As the debate over the Adirondack Club & Resort marches on during public hearings at the state Adirondack Park Agency this week, participants continue to differ drastically on how the largest resort proposal in the history of the Adirondacks should be designed.
A local economic development group believes the resort developer's existing plan to spread 650 units over several thousand acres near a ski area in Tupper Lake is well thought out and should not be tampered with by the environmental groups attending the hearings.
"We feel that the Adirondack Council sold the village out on Tuesday," said Jim LaValley, chairman of ARISE - Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving their Economy, an economic lobbying organization based in Tupper Lake that has been a chief proponent of the Adirondack Club & Resort.
LaValley is critical of the alternative plans presented by the Adirondack Council during public hearings. The plans call for a more densely-packed development with shops and restaurants clustered around the base of the ski area.
LaValley called that idea a betrayal of existing businesses in Tupper Lake.
"It's as if the Adirondack Council did a 180-degree turn from what they were trying to promise the village two years ago," he said. "An effort to try and revitalize the downtown economy gets turned around when the Council's lead witness is saying, 'forget about downtown, in order for the resort to be successful you've got to pull together a new hamlet and a new business center at the bottom of the ski lifts.'"
"Any elected official within the village and any business person in the village should be extremely upset by the finding," LaValley added.
The Council maintains that its plan to contain development in a smaller footprint would protect critical resource management lands while improving the resort's marketability to second homebuyers.