How would you vote on the Big Tupper resort project?

Would you want to be in their shoes today?

As Park Agency commissioners prepare to cast their defining votes on this project, I’m curious to hear from In Boxers.  If you were sitting in those hot seats up there today, would you vote Yes or No on this project?

Chime in below with a thumbs up or a thumbs down — and add a few sentences to explain how you reached your decision.


26 Comments on “How would you vote on the Big Tupper resort project?”

  1. Paul says:

    I would vote to approve the project.

    The project meets the guidelines set out in the APA Act. It develops the parcel less densely than the law allows. Then the permit restrictions increase the level of protection for the remainder of the land. It is not perfect and its not how I would like to see it done but that is irrelevant when it comes to this decision.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  2. oa says:

    Doesn’t matter. Developer has no money, project will never be built. There will be some roads to nowhere that the taxpayers fund, a couple of waterfront cabins, and a dead ski area since snowy winters only come every three years now. Foresight!

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. Pete Klein says:

    Yes. What the hell.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  4. Bob Cat says:

    I would vote no, if I were a member of this board, knowing that it would be approved by the majority. I would do this as protest to the process because the application is so poor as regards to wildlife and because the great camp lots are not clustered and the fragmentation is “undue and adverse”.

    That said, if I thought it was a closer vote, I would vote Yes, because I feel the APA staff fell down on the job. They approved the application as complete and wasted this applicants time and money with this rediculous pointless process. Abolish the APA and put it in the hands of local planning boards. What a waste of seven years! How did we get here? What the heck is the role of the APA anymore? Is it an agency designed to protect the environment or drive the local economy? They accomplish neither and as such hinder both.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  5. wakeup says:

    After all this time I am still amazed how little people actually know about this project. Bob Cat, you’re blaming the APA. That’s cute.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Peter Hahn says:

    I would vote to approve also, assuming they have met whatever legal requirements there are (I don’t know all the laws and rules). But its a huge and outdated real-estate development project, that is unlikely to succeed. Twenty years from now Tupper Lakers will wish it had been turned down.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. Gary says:

    I would vote yes, but I don’t see the project going too far.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Bob Cat says:

    Thanks Wake Up! I try to be cute. I do think the APA process is horrible, just bled the apllicant dry and functionally altered the application very little. It is a paerwork exercise that now only safeguards their own jobs.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. I would vote yes. If you look at how many buildings are actually on that plan, you’ll see that most of the acreage is not to be built on. And, that land has been torn up for decades by logging practices…lots of raspberry bushes up there.

    Tupper Lake needs this..we are already becoming a ghost town…just stand on Park Street and watch the cars NOT going by on a weekend. While the ski area was open the last few years, more locals stayed in town and we even had visitors skiing at the slope. I saw more attendees at the theater while they were open.

    Tupper is an amazing community and deserves this!

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  10. Two Cents says:

    As a voter i would say yes.
    As a builder i would like to see LEED construction.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  11. PNElba says:

    I would vote yes as long as everything met legal requirements. I also do not think the project will go anywhere and if it does, I think it is going to hurt the taxpayers of TL.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Drew says:

    Agree w oa and PNElba but would vote no because of the financial implications for the existing taxpayers of TL(PILOT). you can’t have the town providing services to a large section of the community while that segment is paying little or more likely no taxes at all. What that will do is maximize profits for the developer and raise exisiting local taxpayers bills to make up the shortfall. I’m all for good economic development but let the developer pay for ALL of it, don’t ask the taxpayers to cover infrastructure costs any legitimate developer should be responsible for.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. WrenHawk says:

    No. Not the economic engine Tupper Lake needs, not sustainable. Terrible precedent for Resource Management lands. Will degrade these buffer lands and eventually compromise the wilderness and the species balance it depends on. Not one good thing about this project.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  14. dave says:

    Hard for me to feel good about any of this.

    The process, the environmental impacts, or the effect this will have on the community (or not have, I should say).

    Strikes me as a lose-lose-lose

    Well, I take it back… I guess I feel good that it is almost over.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. Paul says:

    Foxman may not have the money but I bet he can find a Asian group that has money and may want to have a go at it.

    “Agree w oa and PNElba but would vote no because of the financial implications for the existing taxpayers of TL(PILOT).”

    Drew, I don’t think that the APA can really vote a project that meets their regulatory requirements down just because it looks like the financing has issues.

    “a couple of waterfront cabins”. oa, I think they have agreed to not build anything on the small amount of Raquette river frontage that they own. That is one of the problems with trying to sell this stuff. Waterfront is what folks want not what they have to offer.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  16. Paul says:

    “Terrible precedent for Resource Management lands.” This is not a new precedent. The APA act contemplates more development on RM lands than this project has. Environmental groups supported the APA act and the development that it contemplated for certain types of land. They should not come back now when the actual development might happen and say “now wait a minute now we think that this land should be even less densely developed that we originally approved of in the first place”!

    The real questions is why is land this close to a hamlet classified as Resource Management in the first place? Where is the town supposed to grow?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. WrenHawk says:

    Hamlet size doesn’t need to be correlated to the proximity of wilderness or resource management land. one could argue that having immediate access to both land use types is a boon to the economic viability of any hamlet. It would be interesting to see any record of specific environmental groups and their support of the original or 1998 modified language of the APA act, nevertheless, times change, context changes and organizations, like people, will adapt to changing circumstances with different opinions. It is a precedent in terms of size and proximity to wilderness. It is a poor use of RM lands when homes aren’t clustered and instead break up these important buffer lands.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. Two Cents says:

    ok, so when do they break ground?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Cement says:

    Reading some of Plumley’s comments on the NCPR website, he made this process sound like an environmentalist’s referendum on the APA. Hello….this was not about them.

    I just found it interesting that many of the commissioners found holes in the Preserve plan, yet still approved.

    My guess is that there could have been pressure from Albany, given the governor’s emphasis on the economy and jobs.

    If this were 1975 or 1985, Preserve would have been gunned down.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. Jim Bullard says:

    As a voting member of the APA I would have to vote yes because from all I have read the project at least minimally meets the guidelines. It isn’t up to the APA to rule on the financial viability.

    OTOH I think the whole thing is a pipe dream. It reminds me of when the casino was being built in Akwesasne. People were predicting a boom for the Massena to Hogansburg strip with hotels, restaurants, theme parks, etc. There were promoters from Las Vegas driving around in their Corvettes with gold plated wheels and a general mood like they had just hit the lottery. Reality was that the casino never lived up to projections and at times has struggled to stay afloat.

    I fully expect that the developers of the Adirondack Club will have trouble raising the necessary money, that some infrastructure may get built but the project as a whole will eventually fizzle. I’d love to be proved wrong. Tupper Lake needs a boost but I’m really skeptical that this is it.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  21. Paul says:

    “having immediate access to both land use types is a boon to the economic viability of any hamlet.” Wilderness maybe if you are a town like Keene. But RM land? Maybe if you are a mill town like Tupper used to be. But RM land is mostly locked up private land and the stuff that has easements has very little public use and almost no economic impact with the exception of the lumbering that is going on. I think that environmentalist should steer clear of this argument. They should argue to preserve it for the fact that it should be preserved not for economic reasons. This argument works to some extent but it’s a slippery slope. If you want public land to have a strong economic impact it is more likely to come from what we see on National Forest land out west and in places like Vermont for skiing, logging, etc.

    As far as the record goes there was strong support by environmentalists for the limitations set by the APA act as it was written and how it is now. There are many good books on this subject.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I wouldn’t want to have to vote because it would mean I would have to read all of the documents. But if I could issue a decree…

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Mervel says:

    If they met the APA requirements I would vote yes. However I am showing my ignorance here, this was not a vote that would determine tax breaks(PILOT) etc, correct?

    I would be against any sort of tax subsidies for this project in fact in most places the developers are also responsible for the cost of infrastructure or at least a major component of the costs of infrastructure.

    Economic development should happen because it is economically viable and profitable, not because it is some sort of jobs program for struggling communities that needs to be paid for by the government.

    The model the developer may be following is to package this up; get the permits, get the tax breaks, plot the land etc, then sell that bundle and let the next group develop the property.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. OnewifeVetNewt says:

    I agree with Mervel, above, and most of the “Yes on APA approval, no to subsidies, local government risk, or infrastructure responsibility: question projects economic viability.” sentiment.

    If the good folks of Tupper Lake can make this work, even at the cost of some environmental degradation, I say hooray for them.
    But as a Franklin County resident, don’t ask me to underwrite this pipe dream. It is so pre-2008.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. mary says:

    I would have voted yes because I am afraid of the fallout. Take the safer road just like the real APA…. no eggs thrown at my house.

    Come on… there was so much pressure to vote yes — who wouldn’t?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  26. feelbad4tupperlake says:

    I would vote no for 2 simple reasons. First, there is no level of wide scale development that meets the intent of the Act that established this park. It is unsustainable and sets a terrible precedent. Now that developers know that the ADK Park is open for business, they will not relent in their pursuit to exploit the natural beauty and resources that make the Park what it is. Their greed is a disease and there is no known cure. They are running out of good places to develop and that is a fact.
    Second, there is simply no demand for what is being proposed, and an abundant supply of better products. The ski resort failed because it is too small, too far away, and not enough snow. No one will pay what they want to ask to live that far from the water where the real demand is for property. If people want to live out in the woods, there are plenty of lots they can get for much less money. Do the research. Land is cheap that does not have water attached to it. People will only pay this kind of money for a ski resort out West where the demand and the value (and the snow) are more reliable. Vacation property is not selling like it used to. The people of Tupper Lake will regret destroying the natural beauty of their town for a long time to come. The town should have taken over the ski resort and used it at a profit center for the schools and other programs, and the land should have been put into conservancy or made forever wild. The APA suddenly thinks it is their job to ensure economic prosperity because we are in a short term recession. What they fail to see is that developments like this last forever and are irreversible. Once the damage is done, there is no going back. What a waste of a once truly remarkable place and the last bastion of hope for the few wild places left in the world. Shame on the APA for what they have done. At least there was one person on the Board with any sense of sanity and commitment to the APA’s purpose. Their job is to protect the Park, not the economy. This development is exactly what they are there to stop from happening.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

Comments are closed.