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.