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September 18, 2013

Big Tupper Ski Area expected to open this winter

Ski Center expected to open with new permit

TUPPER LAKE — When the snow piles up this season, Big Tupper Ski Area expects to be open for skiing.

The decision to renew volunteer operation of the dormant ski center in Tupper Lake was announced Tuesday by Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving our Economy (ARISE).

The group has reapplied for renewal of its temporary-use permit from the Adirondack Park Agency.

Big Tupper is targeted for renovation as part of the Adirondack Club & Resort project, which won APA OK in 2012. 

But last year, as litigation challenging that approval was brought by several environmental groups that oppose it, the lifts and mountain trails were closed due to lack of capital investment.

ARISE Chairman Jim LaValley said Tuesday that it became very clear last year that the volunteer momentum persisted to run Big Tupper, both a beloved and important resource, despite the legal contention over land use.

“It will be truly all volunteer this year, but there’s been a willingness for everybody to come back,” he said on Tuesday. “I’m hoping we’re going to have a ton of snow.” 

Without capacity at this point to use the mountain’s snowmaking equipment, trails depend entirely on natural snow.

‘FOCUS ON TUPPER LAKE’

The Ski Center is not selling preseason tickets this year, LaValley said. But once the snow flies, Big Tupper will offer books of tickets that people can buy at a discount. 

Otherwise, one-day lift tickets will be $25. The mountain usually opens on weekends during the winter season and on school holidays, when the weather cooperates.

Tupper Lake Mayor Paul Maroun said ARISE briefed the village on the plan to reopen this winter season.

“I think it makes very good sense,” he said.

“It’s going to help motels in the area, it’s going to help restaurants and businesses here and encourage economic investment.

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