Balsams Resort

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ropeways.net | Home | 2015-05-20

N.H. House Sets Up Taxing District To Pave Way For Balsams Re-Do
Balsams Resort New Hampshire's House of Representatives passed an amended bill creating a special taxing district allowing the state to back $28 million in bonds toward redeveloping the Balsams Resort and ski area, which closed in 2011.Ski resort entrepreneur Les Otten wants the state-backed bond to help finance the $143 million project in Dixville Notch. The House passed an amended version of the measure by a vote of 293-57 according to published newspaper reports. The amendment clarifies that the state’s Business Finance Authority is the agency that will consider any bonds, raises the limit to any one project from $25 million to $30 million and raises the BFA’s total borrowing limit from $95 million to $115 million. The Senate passed the original bill and now must vote on the amendment.Otten’s plan is to renovate existing buildings, build a 400-room hotel, conference center, spa and retreat and to expand the ski area. Some 1,700 jobs could be created, according to a study commissioned by the developer. The full project, estimated at $320 million, could be finished by 2024.

Source: "Snocountry.com"
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Comments

  • SullySully novice
    Posts: 5
    So does this mean Les is going to get his money to make Balsams happen?
  • sugarloafsugarloaf expert
    Posts: 748
    This place makes Sugarloaf's location seem urban.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • newpylongnewpylong expert
    Posts: 502
    Same driving time to Boston and less mileage. I would say they are equally remote. Dixville Notch is prettier.
  • steamboat1steamboat1 advanced
    edited May 2015 Posts: 250
    sugarloaf said:

    This place makes Sugarloaf's location seem urban.

    Not even close. NYC to Hartford,CT then  I-91 to I-93 intersect, St. Johnsbury. East through Lancaster to Colebrook (sp?) . Shorter & easier drive from NYC than the Loaf, I've done both several times. Much more urban than north of the Loaf. Both areas are scenic but Balsams will never compare to the Loaf.
  • Bkroon9175Bkroon9175 intermediate
    Posts: 55
    I hope the Balsams comes back. It was pretty easy skiing but everything else as amenities made the place unique.
  • mapnutmapnut expert
    Posts: 781

    Since this ought to be a long-running topic, I'll post the link that has the expansion plan:

    https://thebalsamsresort.com/vision/ski-expansion/

    They really must get rid of that photo at the top from somewhere out west. Dishonest. There are beautiful photos of the Wilderness ski area available.

    I think the expansion plan is absurd. The northwest summit bowl makes sense, and the two southernmost pods which also reach 3,400 feet would make an excellent self-contained ski area with 1700 vertical feet; just need a shuttle. All the stuff in between would be marginal skiing.

  • sugarloafsugarloaf expert
    Posts: 748


    sugarloaf said:

    This place makes Sugarloaf's location seem urban.

    Not even close. NYC to Hartford,CT then  I-91 to I-93 intersect, St. Johnsbury. East through Lancaster to Colebrook (sp?) . Shorter & easier drive from NYC than the Loaf, I've done both several times. Much more urban than north of the Loaf. Both areas are scenic but Balsams will never compare to the Loaf.
    It might be easier to get to than Sugarloaf, but why would anyone drive 5 hours from NYC for a ski area with 1'000' of vertical and fairly boring runs. I skied there in March of 2009 and there where maybe 10 cars in the parking lot, even though it was a weekend. At it's present size this place was a one and done IMO with no desire to return.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • steamboat1steamboat1 advanced
    Posts: 250
    sugarloaf said:

    sugarloaf said:

    It might be easier to get to than Sugarloaf, but why would anyone drive 5 hours from NYC for a ski area with 1'000' of vertical and fairly boring runs. I skied there in March of 2009 and there where maybe 10 cars in the parking lot, even though it was a weekend. At it's present size this place was a one and done IMO with no desire to return.

    For my aging parents it was the perfect place to ski. Meticulous grooming coupled with low crowds made it the place they enjoyed most. At their age they no longer had any desire to take part in the rat race found at other ski areas.They found what they wanted at Balsams.

    I found the area not nearly as boring as you describe.
  • sugarloafsugarloaf expert
    Posts: 748

    sugarloaf said:

    sugarloaf said:

    It might be easier to get to than Sugarloaf, but why would anyone drive 5 hours from NYC for a ski area with 1'000' of vertical and fairly boring runs. I skied there in March of 2009 and there where maybe 10 cars in the parking lot, even though it was a weekend. At it's present size this place was a one and done IMO with no desire to return.

    For my aging parents it was the perfect place to ski. Meticulous grooming coupled with low crowds made it the place they enjoyed most. At their age they no longer had any desire to take part in the rat race found at other ski areas.They found what they wanted at Balsams.

    I found the area not nearly as boring as you describe.
    There where a few glades that where interesting to ski, otherwise I didn't find anything exciting at Balsams. I had more fun at Black Mtn Of Maine, similar is size and much easier to get to from the Sunday River area.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • sugarloafsugarloaf expert
    edited May 2015 Posts: 748

    My ski report posted on Alpinzone from 2008


    Area skied: The Balsams Wilderness, New Hampshire

    Date skied: March 21st, 2008 from 10:45am - 3:45pm

    Surface conditions: Powder, windblown, variable

    Weather: snowshowers all day, 9F base and 3F summit, 20-30mph winds

    We woke up today to no new snow at all from last nights storm and winds here in Rumford Center where not very high but a quick call to Saddleback revealed a closed mountain with the same at Sugarloaf. Sunday River was not sure about lift operation so we called The Balsams and they confirmed the chair running and 8-12" of new snow overnight.

    We made the drive up from Rumford Center in a bit over an hour and arrived to a light snow falling and a brutally cold 9F with fairly high west winds. We booted up and paid $31 for an adult lift ticket and $23 for my son which is a good deal for 1,000' of vertical and 15 trails.

    Snow conditions ranged from deep powder on the lower 3/4 of the mountain to wind blown exposed ice and frozen granular for the first 200' of vertical down a majority of the trails, due to the high winds at the summit blowing the new snow right into the woods.

    The trail of the day was Notch which is about 20' wide and had stashes of powder on the edges and in the woods and was a nice refugee from the cold high winds. We did this twice and had fun each time.

    Notch:



    We skied down Androscoggin which had some deep untouched powder halfway down the trail:




    Overall we had a fun day but this is the coldest Spring day that I have ever skied in 25 years of skiing, truly frosbite weather and we took pictures very sparingly as it hurt to have exposed skin out for more than a few seconds at a time. Warren was a real trooper skiing in such high winds and cold weather.

    The Balsams Wilderness:





    "" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" style="border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; vertical-align: bottom;">

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • newpylongnewpylong expert
    Posts: 502
    sugarloaf said:


    sugarloaf said:

    This place makes Sugarloaf's location seem urban.

    Not even close. NYC to Hartford,CT then  I-91 to I-93 intersect, St. Johnsbury. East through Lancaster to Colebrook (sp?) . Shorter & easier drive from NYC than the Loaf, I've done both several times. Much more urban than north of the Loaf. Both areas are scenic but Balsams will never compare to the Loaf.
    It might be easier to get to than Sugarloaf, but why would anyone drive 5 hours from NYC for a ski area with 1'000' of vertical and fairly boring runs. I skied there in March of 2009 and there where maybe 10 cars in the parking lot, even though it was a weekend. At it's present size this place was a one and done IMO with no desire to return.
    By the same token why would someone drive further to freeze their balls off at Sugarloaf if some place closer has all they wanted? 
  • sugarloafsugarloaf expert
    Posts: 748
    newpylong said:

    sugarloaf said:


    sugarloaf said:

    This place makes Sugarloaf's location seem urban.

    Not even close. NYC to Hartford,CT then  I-91 to I-93 intersect, St. Johnsbury. East through Lancaster to Colebrook (sp?) . Shorter & easier drive from NYC than the Loaf, I've done both several times. Much more urban than north of the Loaf. Both areas are scenic but Balsams will never compare to the Loaf.
    It might be easier to get to than Sugarloaf, but why would anyone drive 5 hours from NYC for a ski area with 1'000' of vertical and fairly boring runs. I skied there in March of 2009 and there where maybe 10 cars in the parking lot, even though it was a weekend. At it's present size this place was a one and done IMO with no desire to return.
    By the same token why would someone drive further to freeze their balls off at Sugarloaf if some place closer has all they wanted? 



    I was referring to driving from NYC, why pass up all that VT has to offer along !-91 instead of skiing at Balsams?


    Middlebury and Dartmouth are both similar in size and good options for avoiding crowds.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • sugarloafsugarloaf expert
    Posts: 748
    In this instance in 2008 we skied at Balsams because Sunday River and Sugarloaf where both closed. At that time we had bronze ASC passes, so I was looking to use our pass or find a low cost alternative.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • RemskiRemski advanced
    edited May 2015 Posts: 326
    I know that their is a lot of dought, negativity and non support for the Balsams project. This is my take on their vision. Yes it's far from metropolis but once you are there and with an airport in Milan NH which I believe will get a substantial upgrade along with car rental, if the Balsams happens. There are some great alternatives for a week or more. Within 2 hrs. or less you can drive to Sugarloaf, Saddleback, Sunday River, Wildcat, Black Mt., Attitash and Cranmore. To me this is an attractive vacation destination. The people with unlimited cash are what this expansion in my opinion is going to be marketed to.
  • steamboat1steamboat1 advanced
    Posts: 250
    sugarloaf said:

    newpylong said:

    sugarloaf said:

    Middlebury and Dartmouth are both similar in size and good options for avoiding crowds

    I can't speak about Dartmouth since I've never skied there but Middlebury although nice doesn't groom their mountain nearly as nice as Balsams did. Plus there's a lot more intermediate terrain at Balsams compared to Middlebury.
  • sugarloafsugarloaf expert
    Posts: 748

    sugarloaf said:

    newpylong said:

    sugarloaf said:

    Middlebury and Dartmouth are both similar in size and good options for avoiding crowds

    I can't speak about Dartmouth since I've never skied there but Middlebury although nice doesn't groom their mountain nearly as nice as Balsams did. Plus there's a lot more intermediate terrain at Balsams compared to Middlebury.
    Dartmouth had fantastic grooming, the best of the 2014-2015 season that we came across + the slopes where deserted.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • edited May 2015 Posts: 1,926
    sugarloaf said:

    sugarloaf said:

    newpylong said:

    sugarloaf said:

    Middlebury and Dartmouth are both similar in size and good options for avoiding crowds

    I can't speak about Dartmouth since I've never skied there but Middlebury although nice doesn't groom their mountain nearly as nice as Balsams did. Plus there's a lot more intermediate terrain at Balsams compared to Middlebury.
    Dartmouth had fantastic grooming, the best of the 2014-2015 season that we came across + the slopes where deserted.
    Both areas have lots of money, few crowds, and amazing grooming, but Middlebury often elects to just groom a strip down the center of trails to allow natural skiing on the sides.
    - Sam
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 429
     ropeways.net | Home | 2015-05-26
    NH Governor Signs Law to Help The Balsams Resort Redevelopment Move Forward
    CONCORD, N.H. – Amid a large group of legislators and New Hampshire North Country leaders, Governor Maggie Hassan signed Senate Bill 30 into law. Originally sponsored by New Hampshire Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn and later amended with the help of the entire Coos County delegation, SB 30 ultimately passed by an overwhelming, bi-partisan majority of the New Hampshire House and unanimously agreed to by the New Hampshire Senate.The law, which will allow New Hampshire’s unincorporated places such as Dixville to be eligible for NH Business Finance Authority (BFA) support, is critically important to the redevelopment and expansion of the legendary Balsams Resort and Wilderness Ski Area. The Balsams redevelopment team, led by renowned resort developer Les Otten, may now apply to Coos County for a redevelopment assessment district and the BFA for a credit enhancement as part of its proposed $145 million Phase 1 development.“Senate Bill 30 is a critical piece of economic development legislation, giving unincorporated areas the same access to economic development resources as the rest of the state,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “This bipartisan measure is also an important step forward for advancing the Balsams redevelopment project, which is a bold vision for the revitalization of this historic resort with great potential to create jobs, boost the North Country’s economy, and have a ripple effect for businesses across the state.”New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner Jeff Rose stated, “The passage of SB30 is a major step forward in the exciting rebirth of the iconic Balsams Resort. Better yet, this legislation will be a powerful economic development tool to support New Hampshire’s North Country by providing new opportunities for unincorporated places. I am confident today marks a landmark moment for The Balsams effort and stands to transform the region through investment, job growth, and economic development.”“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with the County delegation and Commissioners and the Business Finance Authority. We truly appreciate the State’s overwhelming support,” said Les Otten. “By passing legislation that gives Coos County this opportunity, the State has enabled the North Country and our team to restore and expand this majestic resort, making it a world-class destination for all seasons and begin the revitalization of the North County.”The proposed Balsams’ redevelopment includes renovating the historic Dix House, Hampshire House and Hale House, as well as the acclaimed Panorama golf course and clubhouse designed by pioneering course architect Donald Ross. The Balsams Lake Village, which will encompass the Dix and Hampshire Houses, will feature a new Lake Gloriette House, a 500-seat conference center, Nordic hot baths and spa, a performing arts center and an open-air marketplace. The resort’s fine cuisine and chef training programs, known worldwide, will return through multiple dining opportunities around the resort. All will embrace the farm-to-table concept by sourcing locally-grown meats, produce and dairy.The plan also includes expanding The Balsams Wilderness Ski Area into the largest and most technically advanced ski resort on the East Coast. With a skiing base camp at 2,350 feet above sea level, in a true alpine climate zone, The Balsams is known to receive among the highest annual snow totals of any ski resort in the Northeast. At build out it will offer 2,200 acres of alpine terrain accessed by 22 lifts, and 100 kilometers of Nordic Trails.The market is abuzz over the Balsams’ rebirth. In less than two months, more than 100 people have reserved a position to purchase a Century Club residence when the opportunity becomes available. The Century Club was created to celebrate next year’s 100th anniversary of the Hampshire House, offering a limited opportunity to own a fully-furnished luxury one or two-bedroom residence in the fabled structure, through a program that can eliminate some or all carrying costs. Each Century Club owner will enjoy up to 100 nights each year of lodging, as well as ski, golf, and spa privileges, exclusive facilities and priority positioning on all future real estate offerings.“We are not only redefining the resort experience,” added Otten, “we are redefining and improving the modern resort ownership model. It’s truly a unique offering that is clearly resonating with those who want to own a piece of The Balsams.”Nestled within the grand northern White Mountains in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, The Balsams’ 11,000 sprawling acres of breathtaking and accessible wilderness is spectacular. The Balsams Resort will offer all of the following on its property, so visitors will never need to take their cars to access the:Largest and most advanced ski resort on the East CoastLegendary Donald Ross 18-hole golf courseMountain lakes for boating, swimming, fishingEndless miles of maintained trails for biking, running, hiking and recreational vehiclesFitness center with Yoga and Pilates classesPerforming arts center and festivalsUnique lakeside “Resort Campus” layoutAdjacency to the US/Canadian 1,000 mile snowmobile “Superhighway”A recently completed Economic Impact Study by noted New Hampshire economist Brian Gottlob of Polecon Research shows The Balsams’ redevelopment will dramatically revitalize the North Country job market and bring long-term economic gain statewide.The Polecon study shows that Phase 1 renovation and expansion will create nearly 600 full and part-time jobs in Coos County between 2015 and 2016, of which 300 are directly related to construction. At full expansion, the Balsams is projected to create 1,700 new jobs.The State of New Hampshire will benefit, too. Based on conservative projections of visitors to the expanded resort, Polecon estimates the additional annual rooms and meals taxes generated by the Balsams will range from $1.5 million in 2016 to $4.6 million in 2024. In addition, visitors will spend money on gasoline, tolls, alcohol and other commodities, all of which generate revenue for the State of New Hampshire. Revenue from visitor spending is estimated between $1.6 million in 2016 to $5.3 million in 2024.Information about the Balsams Resort is available at www.thebalsamsresort.com
  • Posts: 1,926
    Balsams Construction Postponed Again

    Original June 1 construction start date now postponed until fall.
    Thursday, July 30, 2015, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com

    In a Facebook post this morning, The Balsams Resort disclosed its construction start date is now "later this fall." Originally targeted for June 1, 2015, the date was postponed until later in the summer, allegedly due to the delayed passage of the state bond bill. No reason was given for the latest delay.

    "[W]e continue to make steady progress on many fronts, including construction permitting. If everything comes together as we hope, we could begin construction later this fall."

    As of late spring, an estimated $144,000 in deposits had been procured toward the $143,000,000 project. Provident Bank is reportedly lined up to provide the $28,000,000 million state-backed Business Finance Authority loan. Additional government funds are reportedly expected to be used for the project.

    The group is reportedly still hoping for a 2016-17 reopening. The resort has been closed since September 2011.
    - Sam
  • z1000307470z1000307470 intermediate
    Posts: 85


    Remski said:

    I know that their is a lot of dought, negativity and non support for the Balsams project. This is my take on their vision. Yes it's far from metropolis but once you are there and with an airport in Milan NH which I believe will get a substantial upgrade along with car rental, if the Balsams happens. There are some great alternatives for a week or more. Within 2 hrs. or less you can drive to Sugarloaf, Saddleback, Sunday River, Wildcat, Black Mt., Attitash and Cranmore. To me this is an attractive vacation destination. The people with unlimited cash are what this expansion in my opinion is going to be marketed to.



    The odds of commercial flight to Berlin Regional in Milan are about 2%. There are zero flights now. If there was ever to be a regular flight into Berlin it will be along the lines of a 6-10 passenger Cessna 402s (see Cape Air). It will never have any impact on Balsams business.

    By the way, The Balsams is just shy of 400 miles and 7 hours from NYC. There will be very few visitors from the NYC metro area.

  • RemskiRemski advanced
    Posts: 326
    The last article in Union Leader early this month stated they are waiting for approval to draw water from the river in Errol before construction begins.
  • Posts: 1,926
    This project is seeming more and more unlikely unfortunately...
    - Sam
  • mapnutmapnut expert
    Posts: 781
    Remski said:

    The last article in Union Leader early this month stated they are waiting for approval to draw water from the river in Errol before construction begins.

    So they're saying, all or nothing? No hotel without the 2000-acre ski area?
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,716
    While you are right that this may not happen, I think that given the size of the project, the developers are making sure that all their ducks are lined up.  Nobody wants Xanadu in NH!
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,061
    hmmm...maybe I'll give Mr. Boyd a callimage
    xanaduin nh.jpg
    640 x 425 - 204K
  • RemskiRemski advanced
    Posts: 326
    I think Joshua might like year round skiing right out his door.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,716
    Remski said:

    I think Joshua might like year round skiing right out his door.

    Perhaps, but I think the seasonality of skiing has merit.  I remember growing up that fresh strawberries were available for at most a month a year.  I still like strawberries, but because they are available 365 days a year, they no longer are special..

    With regard to Peak Resorts: I don't think the Balsams project is a fit for the Peak Resorts model.  
  • Posts: 1,926
    Remski said:

    The last article in Union Leader early this month stated they are waiting for approval to draw water from the river in Errol before construction begins.

    Annnnddddd they have approval!



    Balsams Water Withdrawal Permit Approved

    Pipeline related permits have yet to be obtained.

    Friday, July 31, 2015, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com

    According to WMUR, the Balsams Resort has been granted a permit to pump up to 22 million gallons of water per day from Androscoggin River in Errol.

    Dixville Capital, LLC, led by developer Les Otten, applied for the permit with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services on December 17, 2014. The Water Quality Certification was granted on July 28, 2015, allowing for withdrawal related to fire suppression, as well as seasonal withdrawal for snowmaking between October 15 and March 15.

    The permitting process has begun to dredge and fill an area around a proposed river pump house north of Errol. It is not known how the ownership plans to obtain right of way for nine miles of pipeline needed to connect the river pump house to the resort.

    The permit news comes just hours after The Balsams disclosed on their Facebook page that the original June 1 construction start date has been postponed until the fall.
    - Sam
  • RemskiRemski advanced
    Posts: 326
    1st phase plan for the Balsams is available on Newenglandskiindustry.com for your viewing. Just posted.
  • spk27alumnispk27alumni intermediate
    Posts: 38
    22,000,000 Gallons per day amounts to a potential 15,277 GPM Snowmaking capacity. With enough pumps, that could be a pretty stout system. 
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