Path cleared for opening of Chair Two

TUPPER LAKE - A local nonprofit and community volunteers are days away from seeing their dream become a reality.

Representatives from the state Department of Labor visited the Big Tupper Ski Area Dec. 10 to inspect the newly refurbished Chair Two.

Jim LaValley is chairman of ARISE - Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving Their Economy. He told WNBZ last week that Chair Two passed its load test.

"Inspectors looked at the chairs, brakes, and emergency mechanisms," LaValley said. "They basically told us that we have a viable and operational lift."

The Department of Labor is the regulatory agency, LaValley said. The department regulates ski areas throughout New York, as well as amusement parks.

LaValley said the target date to reopen Chair Two is Dec. 26. That leaves volunteers just under two weeks to take care of several minor details that need to be addressed before opening day.

An insurance inspection also resulted in a "favorable report," LaValley said.

"We're basically good to go," he said. "The hard work that all of our volunteers have put in is paying off."

LaValley added that groomers are running and that recent snowfall is helping efforts. "We just need a little more snow," he said.

ARISE currently has a one-year lease on the property owned by Big Tupper LLC, which is part of the stalled Adirondack Club and Resort project. ARISE will reopen one lift - Chair Two - and one rope tow. No snowmaking is planned at the site. In November, the Adirondack Park Agency approved a permit to allow ARISE to operate facilities on parts of the mountain.

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