MEET THE TEAM | The Balsams Resort

A WILDERNESS VISION
A TRAILBLAZING TEAM

"WE COULDN'T BE MORE EXCITED ABOUT THE TEAM WE'VE PULLED TOGETHER
FOR THE BALSAMS DEVELOPMENT. THEIR COLLECTIVE EXPERIENCE IS UNPARALLELED
IN OUR INDUSTRY AND WILL TURN WHAT IS AN AMBITIOUS VISION
INTO A SPLENDID REALITY."

LES OTTEN, BALSAMS DEVELOPMENT TEAM

LES OTTEN

For over four decades, Les has been a leader and entrepreneur in a wide range of pursuits including business, tourism, alternative energy, community development and philanthropy. Creating business in the ski industry and sports world remains a steady passion for him even today. As influential as Les has been as a businessman, he has done even more for charities including founding two non-profit entities that focus on individuals with disabilities.

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ALEX RITCHIE

With over a decade experience in project development, including project execution, reporting, and management, Alex has played key roles in overseeing multiple large-scale project financings, in addition to cultivating relationships between project entities and local and state officials.

BURT MILLS

After a life long career designing and constructing ski resorts throughout New England, Utah, California and Montana, Burt brings a wealth of experience to mountain planning and operations. Born and raised in New England, he has intimate knowledge of the character and expectations of the market place.

ED BRISSON

With over 20 years of diverse real-estate experience, Ed has played key roles managing the development of major projects including high-rise office buildings in San Diego, Chase Field (home of the Arizona Diamondbacks,) and The Village at Mammoth Lakes in California. A native New Englander, he returned home to lead development of South Peak at Loon Mountain.

MARK J. MILLER

Mark has most recently consulted for the re-opening and restructuring of the Chukchansi Casino Resorts. He served as the COO, CFO and Director of Full House Resorts Inc. an owner operator of four regional casinos with significant management projects for the FireKeepers Development Authority and the Buffalo Thunder Development Authority. He was the COO and the CFO of American Skiing Company. Mark holds a Master’s Degree in Accountancy from Brigham Young University and is a CPA.

CLAY SMITH

Clay developed and implemented the current Balsams real estate sales and marketing strategy and provides resources to overall development activities related to the regulatory and entitlement sectors. Before moving back to New England, Clay served as a U.S. Army Captain and Ranger, in Alaska and in Afghanistan. He thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail with his wife and dog, and is an avid skier and weightlifter.

MICHELE VARUOLO COLE

Michele began her career in the ski industry. She possesses over 20 years of experience in a diverse range of enterprises in the resort industry including recreation management, golf training equipment, real estate development, and alternative energy systems. Michele brings extensive expertise to The Balsams in form of the administration and set-up of new ventures. Michele is a University of Vermont graduate.

MATT YOUNG

Matt has over 30 years of construction and design management experience. He has been a leader in utilization of construction technologies such as building information modeling (BIM) for over 15 years. His project experience spans the U.S., and his skills are in conceptual estimating, constructability reviews, and identifying best value for owners. Matt loves his wife and 5 kids, enjoys rock & ice climbing, cooking, art, ultra-marathons, camping, skiing (Nordic, alpine, and randonee), fly fishing, hunting, logging, and driving the tractor.

CHRISTOPHER HOWARD, ESQ.

Partner at Pierce Atwood, LLP, Chris leads its Business Practice Group. Former COO at American Skiing Company, he has extensive experience in resort and hospitality development and in complex commercial transactions including capital markets access.

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