Balsams Resort

13»

Comments

  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 311

    Revitalization of The Balsams progressing; developer seeks OK for expanded ski area


    DIXVILLE - Although the start of construction has been pushed back from summer to fall, the redevelopment of the Balsams Resort is continuing to move forward, a spokesman for Dixville Capital LLC said.

    Dixville Capital, headed by Les Otten and including Ray Dagesse and Ray Hebert, purchased the shuttered Balsams from the Tillotson Corp. in 2011. 

    The developers will come before the Coos County Planning Board on Tuesday seeking approval for another element of its $143 million Phase 1, specifically to add 250 additional acres of terrain and six new lifts at the Wilderness Ski Area.

    Also under Phase 1 is the renovation of the historic Dix and Hampshire houses, which has already been approved, and the construction of a new hotel and conference center, Nordic hot baths and spa, a performing arts center and an open-air marketplace.

    A portion of the cost of Phase I will be backed by a loan guarantee from the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority.

    On behalf of Dixville Capital, Scott Tranchemontagne on Wednesday said the project's primary lender, Northern Bank, is ready to go and will act once the developers have secured a $28 million "credit enhancement" from the authority.

    He qualified that projects of the size and scope of the Balsams often need a "credit enhancement" to then be able to secure additional private funding. He added that the state will reap the benefits of a reborn Balsams, and that the authority backing represents a small risk to taxpayers.

    Work on Phase I will not begin until each of the components is approved, the financing is in place and until Dixville Capital sells $25 million of condominiums, Tranchemontagne said. 

    The Dixville and Hampshire houses as well as the proposed Lake Gloriette Hotel will cumulatively have 400 units that will be made available for fractional ownership, he said. At certain times when the units are not owner-occupied, they will be made available to the public as hotel rooms.

    As of last week, 240 "reservation holders" had placed deposits and they will be invited to the resort later this summer to view the property and model units, Tranchemontagne said.

    Despite the drawn-out process of re-opening The Balsams, Tranchemontagne said Otten remains optimistic about the success of the overall project, which Otten has previously said could take decades to build out and that could have up to 4,600 residential units.

    The developers face opposition from selectmen in some North County communities about the state Department of Transportation's decision to spend nearly $3 million on repairing Golf Links Road, which connects The Balsams to its Panorama Golf Course, and then transferring ownership to the resort.

    Tranchemontagne said that the arrangement has been in place "since Day 1" of the state's commitment to revive the resort. 

    In an email Thursday, Tranchemontagne said The Balsams is shaping up to be the economic engine that state and local officials hoped it would be.

    "We have received more than 585 applications for employment through the website," wrote Tranchemontagne, as well as inquiries from 294 service providers.

    "Some have suggested that we'd have trouble finding workers for the resort," he added, but that doesn't seem to be the case "from what we are seeing."
    ..
    - See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/Revitalization-of-The-Balsams-progressing;-developer-seeks-OK-for-expanded-ski-area#sthash.NahhikF1.dpuf
  • bubblecufferbubblecuffer advanced
    Posts: 217
    obienick said:

    As far as I've heard:  On.  They're holding open houses late summer/fall for timeshare purchasers already on the reservation list.  Still working on permits.  After the Sugarbush fiasco, Les Otten wants all permits with all T's crossed and I's dotted and in hand before money is spent.

    Makes good sense.  I think there could pan out to be some decent investment opportunities to be had...certainly if due diligence is demonstrated right from the beginning.  
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 311

    ropeways.net | Home | 2016-08-03

    Balsams 2017-18 Opening in Jeopardy

    Key permits have not yet been filed. 

    The clock is ticking in the North Country, as the window for expanding the defunct Balsams Wilderness ski area for the 2017-18 season is quickly closing.

    According to the Colebrook Chronicle, Balsams developers have stated that work on the ski area must begin this year in order for it to open for the 2017-18 season.

    According to the Colebrook Chronicle, the developers have yet to apply for the necessary state alteration-of-terrain permit. In addition, the Coos Planning Board has yet to receive a complete application for the proposed work. The board agreed to review a full plan at the developers' request, however many items are still considered missing.

    The project was originally slated to start on June 1, 2015, however developers cited the legislative bond process as reason for delaying construction until late summer 2015. The project was delayed again during that summer with a new groundbreaking date set for fall 2015. After that, a June 1, 2016 groundbreaking date had been suggested, followed more recently by a fall 2016 date.

    The developers have yet to obtain some $28 million in state financing, which will require the approval of the Business Finance Authority and Governor and Council.

    In addition, there are rumors suggesting the Northern Pass transmission line project will need to move forward in order to unlock significant private funding for the project. Dixville Capital's Les Otten has come under fire recently for accepting funding from Northern Pass's Forward New Hampshire fund and reportedly pressuring local elected officials to drop their opposition to the transmission line.

    Meanwhile, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation is in the process of constructing an $850,000 tunnel under Route 26 at the resort to allow snowmobiles and grooming vehicles to pass under the highway. The Department of Transportation also plans to conduct multi-million dollar road reconstruction projects inside the resort, prior to transferring ownership of the roads to the developers.

    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.

    Source: "NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com"
  • mapnutmapnut expert
    Posts: 679
    It seems nobody can get anything done - except Whaleback!
  • ski_itski_it expert
    edited August 2016 Posts: 1,384
    mapnut said:

    It seems nobody can get anything done - except Whaleback!

    Ahh in the Northeast you're forgetting Mt. Snow's new carpet lift, Mittersill's "semi-private" T-bar and BM of M's new trails !
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,413
    mapnut said:

    It seems nobody can get anything done - except Whaleback!

    Three reasons:
    - Big vs. little
    - External investors vs. charity
    - Existent/operating area vs. a start-up
  • bubblecufferbubblecuffer advanced
    Posts: 217
    $28M is a hefty chunk of change from the state.  I don't understand that rationale for that.  I assume it is chalked up as an economic relief effort to the region???
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 722
    I believe the $28M is a state-backed loan, not a grant.  The state is like a cosigner for a loan.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,413
    obienick said:

    I believe the $28M is a state-backed loan, not a grant.  The state is like a cosigner for a loan.

    This is correct.  It becomes a grant if the project fails.  There is huge incentive on the part of the community to make projects like this work.  The fiscal impact on the community is gigantic in terms of both jobs and taxes.  The Balsams was a true 4-seasons resort, so its effect on the local economy was not purely seasonal.
  • Posts: 1,676
    ski_it said:

    mapnut said:

    It seems nobody can get anything done - except Whaleback!

    Ahh in the Northeast you're forgetting Mt. Snow's new carpet lift, Mittersill's "semi-private" T-bar and BM of M's new trails !
    Don't forget Suicide Six!
    - Sam
  • bubblecufferbubblecuffer advanced
    Posts: 217
    Thanks for sharing.

    They should go for the water park instead of the "hot spring".  Water parks make for a year-round attraction.  It will inspire non-skiing families to go there.

    The terrain looks great. 
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 722
    Story in Bloomberg


    A little hyperbolic.  But there is some truth.  The place is really effin cold.
  • ski_itski_it expert
    Posts: 1,384
    Friend of mine said in 1984 we should go buy a mountain in Labrador so when global warming hit we'd be sitting pretty. Shoulda would a..,
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • mtsnow123mtsnow123 advanced
    Posts: 245
    obienick said:

    Story in Bloomberg



    A little hyperbolic.  But there is some truth.  The place is really effin cold.
    Great summary article. I forgot Les Otten ran for Governor of Maine a little while back. 
  • riverc0ilriverc0il advanced
    Posts: 212
    I don't buy that Balsams will somehow be more resistant to long term climate change. It isn't like that region is much further north than what might then be the nearest competitors (Loon, Bretton, Cannon, Wildcat, Saddleback, Sugarloaf, Burke, and Jay in a 180* spread). The fact is that when warm and rain hit the northeast, they often hit it all the way up to the St. Lawrence. It isn't like north of the WMNF is spared the warm and rain. It seems to me a very USA centric viewpoint that the Balsams are that much further north that it would have a climate change advantage to other major resorts. Jay is on the Canadian boarder and still felt the need to build a water park to offset bad weather in the winter. Balsams is also lower elevation than many of the White Mountain areas and elevation is huge when it comes to getting the better of weather events trending towards rain. 
  • ski_itski_it expert
    edited December 2016 Posts: 1,384

    Rivercoil, I agree. Just marketing.  Let's see..looks like just in New England that Saddleback, Sugarloaf, Baker, Big Squaw, Mt Jefferson, Big Rock, Quoggy Jo & Lonesome Pine are all north of Balsams.

    Anybody want to go in on a mountain in Labrador?

    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 900
    Good read in Boston magazine re. Mr. Otten and the Balsams project

  • mapnutmapnut expert
    edited January 16 Posts: 679

    I like the account in there of Otten's "Eureka!" moment when he first looked at the topo map. Of course being veterans of the many Design Challenge threads here, we know of even better mountains than Dixville Peak.

    Quote: ' “Everyone’s an idiot savant at something.” For Otten, it’s seeing ski resorts on topographic maps.' He's got company.

  • pagamonypagamony advanced
    Posts: 109
    oh lets invite Les to participate in a new challenge.  what's his contact ?
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 900
    I gotta be honest, back when I first saw his map for the blown-out, expanded Balsams, for a moment I thought he had swiped it from one of our fantasy map artists.
  • Schweig_1Schweig_1 intermediate
    Posts: 37

    Yes. Three years ago I posted this fantasy map.

    When Les Otten finally went public with his plans, they were even more "over-the-top"!!!

    image
    Balsams.jpg
    1881 x 806 - 771K
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 722
    mapnut said:

    I like the account in there of Otten's "Eureka!" moment when he first looked at the topo map. Of course being veterans of the many Design Challenge threads here, we know of even better mountains than Dixville Peak.

    Quote: ' “Everyone’s an idiot savant at something.” For Otten, it’s seeing ski resorts on topographic maps.' He's got company.

    I think it's a BS PR bit.
Sign In or Register to comment.