Les Otten and The Balsams

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raisingarizona raisingarizona
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Les Otten and The Balsams

Time for a new topic. I know it's not New York but it's in the east. I just read this interesting article from the Boston Globe on Les and his new venture. I know a lot of people think it's too far out and doesn't offer the kind of vertical that's worth driving for but I'm not so sure I agree. I mean, how many money spending skiers out east really ski over 1500 vertical feet non stop? I'm also not so sure what to think of Otten, is he really the "Rotten" that Powder Magazine painted with their article years ago? Maybe it could work? Maybe it's what that area needs? What say you?

Here is the article.

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/article/2017/01/15/les-otten-balsams-ski-resort/
snoloco snoloco
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Re: Les Otten and The Balsams

raisingarizona wrote
I mean, how many money spending skiers out east really ski over 1500 vertical feet non stop?
Lots.  Go to Whiteface on a weekend.
I've lived in New York my entire life.
Z Z
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Re: Les Otten and The Balsams

In reply to this post by raisingarizona
Having worked at Killington during the height of the Otten Evil Empire era I can tell you this man is everything that is wrong with skiing.  He is all about the real estate and not the skiing aspect of the business.  You could make a good case that he really created this negative non skiing focus for the skiing industry.  

I recall the first time I met him at a clinic snow sports school staff had to attend at Killington where we were told how to pick out private lesson customers and invite them to a wine and cheese party where they would be pitched on the K Grand Hotel fraction ownership.

What ever he touches will soon after file for bankruptcy.  His guy makes Stengler and Q look good in comparison.  He also loves creating vast trail networks with tons of traverses and intersections and little actual skiing.  Seems to be his god given talent.  Look at Sunday River and the Canyons as perfect cases in point.

More Snow and Less Otten!!!
if You French Fry when you should Pizza you are going to have a bad time
Brownski Brownski
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Re: Les Otten and The Balsams

Coach
I think you might have worked at Killington when I was there. It was the year they went public, 97/98 I think
"You want your skis? Go get 'em!" -W. Miller
campgottagopee campgottagopee
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Re: Les Otten and The Balsams

In reply to this post by Z
Coach Z wrote
Having worked at Killington during the height of the Otten Evil Empire era I can tell you this man is everything that is wrong with skiing.  He is all about the real estate and not the skiing aspect of the business.  You could make a good case that he really created this negative non skiing focus for the skiing industry.  

 
I hear ya Coach! This has been my bitch of our lil ole Greek Peak here in CNY. Ever since they built that Hotel, waterpark, and adventure center the place has been teetering on financial disaster. There just isn't enough traffic in this area to support such a place. It's a beautiful facility but I'm afraid it will end up in shambles cue to the lack of capital it will take to keep the place in top notch shape. All it's done is suck the heart and soul out of our gem of a ski hill and unfortunately we skiers and boarders of GP are paying the price.

Damn!  
ScottyJack ScottyJack
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Re: Les Otten and The Balsams

^^^^^^^^^ you got trumped bro
I ride with Crazy Horse!
PeeTex PeeTex
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Re: Les Otten and The Balsams

ScottyJack wrote
^^^^^^^^^ you got trumped bro
I'd say he got ACA'd:
You get to keep your hill just the way you like it, your lift ticket prices won't go up and everyone gets to ski.
Don't ski the trees, ski the spaces between the trees.
ScottyJack ScottyJack
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Re: Les Otten and The Balsams

shower time PeeHead!
I ride with Crazy Horse!
x10003q x10003q
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Re: Les Otten and The Balsams

Otten claims he wants to roll this out all at once, all the trails and lots of lodging units. Good luck.

The Balsams is a nasty drive for the Boston market, and you can forget about CT and the NY Metro as it is just too far. He will have a tough time selling real estate units to the USA market. The only potential market is Montreal and they have to drive by Eastern Townships, Northern VT (including the Sugarbush Valley), WF and Gore and all those areas north of Montreal and near QC. In addition, the Canadian $ is worth $.76US today.

The skiing will be lots of yo-yoing on under 1000 vertical feet. The place seems to have decent snowfall. While people will be excited to try a new area, it is a whole different story convincing them to buy RE. It is already a year or 2 behind schedule.

He was able to convince NH to hand over $28 million, so who knows what will happen.

As for an example of a failed remote ski area - Saddleback is still closed.
Z Z
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Re: Les Otten and The Balsams

In reply to this post by Brownski
I was there from 1993 to 2000

I preferred to work out of Pico but I also worked at K especially early and late season.  Probably was about 70 / 30 between the two.
if You French Fry when you should Pizza you are going to have a bad time
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