North Country
8:46 am
Sun March 2, 2014

A Huge, New Ski Resort At The Balsams?

Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR
Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

Coos County commissioner Paul Grenier says there are plans to convert the Balsams into a huge ski resort.

Last month, Les Otten, a Maine businessman and former owner of the American Skiing Company, said he was working with the Balsams owners to try and reopen the resort.

Otten declined to provide any details or say whether financing was available.

But Coos County Commissioner Paul Grenier says he’s talked to Otten and there are big plans.

“Les Otten is planning on building a world-class ski area at the site of the Balsams.”

Grenier says he was told it would be the size of Killington and would have 1,000 full and part-time employees.

The resort had about 300 full or part-time workers when it closed slightly more than two years ago.

“They are looking, actually, at quadrupling the size of the present ski area footprint to include overhead gondolas from the Balsams into the new ski area.”

Grenier says a major impediment would be allowing the new ski areas to be closer to the huge wind turbines than the current 1,350 feet.

One concern about being too close is that the blades can hurl ice.

Otten couldn’t be reached for comment.

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