Balsams announced it had $26.1 million in real estate reservations. The reservations are held with a 5% refundable deposit, suggesting $1,305,000 has been received by the company.

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.

In early 2014, Les Otten entered into an agreement with Balsams View LLC to attempt to reopen the closed resort. In winter 2015, a $143 million Phase 1 plan was announced. Since then, numerous construction groundbreaking dates have been postponed.

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