Logo   The Balsams Resort, Dixville Notch NH
Until its closing in 2011, no other place in New England was like The Balsams. Efforts to re-open the storied resort continue, but the future is uncertain.




The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, closed in 2011 and New England lost one of its treasures.

In 1866, innkeeper George Parsons established the Dix House, a travelers' guesthouse on the west side of picturesque Dixville Notch. Three decades later, charmed by the site, the wealthy inventor and industrialist Henry Hale bought the property and renamed it The Balsams.

Hale improved the resort over the years, and by 1918 had finished Hampshire House, the red-roofed, green-shuttered and turreted hotel that stands today. Later the tall European-looking "fireproof" towers were added, expanding the resort to 184 guest rooms, 13 parlor and family suites, and five specialty suites.

The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, Dixville Notch NH

The Balsams was closed in 2011 for economic reasons, and languished for several years looking for a new owner to give it new life. A decade after the closing, Les Otten, the entrepreneur who developed Sunday River Ski Resort and other properties, is still working to secure the necessary governmental approvals and financing, and hope survives for re-opening.

Here are some amazing facts: in its heyday, few of the guest rooms at The Balsams had television sets. Guests preferred to spend their time outdoors, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, golfing, swimming, rowing, canoeing, fly fishing, sightseeing or playing tennis; skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating. There was plenty of space for these on the resort's 15,000 acres (6070 hectares).

The resort's many indoor facilities included a movie theater, dinner theater (with dancing), game room, billiards room, tavern, dining room and lounges and parlors for chatting.

Service and cuisine were extraordinary. Good service was the result of careful staff selection and training. Good cuisine followed in the resort's long tradition of outstanding taste. The menu changed daily, not just by the week, month or season, as at many resorts.

The Ballot Room at The Balsams was the location for Dixville Notch's "First in the Nation" election results. More...

Perhaps the most telling fact about The Balsams is this: 80% of the guests were repeat visitors.

As of late 2020, efforts to re-open The Balsams as a condominium and ski resort continue. Its dramatic location and storied history deserve to be available for future generations.

The Balsams
1000 Cold Springs Road (map)
Dixville Notch NH 03576

—by Tom Brosnahan

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The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, Dixville Notch NH

Above, The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel across Lake Gloriette, Dixville Notch NH.

Below, the resort in winter.

The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, Dixville Notch NH



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