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Balsams Wilderness Applies for Snowmaking Water Permit
Balsams Wilderness Applies for Snowmaking Water Permit
Les Otten led development could start construction in spring 2015
Friday, December 19, 2014, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
According to the Union Leader, the developers of the defunct Balsams Wilderness ski area have applied for a snowmaking water withdrawal permit with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. The application was filed on December 17, 2014 and would allow the withdrawal of "2.9 million cubic feet of water within a 24-hour period from the Androscoggin at a location in Errol, just north of the intersection of Routes 16 and 26" November through mid March.

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. The controversial Granite Reliable Wind Farm was constructed on adjacent Dixville Peak that same year, placing one more hurdle in attempts to reopen the ski area due to turbine ice throwing danger.

While equipment has been sold and some hotel related structures demolished, the ski lodge and triple chairlifts remain in place.

In early 2014, former American Ski Company head Les Otten became attached to a redevelopment project. Dixville LLC was registered as a Maine business entity in January 2014.

Redevelopment proposals include reopening the hotel and expanding the ski area into one of the largest in the state. Many question marks remain, such as funding, snowmaking water, wind farm concessions, and permitting.

Proposed Snowmaking Water Withdrawal Map
Proposed Snowmaking Water Withdrawal Map

The top of the Double Chair and wind farm in 2014
The top of the Double Chair and wind farm in 2014


  • Balsams project moves forward with filing of river water-use permit for snowmaking - Union Leader External link


  • Related Stories on NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
  • Les Otten Purchases Half of Balsams - May 9, 2017
  • STUDY: Probability of Lost New England Ski Areas Reopening - April 24, 2017
  • Balsams Announces $3 Million Loan from Northern Pass - March 26, 2017
  • At Least $40 Million in Public Financing Needed for Balsams - August 5, 2016
  • Balsams 2017-18 Opening in Jeopardy - August 1, 2016


  • More Information
  • Balsams Wilderness Ski Area on NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
  • Balsams Wilderness Ski Area on NewEnglandSkiHistory.com


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