Cause for celebration in Tupper Lake

The sun shines through Chair 2 at Big Tupper Ski Area in October 2016. (Enterprise photo — Brittany Proulx)

Finally, we have some good news to report about the Adirondack Club and Resort, long in the works for Tupper Lake.

Preserve Associates, the group behind the ACR, finally sealed the deal to purchase 5,800 acres of land it plans to sell as “great camp” building lots — 13 years after entering into a purchase agreement with the Oval Wood Dish Corporation Liquidating Trust back in 2004. Buyers would have access to resort amenities such as Big Tupper Ski Area and a marina on Big Tupper Lake, both of which the developers already own. Other features of the resort, if built as planned, would include ski-in-ski-out townhouses, a 60-room hotel and an equestrian center.

Developers also paid off more than $100,000 in back property taxes, which prevents Franklin County from foreclosing on the land they already owned.

They also seem to be making progress with getting environmental permits to build a road to the great camp lots. The U.S. Army Corps on Engineers reports that it is processing a permit application for the road.

It seems like a logjam has been broken. We sure hope so.

Tupper Lakers are cheering and breathing a sigh of relief. Developers had been saying for three years they had sales agreements for lots, and for two years were stuck on getting the road permits. Local people hadn’t seen anything happening. Before last week, the last real piece of good news on the ACR came two years ago, when golf legend Greg Norman signed on with the ACR.

In the interim, we had to report on developments that didn’t look promising for the ACR’s prospects: back taxes, delays and numerous local permit extensions. Tupper Lakers, including local officials and business people, started to speak openly about not waiting on the resort. They’d be happy for it, they said, but if it never happens, they’d move on with their own plans.

We’re not yet sure how the breakthrough was funded — the developers haven’t spoken to reporters so far — but we’re glad it was. Obviously there’s still a long road ahead on this, but at least now the developers own the land they plan to sell. And once they do that, they’ll have money to invest in building out the resort, including rehabilitating Big Tupper Ski Area. That will mean jobs for local people, money flowing through town, opportunity for local businesses and a sense of optimism returned to this tight-knit community at the “Crossroads of the Adirondacks.”