Balsams Developers Get OK To Take Androscoggin Water For Snowmaking

Jul 30, 2015

The closing of the Balsams cost the North Country about 300 full or part-time jobs.
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

The resurrection of the closed Balsams Resort in the North Country got past a critical hurdle Thursday as state officials approved a request to take water from the Androscoggin River for snowmaking.

The Department of Environmental Services report said the Balsams’ developers could take about 22 million gallons of water a day and pump it about nine miles to the resort.

Balsams developer Les Otten says a key part of his ambitious development plan includes greatly increasing the size of the ski resort.

Some groups including the Appalachian Mountain Club expressed concerns about the impact on the river – including water flow. But DES said conditions put on the permit should prevent any adverse impact on the river.

Otten is still working on financing for the projectwhich has the strong support of state development officials.