Judge dismisses lawsuit to undo sale of The Balsams

Tuesday November 13, 2012

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A New Hampshire judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to undo the sale of The Balsams Grand Resort.

The suit was filed by Andy Martin, a self-proclaimed corruption fighter. He has said he would appeal if the case was dismissed.

Attorneys for the state, the current and previous owners of the Balsams and the Colebrook and Coos County planning boards argued that Martin is not a New Hampshire resident. They also said he has no connection to the seller or buyer of the North Country resort and therefore has no standing in the case. They argued that the lawsuit be dismissed.

Merrimack Superior Court Richard McNamara agreed in a ruling issued last week.

McNamara wrote that other than being a customer of The Balsams at one time, Martin "was not affected by the events leading up to the sale or the sale itself."

McNamara denied Martin’s motion to amend the suit and ruled that all other pending motions are dismissed as moot.

Martin argued he was advocating for the roughly 300 workers who lost their jobs when the resort closed in September 2011.

Martin called the hotel an "economic engine" for the North Country and said its closure and sale was "all a charade." He argued that New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney’s review of the sale by a charitable trust established by the hotel’s original owner was cursory and corrupt.

The new owners seek to reopen the resort next year. They have sought up to $25 million in financing that they have said has been difficult to secure because of the lawsuit.

Local residents have been the first to cast their votes for president in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary and on Election Day at the nearly 150-year-old resort. Election Day voting this year was held at a ski lodge on the resort property.


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