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Bill Mozdzier and Jim LaValley work to get Chair 2 ready for opening day in 2009. ARISE now says the ski hill will close. Photo: Brian Mann
Bill Mozdzier and Jim LaValley work to get Chair 2 ready for opening day in 2009. ARISE now says the ski hill will close. Photo: Brian Mann

Big Tupper ski area to close

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A local group that organized in 2009 to reopen Big Tupper Ski Area and to advocate for development of the Adirondack Club and Resort says the popular local destination will not reopen this year.

The group, called ARISE, operated the mountain on a volunteer basis, while waiting for a new resort destination to be built in Tupper Lake.

The group struggled last year because of the warm, snowless winter.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

The resort project was approved by the Adirondack Park Agency last winter.

The base lodge at Big Tupper. File photo
The base lodge at Big Tupper. File photo

Construction of the resort's amenities has been delayed by a lawsuit filed by two environmental groups, Protect the Adirondacks and the Sierra Club.

That Article 78 challenge is now being reviewed by the courts.

In a statement released Tuesday evening, ARISE president and local real estate developer Jim LaValley blamed the decision on the suit.

"Big Tupper was in a position to receive substantial financial assistance," LaValley said in a statement. "With the filing of the Article 78 lawsuit, that opportunity dissolved, and we are forced to close."

Environmental groups have accused the APA of issuing the permits inappropriately, failing to follow state rules designed to protect the environment, and questioned whether state officials colluded with developers.

In a statement issued last night, Protect executive director Peter Bauer said his green group was being used as "a convenient scapegoat."

"Protect sympathizes with the disappointment of many in Tupper Lake and surrounding communities over the apparent failure of the Big Tupper Ski Area to open and be revived this winter," Bauer said.

 

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