ELIZABETHTOWN - Good news. The Big Tupper Ski Area in Tupper Lake will open on Saturday, Jan. 15 with free admission for all. Bad news. The foot of snow that fell during this past week's Nor'easter wasn't enough to open all three lifts.
Bottom line, when Big Tupper opens for the season this weekend, only the Mitey Mite slope - a rope-tow run for children and beginners - will be available for skiers, Manager Bill Mozdzier said Friday afternoon. Although about 12 inches of snow fell in Tupper Lake on Jan. 12, it wasn't heavy enough to pack into a base safe for the ski runs accessed by chairs 2 and 3.
More snow is expected for this weekend - the typically busy Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend - and Mozdzier said that the extra snow may help his crew build enough base to open another chairlift. The National Weather Service predicted 1-2 inches of fresh snow on Saturday.
Businesses in the Tri-Lakes and the Central Adirondacks rely on peak snow conditions for skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, especially Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President's Day weekends, the two busiest weekends of the year for tourism in the Adirondack Park.
The Big Tupper Ski Area is currently being operated by Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving Their Economy (ARISE), based in Tupper Lake. The group reopened the ski center for the 2009-2010 season after 10 years of closure.
Big Tupper will be open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 9 a.m. To 4 p.m. For the latest conditions at Big Tupper Ski Area, people can call (518) 359-3730 or visit online at www.skibigtupper.org.