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Balsams loan guarantee nearing a vote

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 19. 2018 8:19PM
The Balsams in Dixville Notch (File Photo)

CONCORD - The state Business Finance Authority could vote Monday on granting a requested $28 million state loan guarantee to revamp The Balsams resort in Dixville Notch.

A vote is "possible but not definite," BFA board chairman Dick Anagnost said last week.

The board received more information last week, and Anagnost said he wasn't sure if members would be able to get through all the new material prior to Monday's meeting.

The authority's credit committee will meet behind closed doors at 2 p.m. The full board could vote on the request after that.

The BFA is being asked to approve a $28 million loan guarantee that would require the state to step in and make loan payments should the $170 million project run into financial difficulties.

The finance authority had put off a possible vote to await more information from developer Dixville Capital LLC and lender Service Credit Union and to get guidance from the Attorney General's office.

"We believe the size and scope of this project required some extra time to review," said Scott Tranchemontagne, spokesman for the developer. "There were many items to consider during the review, and many questions that needed some clarification."

If approved by the BFA, the request would head to the Executive Council for consideration.

"We have received everything that the applicant (Service Credit Union) says they will provide," said James Key-Wallace, BFA's executive director.

The project's first phase includes renovation of the Hampshire and Hale houses, reconstruction of Dix House, and construction of a 400-room Lake Gloriette House Hotel and Conference Center, Nordic baths and spa as well as a marketplace and expansion of the former Wilderness ski area.

"Our project is the kind of development that is important for the BFA, one that will create several hundred construction jobs, more than 400 jobs to operate the resort in Phase 1, and well over 1,000 jobs on-site at full buildout," Tranchemontagne said.

"Bringing the Balsams back to life will stimulate the North Country economy exponentially, and also increase tax revenue to the state," he said.

The BFA, established in 1992, promotes economic development in the state by assisting businesses with loans that banks otherwise might not fund, among other initiatives.

Business Tourism Local and County Government Dixville Dixville Notch

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