Coos Approves Balsams Concept, But Keeps A 'Safety Valve'

Dec 3, 2015

The resort closed in 2011 and about 300 full or part-time employees lost their jobs.
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

The developers hoping to reopen the Balsams Resort got a boost Wednesday night as the Coos Planning Board approved a long-range concept plan.

While it is called a concept plan, it includes many details of what developers Dixville Capital hope to accomplish. That includes a huge expansion of the ski resort and as many as 4,600 housing units, including condominiums and a hotel.

While approving the plan, the Planning Board retained a significant amount of control over the future of the multi-year project, including what it called a "safety valve" so it could act if confronted with unexpected, "adverse effects."

However, the developers must still get a detailed site plan approved before it can start building. So far that plan hasn’t been submitted to the planning board and developer Les Otten is still working on financing.

But Otten has promises of more than $100 million, spokesman Scott Tranchemontage said Wednesday night, noting that is contingent on all the permits being approved.