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Thread: Balsams Update - Go Big or Go home

  1. #136
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    Note this is the first mention of an EB-5 investment in the mix. Lots of foreigners with money they are trying to offshore that want to buy a visa with few questions asked. After the Jay and Burke fiasco, I expect there are still folks looking for the golden ticket. The hassle with ski resorts is they rarely can meet the long term permanent job requirements required of an EB-5 investment.

    Looks like the fall construction promised earlier in the year has shifted to winter or spring of 2018, not like it hasn't happened before. Given that the NP project is predicting a major labor shortage in the region if it gets approved, I expect Balsams will be paying a premium for folks to support the first phase of construction.

  2. #137
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    Update in today's Colebrook Chronicle http://www.colebrookchronicle.com/Feb162018.pdf

    Short version, they will start work as soon as the state loan guarantee is in place in the "spring". There is state board meeting on March 19th where they hope to get the loan guarantee approval based on their proving the finances of the project are adequate. They are decidedly optimistic that will occur on the 19th. They then will need approval by the governor and executive council "that may take awhile". The executive Council is always a wildcard but I expect that they will make sure they get the attention they feel they are due proving that they are looking out for the state and then vote to approve the loan guarantee.

    Note that that just gets them the okay to build the resort side of the complex, they still need final permits for the ski area which could have been worked on long ago but required spending some of the developers cash for required studies. I still have heard no resolution on substantially reducing the ice exclusion zone for the wind farm. Without that the ski area build out loses a lot of what little higher elevation ridgeline they have.

  3. #138
    Senior Member Scubahhh's Avatar
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    From today's paper:
    https://www.conwaydailysun.com/berli...e0dc4b644.html

    Any comments about those roads?
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  4. #139
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    Not a lot of controversy, these are the roads immediately adjacent to the main resort complex and I expect the Balsams owns or controls all of the abutting land. I expect the developer would prefer to own the road private as its a lot easier to alter them as needed than being under state control. The state is probably glad to get rid of the plowing an maintenance of those roads as they only serve the resort. Plus it will allow the developer to keep the "riff raff" out (like grubby hikers) if they wish. A lot easier for security while the project gets built, even though they have badly trashed the site, it still may attract sightseers (and folks looking to steal stuff) so having a couple of construction gates back at RT 26 is a lot easier to manage

    There is at least one other much longer road transaction called Country Club road which was far more controversial. The developer wanted the state to rebuild it and upgrade it to current standards and then transfer it to the developer as a private road. That is done when urban contract zones get moved around where towns take over sections of state roads but it is highly unusual for this to happen with a private developer. Les was pushing for this two or three years ago when he was breaking ground "any day" and the state and county was ramping up for it but at some point when it was apparent that the project was not going as quickly as promised, the state and county held off until certain conditions on progress were met. I dont know if its still on the table but there was local pushback as the locals felt the money that the state and county scraped up would be best spent on public roads.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 03-23-2018 at 05:50 AM.

  5. #140
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    The vote for the state loan guarantee got postponed another month until Mid April. They were asked to supply addition information and there are additional questions for the NH attorney general.

    I would speculate that the start of construction in April is postponed. Given the snow pack I would expect the delay is not a major loss although its one more PR hit. There has been no indication in local papers of any firm advertising for construction workers. Based on the slow progress of the Glen House hotel, I would expect there is skilled contractor shortage in the area so I would have expected heavy advertising to staff the Balsams work.

  6. #141
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  7. #142
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    Another month, another delay (again)

    https://www.conwaydailysun.com/berli...68d9d892a.html

    Beginning to look like the Balsams doesn't have their ducks in a row or they don't want to reveal information to the BFA. Or possibly they are still inexorably linked to Northern Pass and the NP appeal is dragging on? Going to be tough to staff a construction job mid summer as the labor market is tight and most folks have already lined up a gig for the season. There is supposed to be big greenhouse project starting in Berlin this month that will probably suck up a lot of folks.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 05-24-2018 at 07:41 AM.

  8. #143
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    Another month and now a change in tactics

    https://thebalsamsresort.com/balsams-update/#more-4418

  9. #144
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Another month and now a change in tactics

    https://thebalsamsresort.com/balsams-update/#more-4418
    How is this a change in tactics? Hasn't the application to the BFA been a part of the process all along? Albeit it should have happened months ago maybe based on the original timeline of the project. But a change in tactics is debatable.
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  10. #145
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    The original BFA deal was negotiated early on in the project. The developer makes certain commitments and the state guarantees a loan. Up until this change the deal was the same. Now the developer wants to explore all options
    On Monday, June 18, the BFA’s board of directors had been expected to vote on the Balsam’s bond loan request, but the Balsams developers asked the BFA for additional time to ‘explore all options’ with the the BFA, said Balsams project spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne.

    Potentially a big difference if they change the terms by "exploring all options".

  11. #146
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The original BFA deal was negotiated early on in the project. The developer makes certain commitments and the state guarantees a loan. Up until this change the deal was the same. Now the developer wants to explore all options
    On Monday, June 18, the BFA’s board of directors had been expected to vote on the Balsam’s bond loan request, but the Balsams developers asked the BFA for additional time to ‘explore all options’ with the the BFA, said Balsams project spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne.

    Potentially a big difference if they change the terms by "exploring all options".
    Thankyou for the clarification. Probably a tactic to keep the dialog open and in the news.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  12. #147
    Senior Member Scubahhh's Avatar
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    This from The Balsams' press release:

    In a statement, lead Balsams developer Les Otten said, ‘We have worked productively with the BFA over the last several months and would like to continue those discussions to explore potential options to make sure we find the best solution for the project, but also the state. As we have learned more about the BFA’s programs and protocol, we have developed potential scenarios that warrant further discussion. It is prudent to explore those options thoroughly, as the BFA’s support is critical to our project’s success.’[/I]

    My bet is that they don't think the BFA would approve the guarantee and see it as a one-shot deal, and so want to delay.

    Just my 2...
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  13. #148
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    Balsams withdraws loan application

    http://www.nhpr.org/post/balsams-dev...antee#stream/0

    I expect with the feds plan to sell Jay Peak this summer for whatever the market will pay (with Burke in the wings for a future sale), Saddleback back in play plus a slowdown in Chinese real estate investments and of course the Northern Pass debacle, coming up with a new financing plan may take awhile.

  14. #149
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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    DIXVILLE, N.H. (August 27th, 2018)

    "The Balsams Resort redevelopment team, through its lead lender Service Credit Union (SCU), has withdrawn its application for a loan guarantee through the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority (NH BFA). Despite collectively working with all parties for several months to find a collaborative solution to advance a $28 million Tax Assessment Bond with a State of New Hampshire Loan Guarantee, the conditions ultimately required by the Authority do not allow SCU and the Balsams to proceed.

    SCU, the state’s largest credit union, began working with The Balsams in the spring of 2017, filling the role of lead lender relating to the $28 million loan. An application was submitted by SCU to the NH BFA in December 2017. After spending many months working through the Authority’s process, the withdrawal results from positions taken by the NH BFA on loan guarantee conditions that were unfortunately not contemplated by The Balsams and are inconsistent with its historical understanding of the proposed transaction."

    To learn more, please feel free to click here <http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=28923762&msgid=236791&act=XJT3&c=15413 21&destination=https%3A%2F%2Fthebalsamsresort.com% 2Fbalsams-withdraws-bfa-application%2F> to read the entire press release.

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  15. #150
    Senior Member Vermonster's Avatar
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    Some additional details in the story @ NHBR: https://www.nhbr.com/August-31-2018/...rawn-from-BFA/
    Tranchemontagne said he couldn’t “go into specific detail” about those conditions. “I can just tell you that what was promised to us in terms of BFA support back three years ago did not materialize. The conditions were different.”

    In a statement, the BFA defended those conditions, saying that agency “only asked for assurances from the developer that were necessary in order to protect New Hampshire taxpayers from losing $28 million.”

    In the statement, Dick Anagnost, chair of the BFA, said the agency “worked very closely with both the applicant, Service Credit Union, and the Balsams team throughout the application process. Unfortunately, since the developer wasn’t willing to meet the normal and customary conditions that are required as part of the regular application process, we could not in good conscience risk taxpayers’ funds for a private venture with no assurances of repayment in the event the project was not successful.”

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