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Big Tupper’s opening still uncertain this winter

December 1, 2016
By KELLY CARROLL - For the News ( , Lake Placid News

TUPPER LAKE - Amid heavy recent snowfall, organizers of Big Tupper Ski Area are still considering whether to open it this winter, according to Jim LaValley, chairman of volunteer organization Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving their Economy.

He said the group is not currently making any moves to open Big Tupper.

"The snowfall is promising, but it's hard to know the potential it will have for Big Tupper moving forward," LaValley said. "I wouldn't want people to get their hopes up."

Big Tupper does not have snowmaking equipment and therefore has to rely on natural snow, but weather is not the only issue it faces. ARISE is not economically prepared to open the facility, LaValley said. Costs to run it include insurance, inspection, electricity and equipment maintenance.

"Funds for ARISE are depleted, and we have to look at the business side and operational costs of opening as well as the weather side," LaValley said.

The facility did host the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce's OkTupperfest, a German Oktoberfest-style event, in September, with all proceeds going to support winter recreation and tourism.

Ten years after Big Tupper closed as a private venture by local businessmen Peter Day and LeRoy Pickering, it reopened for the 2009-10 ski season thanks to ARISE, using almost entirely volunteer labor. The ski slope did not open for the 2012-13 season because a lack of funding or last season due to a lack of snow.

The Big Tupper Ski Area has three lifts and 25 trails, ranging from beginner to expert level. It ranks top five in the state for vertical drop: 1,151 feet from Mount Morris' 3,165-foot summit to the 2,000-foot base.



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