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Politics

House Panel Eyes Bill To Ease $28M Bond For Balsams Project

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Chris Jensen, NHPR
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The sale of the Balsams in Dixville Notch is a mixed event for the North Country, says reporter Chris Jensen. Planned renovations mean hundreds of workers will be out of work for up to 18 months, but it could mean increased tourism in the long term.

 

A House committee is set to take up a measure that would help an ambitious plan to redevelop the shuttered Balsams resort.

The bill being considered Tuesday would allow creation of a special taxing district required for the state to back $28 million in loans for the project.

The Senate already passed the bill.

Maine businessman Les Otten wants to turn the Balsams into a four-season destination. Located in Dixville Notch, the Balsams closed in 2010 after about 150 years and took with it hundreds of jobs in a region that has struggled to create or keep jobs.

Otten would renovate existing buildings, build a 400-room hotel, conference center, spa and retreat, and expand the ski area.

The full project has an estimated cost of more than $320 million.

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