Located along the old Coös Trail (now Route 26) through Dixville Notch, it first opened just after the Civil War as the Dix House, a 25-room summer inn established by George Parsons. In 1895, it was purchased by Henry S. Hale, a Philadelphia inventor and industrialist who had been a regular guest. He renamed it “The Balsams”, and over time enlarged and augmented the facilities. In 1918, Hale completed the Hampshire House, the towering wing which doubled the resort’s capacity to 400 guests.
The Ballot Room of The Balsams is where Dixville Notch’s presidential primary votes are cast just after midnight on the day of the New Hampshire primaries since the 1960s. These votes cast by Dixville Notch residents are among the first to be cast, counted, and reported nationally.
Currently, The Balsams closed to the public after being purchased by new owners for $2.3 million in December 2011, and remains closed as of February 2020 as its owners continue to seek financing for their redevelopment and expansion efforts. In 2014, former American Skiing Company head Les Otten joined the Balsams redevelopment effort. Included in Otten’s current plan is a massive expansion of the ski area to around 1,000 acres and the addition of multiple lifts, including a year-round gondola to the summit and a lift connection across Route 26 to the hotel complex. The expanded ski area would be quadruple its current size and be one of the largest ski areas in the Northeast. Plans also call for the renovation of the main hotel buildings, the Dix and Hampshire houses, as well as a new hotel wing, and renovations to the golf course clubhouse. The plans also call for the conversion of a portion of the existing buildings from hotel rooms to condominiums as well as the potential construction of additional condominium units.