The reopening and expansion of the Balsams resort would reverse more than a decade of declining wages and employment in Coos County, according to a new 25-page economic impact study by PolEcon Research of Dover.
It was commissioned by the developer, Dixville Capital LLC, headed by Maine entrepreneur Les Otten.
PolEcon said it had “full independence” from Dixville Capital and used “conservative” assumptions.
The developers of the Balsams resort hope to begin construction in June for what could be the largest economic development project in the history of the job-poor North Country. But the go-ahead depends on passage of Senate Bill 30 which would put a state guarantee behind $28 million in bonds, the developers say.
The developers of the Balsams will go before the Coos County Planning Board next Thursday to provide some new details of the planned $130 million renovation.
“Since Les Otten and his team has come in the scope and the vision of the project has expanded greatly. So, we need to go back to the county planning board and formally re-introduce the project," said Scott Tranchemontagne, a spokesman for the developers including owners Dan Hebert and Dan Dagresse who have been working with ski developer Les Otten.
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.
The walls and the hallways are largely empty today in one of New Hampshire’s oldest and grandest hotels. As part of the plan to rebuild and renovate the Balsams Grand Resort in Dixville Notch, the hotel’s new owners auctioned off many items this past Saturday. The goal was to sell everything but photos and items of historical significance.
The Colebrook Planning Board has called a special meeting May 22 to try and resolve an issue the new owners of the Balsams Grand Resort say is delaying its renovation.
The owners, Dan Dagesse and Dan Hebert, are asking the Planning Board to approve a subdivision that would separate a 28-acre parcel from the roughly 1,000 acres that currently includes the hotel, grounds and golf course.
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.
The Forest Society says it has raised the $850,000 needed for a conservation easement at the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch. It blocks a right-of-way for the proposed Northern Pass hydro-electric project. NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.
The Forest Society’s deadline for raising $850,000 for a 5,800-acre conservation easement at the Balsams resort was January 15th.
It raised the money with a record 1,500 contributions.
And, The Forest Society says Northern Pass’ hope to use the land for its electric towers deserves some of the credit.