Maine investors to buy NH hotel where 1st ballots are cast

The Associated Press
Posted Sept. 12, 2011, at 10:59 a.m.

DIXVILLE NOTCH, N.H. — There’s a new buyer for the stately hotel and resort where the first-in-the-nation presidential primary ballots have been cast for 50 years in New Hampshire.

A consortium of three investors from Maine has offered to buy the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, the Tillotson Corp. board of directors said Monday.

The Tillotson family has owned the 150-year-old hotel since 1954. The Maine-based buyers were not identified.

The 7,700-acre resort plans to close for the season Thursday. The buyers plan to keep the resort closed for nine months to do $12 million work in renovations, then reopen next summer.

A purchase and sale agreement was signed over the weekend and the deal will close this fall, the board said. It did not disclose a purchase price.

“The investment group was selected based on their financial resources, dedication to the future of the Balsams and its employees, as well as their commitment to the environment and economy of the North Country,” the board said in a statement.

An offer from a New Hampshire company, Ocean Properties of Portsmouth, fell through last month. Ocean Properties had planned to close the resort for renovations and reopen it next year. The resort canceled reservations and refunded deposits when it fell through.

Neil Tillotson had Dixville Notch incorporated solely for voting purposes and arranged for ballots to be cast just after midnight on primary day in 1960. In doing so, he stole some of the spotlight from another tiny northern New Hampshire community, Hart’s Location, which began midnight voting in 1948.

Before he died in 2001, Tillotson specified that the resort be sold or given away and the proceeds go to charities.

The Balsams employs about 300 full- and part-time workers depending on the season, making it one of the largest employers in the North Country, a region that has lost many jobs in manufacturing in recent years.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/09/12/business/maine-investors-to-buy-nh-hotel-where-1st-ballots-are-cast/ printed on July 11, 2014