It is not known how the group will finance the $170 million project.
Monday, August 27, 2018, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
In a surprise move, the Balsams redevelopment team led by Les Otten has withdrawn its New Hampshire Business Finance Authority application.
State financing was first sought by embattled State Senator Jeff Woodburn (D-Dalton) in 2015, as Les Otten stated it was "the last chance to save the ship before it goes down." Then-Governor Maggie Hassan signed SB30 into law later that year, allowing up to $28 million in state funds to secure Otten's development.
According to a press release, the current financing involving Service Credit Union could not align with state requirements. Otten stated that time is needed to "reassess our approach to financing the redevelopment of this wonderful property."
According to the Union Leader, the $170 million Les Otten-led project was composed of a $28 million BFA backed 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.
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. Les Otten has been involved in the project since 2014.