Silence breeds anxiety in NH as resort where 1st presidential ballots were cast lies fallow

CONCORD, N.H. – Two years after the closure of the New Hampshire resort where the nation’s first presidential votes were traditionally cast, there are still no guests.

The doors remain shut and a few buildings have been demolished. None of the 200 to 300 jobs that disappeared when it closed in September 2010 have returned.

The two businessmen who bought the hotel for $2.3 million are reportedly looking for more investors, but communication with local business leaders has trailed off.

The Balsams was one of the largest employers in the North Country, a region that has lost many manufacturing jobs in recent years.

Jonathan Brown is president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. He says the redevelopment is a crucial piece of the North Country’s economic future.

The resort owners did not return calls from The Associated Press.