By: John Koziol, Union Leader
As the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority considers its lead lender's application for a $28 million loan guarantee, Dixville Capital LLC is poised to begin renovation and construction at The Balsams resort in April, weather-permitting.
In December, Service Credit Union asked the BFA to guarantee that amount for Phase 1 of the Balsams project on behalf of Dixville Capital. The guarantee would be subject to final approval by the Governor and Executive Council.
The first phase includes renovation of the Hampshire and Hale houses; reconstruction of the Dix House; and construction of a 400-room Lake Gloriette House Hotel and Conference Center, Nordic baths and spa, and a marketplace and an expansion of the former Wilderness ski area.
Dixville Capital has said that SCU's $28 million loan, and the state's guarantee of it, were important elements of the $170 million Phase I financing, which also includes developer equity, preferred equity, construction debt, an EB-5 investment as well as equipment lease financing for the ski expansion.
Led by Les Otten, the former CEO of the American Skiing Company who at one time also was a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox, Dixville Capital was formed as a partnership among Otten, Dan Hebert and Dan Dagesse.
Natives of nearby Colebrook, Hebert and Dagesse purchased The Balsams, which closed in September 2010, from the Tillotson Corporation for $2.3 million in December 2011.
After attempting to bring back the resort by themselves, Hebert and Dagesse in 2013 reached out to Otten. Otten proposes to make the ski area, which would quadruple in size, accessible from the Balsams village via a gondola that would cross Route 26.
Since then, Dixville Capital has worked to obtain the required local, state and federal permits that are required for Phase 1 and also sought to nail down the financing.
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