Big Tupper workers pleased with APA decision

Mount Morris is home to the Big Tupper Ski Area.

Mount Morris is home to the Big Tupper Ski Area. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— At the Big Tupper Ski Area, mountain manager Bill Mozdzier, lift manager Clifford LaMere and volunteer T.J. King stood by their phones, waiting for the latest updates from the Adirondack Park Agency's Jan. 20 meeting.

When the word came shortly after 11 a.m. that the Adirondack Club and Resort permit had been approved, LaMere was moved to tears.

"It's emotional, it's amazing, it's a long time coming," LaMere said. "I started in this process three years ago to revive and maintain the mountain and it's just phenomenal."

"The entire reason I came back here is because the mountain reopened," King, a ski instructor, said. "I am ecstatic. I came up hoping to ski today, but then I stayed with the guys and listened for the verdict. There were big smiles all around when we heard."

Mozdzier also was very emotional, and started talking by letting out a, "yee-hah."

"The first big hurdle is down and this issue has now been crossed," he said. "It's just a high right now for us as far as I am concerned. The staying power of the developers has been great for us."

LaMere said that the decision was a turning point for the community of Tupper Lake toward a revitalization.

"It is good to now see that Tupper Lake is going to have a chance to come back with this," he said. "When you saw people leaving and buildings closing up, it was rough. This is good."

Both Mozdzier and LaMere said that they knew there were more permits to be granted and potential litigation to face for the project.

"The next steps will be if there are any conditions in permits or if there is litigation," Mozdzier said. "Hopefully, that will not happen."

"There are people who are still going to going to be willing to embrace this," LaMere said. "But there are a lot of people in Tupper Lake that this will change their lives."

The Valley News will have continuing coverage of the reaction to the APA vote on the ACR permit at thevalleynews.org and in next week's edition of The Valley News.

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