In what is being described as progress in the $100 million renovation of the closed Balsams resort, its owners are asking state officials for permission to take water from the Androscoggin River for expanded snowmaking.
“The fact that we have submitted an application to withdraw water for our snowmaking operation is a significant step forward for the project,” said Scott Tranchemontagne, a spokesman for developers, Dan Hebert, Dan Dagesse and Maine businessman Les Otten.
The company that owns the wind farm near the Balsams is open to reducing the buffer zone between its wind turbines and the slopes, a key to a developer’s plan to greatly expand the size of the ski resort.
"As long as it is safe, we have no problems," Brookfield Renewable Power lawyer Harold Pachios said late Monday.
Maine entrepreneur Les Otten would like to quadruple the size of the Balsams ski area and reopen the hotel.
But Otten’s plan to make the ski runs longer requires skiers to get closer to the tops of mountains where the wind farm has turbines.
More than two years ago the Balsams closed, putting about 300 full and part-time employees out of work.
But now Les Otten, a Maine businessman and former owner of the American Skiing Company, is working on reopening the Balsams. He says he has an agreement with the resort’s two owners, Dan Hebert and Dan Dagesse.
Another effort to obtain financing for the renovation of the Balsams resort has fallen through.
The owners of the Balsams resort in Dixville Notch have run into another problem coming up with the $30 million needed to renovate the closed resort and put as many as 300 full or part-time employees back to work.
Owners Dan Hebert and Dan Dagesse hoped to use federally backed New Market Tax Credits to attract some investors.
But that has fallen through with a deadline being missed, says spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne.
Working largely on what amounts to the honor system state officials say they have decided state air pollution standards were not violated in a fire last January when two buildings at the Balsams resort were burned down as part of a renovation.
When the $30 million renovation of the Balsams Grand Resort is complete it will look a lot like the old grand hotel but will feature much-needed modern amenities making it far nicer for guests and a lot cheaper to operate.
That’s how Dan Hebert, one of the two owners, described the renovation Tuesday night before the Coos County Planning Board.
Originally the complex had about 400,000 square feet.
Hebert said about 123,000 of that is being retained. About 80,000 square feet will be added.
The Colebrook Planning Board Tuesday night removed what the new owners of the Balsams Grand Resort have said was an impediment to the redevelopment needed to allow hundreds of people to get back to work.