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Big Tupper forced to close

Nick

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Some text:

It was announced Tuesday evening that the Big Tupper Ski Area has been forced to close. ARISE Chairman Jim LaValley was joined by members of the Board, as well as managers and volunteers of the Big Tupper Ski Area, at P-2′s Pub in Tupper Lake.LaValley said that the community of Tupper Lake and Big Tupper supporters should hold the Board and members of PROTECT the Adirondacks, the Sierra Club, Phyllis Thompson, and Bob & Leslie Harrison responsible for the closure. “Following the issuance of the permit for the Adirondack Club by the Adirondack Park Agency, Big Tupper was in a position to receive substantial financial assistance. With the filing of the Article 78 lawsuit, that opportunity dissolved, and we are forced to close.” LaValley went on to say that, “the Board and membership of PROTECT and the Sierra Club should be ashamed at the way they have chosen to attack a community by using Artice 78 lawsuits in a frivolous manner, and as a weapon against a project that was approved by the Adirondack Park Agency Commissioners with a 10:1 vote after 8 years of review.
The project was determined to not have an undue adverse impact on the Park’s resources. Peter Bauer, Bob Glennon, and John Caffry, have made their intentions clear by taking a very public position on how they want to kill the Adirondack Club and Resort. They have stated such in the press, and because of their actions it has forced the closure of the ski area, caused the further degradation of Tupper Lake, and flies in the face of Governor Cuomo’s efforts to improve and create a healthier Adirondack economy.”

That really sucks. It seems as if it didn't have to happen, although to be fair this is one side of the argument. What was the environmentalist side?
 

VR17

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Baloney, Big Tupper "forced" to close

Bad news. Sounds like NIMBYs strike again. :([/QUOTE There are definitely 2 sides to this story, the one put out by ARISE is the developers spin. Mr Lavalley(who has never skied a day in his life by the way) is a business partner with one of the developers, Tom Lawson. (who has no money). This lawsuit is being blamed for the closure of the ski area, BAloney! The developers don't have to spend a penny defending it, the suit is against the Adirondack Park Agency(APA). If these developers were true developers they could surely come up with a measley $150,000. to operate the ski area for a yr or so until the suit is settled. As a skier I totally lost faith in these guys when they sold off all(and I mean ALL) the perfectly good existing snowmaking system starting in Oct 2009, just as the volunteers were opening the area for their first season. The system was just put in place in 1995 and only used 5 seasons. The developers had no cash so they sold off everything: Compressors, Water pumps, HKDs, Fan Jets, Control panels, water/air separators. They even sold off the electrical transformers at the base of the hill and stripped the copper wire off the mountain and sold that too. Unfortunately the mountain is now almost totally useless to another entity to come in and try to operate it. You'd basically have to start from scratch. Guess we can hope some die hard skier wins the lottery big and buys it up, that is about the only hope for this nice little ski hill.
 

Warp Daddy

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IMHO Absolutely a serious power play by the big money well healed environmental lobby . I dont give a damn about Lawson et all but Rather than allow the potential for a smaller scale operation or a localized skiing enterprise to be investigated and thus attempt to secure financial solvency and explore the revised potential for a scaled to reality project they acted on narrow vested interest . Sad for Tupper . Splits the community and will do irreparable damage . The Greenies and their buckets o cash friends will continue to snuff any project as they steadfastly hold onto their undeniable greed and narrow minded ness.

rant over . Tupper deserved better dammit !
 

JimG.

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Bad news indeed...Big Tupper was on my list of little hills to visit during my Whiteface tour this coming season.
 

Nick

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PS, I just realized i said it was NELSAP'd using it like a verb even though NY isn't part of New England.

Whoops.
 

thetrailboss

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There are definitely 2 sides to this story, the one put out by ARISE is the developers spin. Mr Lavalley(who has never skied a day in his life by the way) is a business partner with one of the developers, Tom Lawson. (who has no money). This lawsuit is being blamed for the closure of the ski area, BAloney! The developers don't have to spend a penny defending it, the suit is against the Adirondack Park Agency(APA). If these developers were true developers they could surely come up with a measley $150,000. to operate the ski area for a yr or so until the suit is settled. As a skier I totally lost faith in these guys when they sold off all(and I mean ALL) the perfectly good existing snowmaking system starting in Oct 2009, just as the volunteers were opening the area for their first season. The system was just put in place in 1995 and only used 5 seasons. The developers had no cash so they sold off everything: Compressors, Water pumps, HKDs, Fan Jets, Control panels, water/air separators. They even sold off the electrical transformers at the base of the hill and stripped the copper wire off the mountain and sold that too. Unfortunately the mountain is now almost totally useless to another entity to come in and try to operate it. You'd basically have to start from scratch. Guess we can hope some die hard skier wins the lottery big and buys it up, that is about the only hope for this nice little ski hill.

So are you saying that the new owners/operators essentially bought it to sell it for scrap?
 

Nick

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So are you saying that the new owners/operators essentially bought it to sell it for scrap?

That's how I read it too. That he thinks they are using it as an excuse to now shut it down. I have no idea on the economics (how much it was bought for?) vs. value of sold gear.
 

VR17

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So are you saying that the new owners/operators essentially bought it to sell it for scrap?
Sorry if my post wasn't clear, The developers(ACR) who purchased the ski area in 2004 are the ones who sold off all of the perfectly good snowmaking system starting in 2009. They owned it and it was certainly within their rights to sell it off but from an economic standpoint it made absolutely no sense. They didn't buy the ski area just to sell it for the scrap value, they just didn't have any money and/or investors even in 2009. If they did they wouldn't have sold off the only thing that had any value and was worth preserving at the ski area. Trailboss/Moderator, obviously you are not up to speed on the details of this fantasy plan which never had a chance at success. google the head investor Michael D Foxman his financial mess with his failed S & L in the 80's is just the start, only cost the US taxpayers $680 Million. Go to Broward dot org and punch in Thomas C Lawson to see his federal tax liens for non payment of income tax for 07,08 and 09, they total up about $538000. Not to mention his non payment of property and school taxes on anything he ownes in Tupper Lake, including Big Tupper ski area, that totals well over $100,000. I could go on and on......but you should get the picture...
 

AdironRider

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So are you saying that the new owners/operators essentially bought it to sell it for scrap?

Hes just bitter.

He implies that Big Tupper had a snowmaking system that was in much better shape than it actually was. Think Magic's snowmaking issues at best was what they had. To say that a near 20 year old system, that sat unused and unmaintained for a decade, could just be fired up at the flip of a switch is wishful thinking at best. To say a developer can just throw 150k at a lawsuit for Big Tupper like its chump change is laughable as well. This is Tupper Lake, not exactly Aspen.

This is the Sierra Club at its worst. Enviros are never happy and never will be until everyone is a back to the lander, doesnt drive cars, and goes to bed when the sun goes down.
 

VR17

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Hes just bitter.

He implies that Big Tupper had a snowmaking system that was in much better shape than it actually was. Think Magic's snowmaking issues at best was what they had. To say that a near 20 year old system, that sat unused and unmaintained for a decade, could just be fired up at the flip of a switch is wishful thinking at best. To say a developer can just throw 150k at a lawsuit for Big Tupper like its chump change is laughable as well. This is Tupper Lake, not exactly Aspen.

This is the Sierra Club at its worst. Enviros are never happy and never will be until everyone is a back to the lander, doesnt drive cars, and goes to bed when the sun goes down.
AdironRider: The snowmaking system was perfectly usable, if you doubt that just check with any of the several ski areas that purchased and are now using the equipment. Ski Sundown in Ct, Toggenburg, Greak Peak, Plattekill, they can attest to the condition of all the components condition. Re read my post, the lawsuit is not against the developer, it's against the APA, no cost to the developer. What i maintain is that the developer, who now has his permit should fund the operation of Big Tupper this year as a show of good faith to all the volunteers who have donated for the past 3 yrs. $150000. for a developer should be pocket change, especially in light of their claims that this development was going to be worth 500 Million or more when complete. I agree with you, Tupper Lake is no Aspen but that's what the developers have been shoveling out to all who would listen.
 

AdironRider

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AdironRider: The snowmaking system was perfectly usable, if you doubt that just check with any of the several ski areas that purchased and are now using the equipment. Ski Sundown in Ct, Toggenburg, Greak Peak, Plattekill, they can attest to the condition of all the components condition. Re read my post, the lawsuit is not against the developer, it's against the APA, no cost to the developer. What i maintain is that the developer, who now has his permit should fund the operation of Big Tupper this year as a show of good faith to all the volunteers who have donated for the past 3 yrs. $150000. for a developer should be pocket change, especially in light of their claims that this development was going to be worth 500 Million or more when complete. I agree with you, Tupper Lake is no Aspen but that's what the developers have been shoveling out to all who would listen.

Using individual components is quite different than the entire system as a whole. You know this, so quit trying to sell it as perfectly fine.

You clearly have no idea how most developers operate. One unit sold funds the building of two more, and so forth. To spend 150k for the next three years while this lawsuit fans out is just not sustainable for nearly any developer, especially for a mountain like Big Tupper.

I get it, you are bummed, but face the facts man, Tupper was not a plug and play ski hill like you describe. I've skied there plenty to know this.

I would argue differently on the development being "sold" as the next Aspen. Everyone is taking the massive plan for a build out and claiming its only for millionaires, but anyone who knows reality that you aim high and settle somewhere in the middle.
 

thetrailboss

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VR you're right that I don't have the whole picture, but from what I am seeing and hearing here things don't make much sense. At the very least it sounds like a lot of folks who buy a ski area with big ideas and no money. I know about that personally with Burke. But this just seems more odd in that the place was owned by a private developer, but convinced folks to volunteer to run the place. That is weird. It also seems weird to completely sell the snowmaking system, regardless of its condition. I'm inclined to agree with AdironRider in saying that a snowmaking system left unmaintained for even two years really develops problems for a new owner.

As to the "they weren't being sued" line, well, that is not always true. While this is a challenge to the APA and an administrative challenge, if it involves the resort, then the resort owners would still be best off having a seat at the table and pay an attorney to represent their interests. You would never let them fight over it without at least having a say. So, yes, I can see how this suit would slow them down or stop them, especially if funds are limited. Everyone lost at the end of the day.
 

Puck it

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Skied a lot there growing up. It had some very good terrainoff the older chair. La chute was a decent mogul run.
 
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