The fate of the Balsams Resort - 950 responses

Feb 28, 2015

The Balsams Resort made memories for thousands of people before closing its doors in 2011, succumbing to years of financial difficulties. That's why many are excited over plans to redevelop the historic property into a world-class ski resort. But should NH pitch in financially to make it happen? That's the question the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) put to Facebook members on February 28.

In responding to, "Should NH guarantee a $28 million bond for redevelopment of The Balsams resort?", 75% of commenters directly answering the question expressed opposition, with only 25% in favor. An additional 23% of total commenters chose not to give a yes or no response, instead addressing their remarks to broader issues. In sum, the LFDA received 332 comments and 618 concurrences for a total of 950 responses.

Opposition of the bond held that a private company should be able to find private investment sources instead of turning to the state for help. "Those who have the funds to purchase The Balsams should have the resources to raise additional funds by other means rather than on the backs of taxpayers," one commenter said. Some argued that the funds could be better used elsewhere, while others questioned whether the project itself was really right for New Hampshire. "We don't need another exclusive resort for the rich and shameless," one respondent said.

Those in favor argued that the project would provide a much-needed economic boost to a struggling region. "It would be a shame to not invest in a redevelopment which would bring jobs and needed revenue to the area," one commenter said. "What this project amounts to is the state being asked to help invest in itself," another argued. "It is one of only a few existing grand hotels in NH and once it is done it will bring revenue to the state," a respondent noted.

Some of those who opted not to answer the question instead shared memories of the Balsams in its heyday. Others argued for authorizing the project as a casino. "They won't have any problem finding investors then," one poster said.

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question.

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