Apr 21, 2015 4:10 PM

NH House panel eyes bill to ease $28M bond for Balsams project

The Associated Press

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

At a public hearing on Tuesday, lawmakers heard testimony mostly in support of the measure to create 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. The Balsams closed in 2011 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.

Opposition to the bill centered on taxpayers possibly being responsible for the $28 million loan.


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