Himalaya: Listen. Learn. Grow.
The Grow Maine Show
Les Otten has been a leader and an innovator throughout his nearly five-decade entrepreneurial career – in a wide range of pursuits including business, tourism, alternative energy, community development and philanthropy. Here are but a few of Les’ accomplishments.
At Sunday River Ski Resort, Les took a tiny, struggling ski mountain in western Maine and turned it into one of the most successful resorts in America.
Les put together an ownership group to buy the Boston Red Sox and served as vice chairman and partner in the franchise from 2002 to 2007 when they won the World Series twice. Les spearheaded the effort to save Fenway Park and today (prior to coronavirus), fans of Red Sox Nation travel from all over the world to make pilgrimage to the refurnished Fenway Park.
Les founded Maine Handicapped Skiing, now named Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation, with Omar D. “Chip” Crothers, M.D., to ensure access to and participation in recreational sports that are integral to a well-rounded life for every person. Maine Adaptive is the largest year-round adaptive recreation program east of the Mississippi for adults and children with physical disabilities.
In 2008, Les directed his energy and passion to the renewable energy sector and founded Maine Energy Systems (MESys), the premier assembler and distributor of the most efficient, cleanest, state-of-the-art wood pellet boilers and furnaces. In recent years and especially as climate change has crept into the forefront of many conversations, Les has been pushing for modern wood heating to be adopted en masse within the Northeast US. Les is passionate about modern wood heating and understands the impact that each home switching to pellet heating can have by reducing the home’s heating carbon footprint by 86%.
As evidenced by his efforts to grow the ski industry, save Fenway Park, and act on climate change, Les agreed to help develop a viable path for The Balsams Resort, Dixville Notch NH. For the last 5 years, he has been assembling this project into a significant year-round economic driver for Coos County NH which is suffering from staggering unemployment and underinvestment.