After a one-year hiatus, it appears the Big Tupper Ski Area will be open this year to skiers and snowboarders, thanks to a serious and experienced cadre of volunteers who will put in hundreds of free hours to help keep the ski center in the minds of, well, folks who like to ski and board in the Adiondacks.
And that’s good news for the greater Tupper Lake area and the gas stations, restaurants, motels and other retailers who call the small mountain community their home.
Big Tupper operated for three seasons and forced to close last winter. It’s hoped that although the ski area’s operation will be a no-frills experience, the skiing and snowboarding public will be attracted to the ski center once again.
This season, Big Tupper won’t be selling pre-season passes, but will wait for enough snow to arrive before offering any ticket sales. The Ski Area doesn’t have any snow-making capability available this year. So it’ll wait until there’s enough snow before opening. Obviously, the hope is for a lot of white stuff this winter.
The decision to renew the skiing experience was unveiled last week by the 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 approval in 2012. The project has been stalled by an Article 78 lawsuit, but it’s hoped a decision will be rendered very soon.
The ski lifts have been inspected, trails will be mowed and the application to the APA has been submitted. ARISE was left with enough money to get to the point of opening the ski center and several fundraising events have been planned to help with some of the larger expenses in running the Ski Area, including insurance and trail grooming.
Last year, as litigation challenging the APA approval of the Club & Resort project was brought by several environmental groups that oppose the plan, the ski lifts and mountain trails were closed due to the lack of capital investment.
But it became clear to ARISE last year that the volunteer momentum persisted to operating the Ski Area, despite the legal difficulties over land use. Hence the decision to reopen this season.
We share Tupper Lake Mayor Paul Maroun’s assessment: “It’s ... going to keep Tupper Lake on the map.”
Now just let it snow.