Big Tupper scheduled to re-open for 2018-19 season
TUPPER LAKE — The developers of the Adirondack Club and Resort project developers and caretakers of the Big Tupper Ski Area say they plan to open up the currently dormant ski mountain at the start of the 2018 season.
As construction continues on a road to the ACR’s “Great Camp” lots, the owners and users of the mountain are eagerly looking forward to finally having the funding, weather and people needed to get crowds of locals and visitors on the lifts up the mountain.
Caretaker Cliff Lamere said the trails and lifts are mostly ready to be put into action after decades of on-again, off-again use.
“She [Chair 2] went to sleep when they closed in ’99 and we woke her back up in ’09, so I think if she’s been sleeping for a couple of years it’s not going to bother her,” Lamere said.
Wind blew down a nearly completed version of a building encasing the lift’s bullwheel in 2014, but a new building by Tupper Lake contractor Don Bennett, is nearing completion.
Though Big Tupper has not formally been open since 1999, the 100-member strong volunteer group Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving their Economy operated the recreation center from 2009 to 2014, cleaning the trails and performing regular maintenance on the machinery.
Due to a lack of snow and a subsequent lack of funding, ARISE ended its annual fund raising for the ski area in 2009, much to the disappointment of Tupper Lakers and skiers across the Tri-Lakes area.
Lamere was the lift mechanic for seven years and said Chair 2 just needs a coat of paint before it carries skiers again. Chair 1, on the other hand, will need to be rebuilt, a process anticipated to take two seasons.
Trails will be mowed and cleared of debris throughout the 2018 summer, and decorative work will be done on the lodge.
Lamere said the lodge got new roof a couple years ago and has never experienced leakage.
The ski area, which will be funded by the sale of the ACR’s “Great Camp” luxury housing lots, cost at least $130,000 for maintenance and diesel annually while under ARISE, according to Lamere.
Tickets at Big Tupper, which cost $25 a day under ARISE, will be around 80 percent of a Whiteface ticket price, which is currently $94 for a one-day adult pass.
Lamere wanted to thank all the people who have worked on the mountain over the past years, keeping it up to date, grooming trails and operating the lifts.
Dale Reandeau, Rick Pickering, Charlie Hoffer, Jimmy Lanthier, Elliot Day, Chance Charland, Kody Thibodeau, Matt Bean, Dan Ladue, Kate Bencze, Billie Moser and Timmy Brown each spent dozens of hours in the cold, riding groomers along the trails, doing maintenance on the lifts and keeping the mountain safe and clean.
As more “Great Camp” lots are sold and the project earns more funding the developers have plans to rebuild Chair 1, bring snow machines back to the mountain and furnish the lodge once again.