"I have heard very little in the last quarter of this year," he said. "As far as I'm aware today, the group that owns the Balsams is looking for some additional investment dollars."
Rick Tillotson, scion of the family that once owned the resort, lamented the lack of new developments and the slow pace of the renovation.
"There are definitely rumors going around," he said. "It's a big topic of conversation.
"The longer it sits empty, the more likely it is to remain empty, and what I hope to see in anyone's hands is something that employs people," he said. "We need those 200 jobs back; it's as simple as that. To everybody who stayed there, it was a wonderful place, but to everyone who lives here, it was a mainstream anchor to the economy."When they bought the hotel, Dagesse and Hebert said they wanted to provide "a stable operation that we can all be proud of" and predicted an 18-month renovation schedule. "We care deeply about restoring the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel to its full glory as a world-class destination resort and seeing it thrive for decades to come," Hebert said then. Hebert and Dagesse did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Benoit Lamontagne, the North Country regional specialist for the state's Division of Resources and Economic Development, said state officials continue to work with Hebert and Dagesse on legal, regulatory and financial issues because they recognize how crucial the Balsams is to the region's economy. "Those are all jobs at the moment that have not been replaced and that can't be replaced locally," he said. "I think that's the biggest issue. When an employer shuts down in that part of the state, folks can't just walk across the street or drive 10 miles down the road and find another job. It just doesn't happen."