NH Governor Signs Law to Help The Balsams Resort Redevelopment Move Forward
CONCORD, N.H. (May 20, 2015) – Amid a large group of legislators and New Hampshire North Country leaders, Governor Maggie Hassan today signed Senate Bill 30 into law. Originally sponsored by New Hampshire Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn and later amended with the help of the entire Coos County delegation, SB 30 ultimately passed by an overwhelming, bi-partisan majority of the New Hampshire House and unanimously agreed to by the New Hampshire Senate.
The law, which will allow New Hampshire’s unincorporated places such as Dixville to be eligible for NH Business Finance Authority (BFA) support, is critically important to the redevelopment and expansion of the legendary Balsams Resort and Wilderness Ski Area. The Balsams redevelopment team, led by renowned resort developer Les Otten, may now apply to Coos County for a redevelopment assessment district and the BFA for a credit enhancement as part of its proposed $145 million Phase 1 development.
“Senate Bill 30 is a critical piece of economic development legislation, giving unincorporated areas the same access to economic development resources as the rest of the state,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “This bipartisan measure is also an important step forward for advancing the Balsams redevelopment project, which is a bold vision for the revitalization of this historic resort with great potential to create jobs, boost the North Country’s economy, and have a ripple effect for businesses across the state.”
New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner Jeff Rose stated, “The passage of SB30 is a major step forward in the exciting rebirth of the iconic Balsams Resort. Better yet, this legislation will be a powerful economic development tool to support New Hampshire’s North Country by providing new opportunities for unincorporated places. I am confident today marks a landmark moment for The Balsams effort and stands to transform the region through investment, job growth, and economic development.”
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with the County delegation and Commissioners and the Business Finance Authority. We truly appreciate the State’s overwhelming support,” said Les Otten. “By passing legislation that gives Coos County this opportunity, the State has enabled the North Country and our team to restore and expand this majestic resort, making it a world-class destination for all seasons and begin the revitalization of the North County.”
The proposed Balsams’ redevelopment includes renovating the historic Dix House, Hampshire House and Hale House, as well as the acclaimed Panorama golf course and clubhouse designed by pioneering course architect Donald Ross. The Balsams Lake Village, which will encompass the Dix and Hampshire Houses, will feature a new Lake Gloriette House, a 500-seat conference center, Nordic hot baths and spa, a performing arts center and an open-air marketplace. The resort’s fine cuisine and chef training programs, known worldwide, will return through multiple dining opportunities around the resort. All will embrace the farm-to-table concept by sourcing locally-grown meats, produce and dairy.
The plan also includes expanding The Balsams Wilderness Ski Area into the largest and most technically advanced ski resort on the East Coast. With a skiing base camp at 2,350 feet above sea level, in a true alpine climate zone, The Balsams is known to receive among the highest annual snow totals of any ski resort in the Northeast. At build out it will offer 2,200 acres of alpine terrain accessed by 22 lifts, and 100 kilometers of Nordic Trails.
The market is abuzz over the Balsams’ rebirth. In less than two months, more than 100 people have reserved a position to purchase a Century Club residence when the opportunity becomes available. The Century Club was created to celebrate next year’s 100th anniversary of the Hampshire House, offering a limited opportunity to own a fully-furnished luxury one or two-bedroom residence in the fabled structure, through a program that can eliminate some or all carrying costs. Each Century Club owner will enjoy up to 100 nights each year of lodging, as well as ski, golf, and spa privileges, exclusive facilities and priority positioning on all future real estate offerings.
“We are not only redefining the resort experience,” added Otten, “we are redefining and improving the modern resort ownership model. It’s truly a unique offering that is clearly resonating with those who want to own a piece of The Balsams.”
Nestled within the grand northern White Mountains in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, The Balsams’ 11,000 sprawling acres of breathtaking and accessible wilderness is spectacular. The Balsams Resort will offer all of the following on its property, so visitors will never need to take their cars to access the:
- Largest and most advanced ski resort on the East Coast
- Legendary Donald Ross 18-hole golf course
- Mountain lakes for boating, swimming, fishing
- Endless miles of maintained trails for biking, running, hiking and recreational vehicles
- Fitness center with Yoga and Pilates classes
- Performing arts center and festivals
- Unique lakeside “Resort Campus” layout
- Adjacency to the US/Canadian 1,000 mile snowmobile “Superhighway”
A recently completed Economic Impact Study by noted New Hampshire economist Brian Gottlob of Polecon Research shows The Balsams’ redevelopment will dramatically revitalize the North Country job market and bring long-term economic gain statewide.
The Polecon study shows that Phase 1 renovation and expansion will create nearly 600 full and part-time jobs in Coos County between 2015 and 2016, of which 300 are directly related to construction. At full expansion, the Balsams is projected to create 1,700 new jobs.
The State of New Hampshire will benefit, too. Based on conservative projections of visitors to the expanded resort, Polecon estimates the additional annual rooms and meals taxes generated by the Balsams will range from $1.5 million in 2016 to $4.6 million in 2024. In addition, visitors will spend money on gasoline, tolls, alcohol and other commodities, all of which generate revenue for the State of New Hampshire. Revenue from visitor spending is estimated between $1.6 million in 2016 to $5.3 million in 2024.
Information about the Balsams Resort is available at www.thebalsamsresort.com. For a copy of the full Polecon Research report, or additional information about the Balsams, please contact Scott Tranchemontagne at 603-644-3200 x15 or firstname.lastname@example.org.