Balsams Grand Resort in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire Gets New Owners

According to a recent story in the Portland Press Herald, the Balsams Grand Resort in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire is getting some new owners:

The 150-year-old Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, about 20 miles from Canada, was put up for sale in July. The Tillotson family, which has owned the northern New Hampshire resort since 1954, said it was selling the property to Ocean Properties Ltd. Hotels and Resorts of Portsmouth.

The price was not immediately disclosed on the 7,700-acre property, which has four private lakes, two golf courses, a ski area and hiking trails . . .

The sale, which is expected to be completed before the summer, followed an exhaustive search in which more than 90 potential bidders expressed an interest. The Tillotsons said Ocean Properties has an impressive record in the preservation and management of historic hotels such as the Wentworth by the Sea Hotel and Spa in New Castle, which had been placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of most endangered sites in the 1990s.

This is an interesting case.  Normally we would lament the sale of a family-owned business to a large corporate entity, especially a family that has owned the property for over half a century.  Northern New England needs more entrepreneurs and what better way to incubate them but in a family-owned business?  That’s why we are such big fans of family farmers.

Yet, the resort business is a low-margin business.  The Balsams now compete on a world-wide basis and needs every advantage it can get to survive.  A corporate Balsams is better than no Balsams at all.  And Ocean Properties, per the story, seems to have a good track record for owning and maintaining historic properties.

We wish them luck.  Below is a picture of the Balsams Grand Resort via Google Street Maps.


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Please add your thoughtful comment . . .
hoop says:

Approximately 10 yrs ago, My husband,  son and daughter in law and myself stayed at “the Balsams” for 3 nights during the summer.  We played golf during our stay and went to the pool each day.  It was very hot during our stay.  I remember this because there was no air conditioning in the hotel rooms or the dining room.  We were not allowed in the dining area with suit jackets and proper dress for the ladies.  It was a very uncomfortable situation and the bill was uncomfortable too. – If I remember correctly we paid appromately $3000.00 for the weekend including the golf.  Do you call that a low margin business?  I do not.

hoop, thank you for your comment.

The reason why these grand resorts, such as the Balsams, have all passed into corporate hands is because in today’s travel market it takes deep pockets to keep them profitable, i.e., due to low  (profit) margins.

Of course, as your example illustrates, that does mean that they are inexpensive 🙂