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Thread: Balsams Update - Go Big or Go home

  1. #166
    Senior Member dave.m's Avatar
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    We picked up a stray chap from NYC at the Appalachia lot this weekend. He had attempted to hike the Presis using public transport. He took a train to Boston and an Uber to Randolph and was happy to hitch a ride with us back to Boston.

    We may snicker at the use of an Uber, but Balsams suffers the same core, underlying problem that our beloved hiking does... Both endeavors as we currently conceive of them are premised on a car based transportation infrastructure as it relates to larger population centers.

    I'm all for state backed funding and investments so long as the state is making those decisions in response to democratic control by the people in the state (as opposed to corporate funders of campaigns). It would be nice if the state controlled real investment monies (collected, yes, by taxes) that could be directed to development projects as decided upon by the local people who would be working in and living with the new projects.

    If I were living and working in New Hampshire or Vermont and was interested in tourism industries like hiking and skiing, I would be advocating for state investments in more public transportation infrastructure (trains, buses and shuttles) and for more concentrated tourisms centers like we had in the 20s and 30s such as Waterville Valley and Randolph of old (see: Forest & Crag by Waterman).

    We should also note that the Balsams, like the Mt. Washington Hotel, grew out of America's first gilded age and was successful by catering to the very rich who could afford to travel to exotica locations and stay in those places for extended periods. Post WW2, the Balsams survived in thanks to massive national investment in roadway development and a growing middle class that had cars and leisure time. In today's new gilded age, there are significant downward pressures on the middle class and the very rich have access to different exotic locations thanks to cheap air travel. As an example, when air travel and gas prices went up in the 00's, Loon Ski Resort jacked up their prices on the (correct) assumption that rich Bostonians and New Yorkers would be more interested in skiing in NH and less inclined to travel to Colorado and Utah. Loon correctly understood that they could raise prices and be attractive to the upper income market.

    Hard for me to cry about Balsams as it's currently conceived.
    - Dave (a.k.a. pinnah)

    " Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat." - John Lehman, US Secretary of the Navy 1981-1987

  2. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quietman View Post
    As a NH taxpayer, I welcome this decision.
    That's an interesting point, and it makes me wonder where the BFA get it's funding. I feel like a NH tax payer too, given the gas tax and meals tax. Of course, the biggest personal taxes in NH are local property taxes, but I'm not sure if any of that money makes it back to the state.

  3. #168
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    The Balsams is trying a new approach

    https://www.conwaydailysun.com/berli...e3838c14b.html

  4. #169
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.m View Post
    We picked up a stray chap from NYC at the Appalachia lot this weekend. He had attempted to hike the Presis using public transport. He took a train to Boston and an Uber to Randolph and was happy to hitch a ride with us back to Boston.

    We may snicker at the use of an Uber, but Balsams suffers the same core, underlying problem that our beloved hiking does... Both endeavors as we currently conceive of them are premised on a car based transportation infrastructure as it relates to larger population centers.

    I'm all for state backed funding and investments so long as the state is making those decisions in response to democratic control by the people in the state (as opposed to corporate funders of campaigns). It would be nice if the state controlled real investment monies (collected, yes, by taxes) that could be directed to development projects as decided upon by the local people who would be working in and living with the new projects.

    If I were living and working in New Hampshire or Vermont and was interested in tourism industries like hiking and skiing, I would be advocating for state investments in more public transportation infrastructure (trains, buses and shuttles) and for more concentrated tourisms centers like we had in the 20s and 30s such as Waterville Valley and Randolph of old (see: Forest & Crag by Waterman).

    We should also note that the Balsams, like the Mt. Washington Hotel, grew out of America's first gilded age and was successful by catering to the very rich who could afford to travel to exotica locations and stay in those places for extended periods. Post WW2, the Balsams survived in thanks to massive national investment in roadway development and a growing middle class that had cars and leisure time. In today's new gilded age, there are significant downward pressures on the middle class and the very rich have access to different exotic locations thanks to cheap air travel. As an example, when air travel and gas prices went up in the 00's, Loon Ski Resort jacked up their prices on the (correct) assumption that rich Bostonians and New Yorkers would be more interested in skiing in NH and less inclined to travel to Colorado and Utah. Loon correctly understood that they could raise prices and be attractive to the upper income market.

    Hard for me to cry about Balsams as it's currently conceived.
    Loon is really the end all for this line of thinking. Trying to compare it to the potential of what the Balsams could be is only a slippery slope of rational.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  5. #170
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    Some more details on the change in financing

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EZR...g2jMxNBDP/view

    It sure sounds like a better plan than getting the state involved. Its reasonable that the current value of the property is pretty minimal so dedicating the increase in property taxes related to the development to fund the development is reasonable. The key will be that the TIF needs an end date and the the county will have the right to charge impact fees if services are expected by the resort.

    My speculation at this point is given the lack of NP cash, but deposits in escrow for units, that a reduced phase 1 proposal will be the next move unless some entity with a big checkbook pops up. Of course this also could be just a delay tactic to push the timing back to spring of 2019 when maybe NP will be either dead and buried or be back from the grave.

  6. #171
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    An update, sort of, from Les Otten

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/20...YOK/story.html

    I expect the far bigger issue is that Les is wishing and hoping that the NH Supreme Court rules that the SEC has to approve Northern Pass.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 11-28-2018 at 03:58 AM.

  7. #172
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    Another update

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hJw...ZVT7Bfl/view\\

    Note much new except there still is activity.

  8. #173
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    Link doesn't work for me.

  9. #174
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    Its in the Friday 12/7 Colebrook Chronicle https://colebrookchronicle.weebly.com/

  10. #175
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    Thank you.

  11. #176
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    An article about the meeting

    https://www.conwaydailysun.com/news/...90383b4f8.html

    Les is really big on one to one meetings

  12. #177
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    This weeks Colebrook Chronicle has a decidely less than optimistic editorial and description of the meeting between Les and the County commissioners.

    https://colebrookchronicle.weebly.com/

  13. #178
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    Looks that way. They should probably just kill it. Just doesn't seem to be enough support. Sad that the Balsams won't "rise like the Phoenix" but it is what it is -- a project that is too big and too complex and brings too much uncertainty for the northern woods region, and the impact of an expanded foot print also has its advantages and disadvantages to the region. This isn't a casino project in greater Boston. The surrounding mountains are all wind turbines now.

  14. #179
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    He does reportedly have a block of escrowed money from potential buyers of units. If Northern Pass comes back to life then financing ceased to be a issue. In the same Colebrook Chronicle is an editorial claiming that Governor Sununu is stacking the deck of the NH Supreme court and the SEC to get NP approved.

  15. #180
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    The drum beat of Balsams "last chance" is continuing

    https://www.conwaydailysun.com/berli...nt=read%20more

    I am surprised Edith Tucker is a sponsor, she is a long term reporter in the area and recent member of the house and has very good credibility in the area. Edith Tucker definitely adds some credibility to the effort. I have seen far less support out of the owner editor of the Colebrook Chronicle, the Chronicle generally will step up and wholeheartedly support regional development projects and to date I haven't seen any wholehearted outright support of the latest effort. Given the difficulties the Jay Peak And Burke Mountain receiver has had in selling those properties at bargain I expect its tough market to be hawking another ski area build out. Jay has been "within weeks" of being put on the market" since last spring and recently it was announced that due to bad season at Burke last year that that sale is on indefinite hold.

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