Balsams' New Owners Look For A Fiscal Boost From The Feds

Jan 30, 2012

The new owners of the Balsams resort in Dixville Notch are pulling together the money they need for a massive renovation. And, they hope federal programs will give them a big boost. NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

Late last year North-Country businessmen Dan Herbert and Dan Dagesse bought the Balsams Grand Resort in Dixville Notch for about $2.3 million.

Now they are looking for the money they need for an extensive renovation.

It is badly needed to make the resort competitive, get it open again and put hundreds of people back to work.

Part of the strategy is working with the Northern Community Investment Corporation.

And, a large part of the NCIC’s focus is getting help from federal programs.

Ethan Swain is with NCIC.

 “We’re looking at some New Market Tax Credits which is essentially a program that was created by the federal government to sort of stimulate private investment in lower-income or distressed communities.”

That program was established in 2000. It would basically make it easier to borrow money.

“We are also looking at historic tax credits that are tax credits given by the federal government that are essentially for the rehabilitation of a historic complex or facility.”

This would also make the deal more attractive to lenders.

“We are also looking at other grant opportunities in terms of energy efficiency.”

Rough estimates are that the project will cost $17 million to $20 million.

Scott Tranchemontagne is a spokesman for Hebert and Dagesse, each of whom declined to be interviewed.

Tranchemontagne says the Balsams is a great, old hotel but it needs a lot of work and the cost is still being worked out.

“I think everyone understands that there is a renovation here that is going to cost in the tens of millions of dollars and exactly where that shakes out we will determine in the next month or two.”

One question is whether a Congress intent on budget cuts could trim the federal programs the NCIC is eyeing.

NCIC’s Swain says his hope is to have that funding worked out by July, long before Congress can wield an ax.

The goal is to have the hotel back in business in about 18 months.

For NHPR News this is Chris Jensen