Press-Republican

Environment

September 27, 2012

Big Tupper skiing shelved; lawsuit blamed

(Continued)

He countered LaValley’s charge, seeking facts and offering to discuss the issue.

“This is a serious allegation, and they need to substantiate that. Jim LaValley and ARISE have been showing a pattern of making very serious, but unsubstantiated, allegations. And this is yet another,” Bauer told the Press-Republican.

“Who are these donors that have supposedly withdrawn their funding for the Ski Area?” he asked.

The Press-Republican also asked LaValley that question.

“As with most private investment, sometimes people don’t want their names disclosed,” he said.

He said the investors do not wish to put money into any project tangled in litigation.

FRAGILE ECONOMY

“After the APA permits were issued, we were having discussions about if and how Adirondack Club and Resort may be able to invest (in Big Tupper),” LaValley said. “We also had another party looking to invest, but we will not name that person.”

The investor was looking to put upward of $200,000 toward getting Big Tupper running this year, he said.

And the ARISE volunteer base was willing to continue to staff the ski center.

“Then the Article 78 was filed. Some businesses planning to locate in Tupper Lake are also on the fringe now. It goes to show how fragile the economy of this community is," the ARISE chairman said.

LOST MONEY

Despite the monumental amount of volunteer support, LaValley said, Big Tupper lost about $32,000 over the past two seasons.

Without snowmaking, the mountain relies on weather conditions, and last winter was nearly snowless.

Financial investment was critical to this year’s operation.

“Even if ARISE were financially able to continue the operation this season, given the ongoing threat of lawsuits and the time frames of the legal process, it is my opinion that the volunteers would have to continue operating for another three to six years. We cannot expect the volunteers to continue for that long, nor can we afford to,” LaValley said in the press release.

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