Balsams Resort Placed On Market To “Access To A Broader Investor Pool”
The Balsams is one of New England’s most beautiful resort destinations. After operating for more than 150 years, during which families returned year after year to enjoy recreational amenities and build family traditions, The Balsams was officially closed in 2011. Recently, a talented team of industry-seasoned professionals was assembled to develop a plan that will revamp and greatly expand the historic property, bringing back the grandeur and legendary hospitality, while establishing The Balsams as a world-class, four-season destination resort.
Upon acquiring The Balsams, the new investor will have complete access to the in-place development team, led by famed ski resort developer Les Otten, and the multi-phased plan to position The Balsams as one of the largest and most renowned resorts in the Northeast. The development team has secured the necessary entitlements under a Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the future development of up to 4,600 four-bedroom equivalent lodging/residential units in Dixville and exclusive to Colebrook. Furthermore, the team has put together a detailed plan for Phase 1 with redevelopment strategies, cost breakdowns and renderings, making the renovation virtually “shovel-ready.” With nearly $20 million already invested into the project, The Balsams development team is prepared to work hand-in-hand with new investors, whether that be moving forward with their approved plans or shifting gears to a new vision.
In a statement the resort said:
"Les Otten, Dan Hebert and the Balsams’ development team have every intention of renovating and expanding the Balsams Resort as has been contemplated for the past several years. A relatively recent development on the financing side is the designation of Dixville as an Opportunity Zone. We have already indicated publicly our desire to seek Opportunity Zone funding and have engaged CBRE to identify potential investors. CBRE is extraordinarily familiar with the Balsams, having completed the market feasibility study on the project in 2018, and based on CBRE’s hotel and resort experience and relationships, they have access to a broader investor pool to advance the Balsams efforts.
"The CBRE engagement was made to enhance the ongoing efforts to execute on a financing plan to develop the Balsams as has been worked on for over the past 5 years. We are continuing with those efforts with renewed vigor with the passage of HB 540 in law, which allows for the creation of a tax assessment district without the New Hampshire Business Authority’s involvement.
"Our on-going relationship with CBRE represents an opportunity to take advantage of their network of investors and opportunity partnerships, allowing us to cast the broadest net and being open to all possibilities when it comes to potential investment partners. Our desire remains to continue as the lead developer to bring the Balsams Redevelopment to fruition, as we have worked on for the past 5 years, in addition to an investment to date approaching $20 million.
"Ultimately, our highest priority is making sure the Balsams project moves forward and succeeds, thereby creating several hundred new jobs and attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in investment in the North Country."
The Balsams currently encompasses 7,642 acres of expansive wilderness, with an additional 3,605 acres under option contracts that would facilitate further expansion of the ski area and create the largest ski mountain in the Northeast. The existing assets of The Balsams include the underlying land and option agreements, an 18-hole Donald Ross golf course and existing clubhouse, the historic Hampshire and Dix Houses, a 225,000-gallon wastewater treatment plant, existing ski operations infrastructure that supports 100 acres of skiable terrain and five additional maintenance/support buildings.
Historically Renowned Resort Positioned for Future Greatness: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Balsams was founded in 1860sand served as one of the most popular resort destinations in the Northeast for 150 years until it closed in 2011. With almost 13 million people living within a five-hour drive, the Resort is primed to re-position itself in the upper echelon of the wider resort market, as evidenced by the significant number of deposits and registered interest in the pre-sales of real estate.
Opportunity Zone and New Market Tax Credit eligible census tract: The vast majority of The Balsams site is positioned within an Opportunity Zone, providing a prime opportunity for the future investor to reduce their capital gains taxes through a strong redevelopment and investment opportunity. The Balsams is also located in a New Market Tax Credit eligible census tract, providing further incentive for investment into the real estate and corresponding businesses.
Development team led by famed ski resort developer Les Otten: As the former CEO of American Skiing Corporation, Mr. Otten has both the experience and proven track record to successfully re-position The Balsams as one of the Northeast’s most popular resort destinations. With a team consisting of local market experts and industry-leading ski and hospitality experts, the in-place development team for The Balsams has created a new vision for the Resort, “The Balsams: Re-Imagined.”
Multi-phased development plan with entitlements in place: For the past five years, the development team has worked to secure the necessary entitlement and zoning approvals so that future investors will not have to go through the lengthy process. In addition to securing the necessary approvals to begin construction on Phase 1, their Planned Unit Development (PUD) received approval in 2015 for the future development of up to 4,600 four-bedroom equivalent lodging/residential units.