The Board of Directors for ARISE announced Friday that they plan on re-opening Big Tupper Ski Area for the 2013-2014 ski season. ARISE and Big Tupper Management recently met to discuss the overall operation, and to review the financial challenges they are faced with. ARISE Chairman Jim LaValley said that this years operation will be handled entirely by volunteers. He went on to say that, “even though the operation is all volunteer, the people involved bring incredible experience and knowledge about the ski industry. And even though the ski experience will be a no frills operation, it will provide a great ski experience.”
This season, Big Tupper will not be selling pre-season passes, but will wait for enough snow to arrive before offering any ticket sales. Day passes will cost $25, and ARISE is working on discount pricing for books of 5 or 10 passes. ARISE Board Member Russ Cronin, Jr. said, “ because we do not have snowmaking, we thought the best financial approach for the skiing public is to wait until we have enough snow. We are hoping for a great skiing winter.”
LaValley said that, “our lifts have been inspected, trails will be mowed, and our application to the Adirondack Park Agency has been submitted. We were left with enough money to get ourselves to the point of opening. And, we will be holding a couple of fundraising events to help with some of the larger expenses, including insurance and grooming.”
After ARISE operated the ski area for three seasons, and forced to close last winter, the community is already showing its excitement as word has begun to spread about opening this season. LaValley said, “ARISE’s mission is to provide the community of Tupper Lake with an effort to improve the local economy. It became abundantly clear last year that Big Tupper Ski Area has a huge impact and we have to do everything we can to keep it operating while waiting for the Adirondack Club project to work through the Article 78 lawsuit.” LaValley added, “ARISE will be announcing some other economic initiatives within the next 60 days that will bring additional positive news to the community. We believe that the Article 78 lawsuit will be over in the very near future, and now is the time to begin planning for other business inquiries that have already begun to develop as a result of the Adirondack Club and Resort.”
This season Steve Stevenson will serve as Coordinator, while Don Dew, Jr. And Kate Bencze will share the responsibilities of being Administrative and Volunteer Managers. Cliff Lamere will continue as Lift Operations Manager, and Bill Mozdzier will continue as Trails Manager.