Balsams Redevelopment Facing Further Delays
The New Hampshire Business Finance Authority is requesting more information on the project.
Wednesday, March 28, 2018,

Balsams Wilderness (file photo)

A spring groundbreaking may be in jeopardy at the Balsams, as the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority did not approve a $28 million state loan guarantee for the project at its meeting on Monday. The next meeting is scheduled for April 16.

According to the Union Leader, BFA Executive Director James Key-Wallace stated, "We continue to work with the Balsams team to get more information."

If the Balsams receives BFA approval, the project will still need okay from the Governor and Executive Council. 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.

According to the Union Leader, the $170 million Les Otten-led project is composed of a $28 million Service Credit Union loan, $20 million in developer equity, $35 million in other equity, $18 million in ski equipment lease financing, $53 million in construction financing, and $15.4 million in EB-5 Immigrant Investor funding.

Meanwhile, the developers are attempting to have three state-owned roads on the property discontinued and turned over to the Balsams.

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.

  • Vote on $28M loan guarantee to save Balsams grand hotel in limbo - Union Leader External link

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