Big Tupper pass holders ski free Jan. 19 at Titus Mountain

TUPPER LAKE – Titus Mountain Family Ski Center outside Malone plans to offer a free day of skiing on Saturday, Jan. 19, to ARISE members and people who had season passes to the Big Tupper Ski Area last year.

The day will celebrate a year since the state Adirondack Park Agency granted on Jan. 20, 2012, approval to the Adirondack Club and Resort, a large-scale development planned for Big Tupper and the area around it.

Organizers are calling it “The 10 to 1 Celebration,” since APA commissioners voted 10-1 to approve the development.

Big Tupper is closed this year after running for three years on a mostly volunteer basis.

ARISE (which stands for Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving their Economy) is a grassroots organization that has run the ski slope and advocated for the resort. Its leadership blames the people suing the APA and ACR developers over the APA’s approval of the resort, saying the ski slope could have opened with financial support from people who pulled out due to the lawsuit. Protect the Adirondacks, an environmental group that’s one of the plaintiffs in the suit, argues the ski slope was only open 11 days last season due to a lack of snow, and that’s why ARISE can’t afford to open it.

“We saw how hard the ARISE members worked at making Big Tupper a going operation,” a member of the Monette family, who took over ownership of Titus in recent years, wrote in the press release. “And then to see it pulled out from under them, by a select few, was unfortunate. Because Titus Mtn. And Big Tupper have had a strong working relationship in the past, we thought it would be a great opportunity to bring everyone together in celebration of the one year anniversary.”

“The Monette family has been very supportive of the ARISE/Big Tupper effort, and felt the closing of Big Tupper this year was an unfortunate occurrence,” ARISE Chairman Jim LaValley wrote in the release. “We discussed ways to give our members something positive, and have worked out this incredible package.”

To get the free day and night of skiing at Titus, ARISE members and Big Tupper passholders must sign up on the designated sheets located at the Tupper Lake Free Press office, KB’s Country Store, The Well Dressed Food Co. and Larkin’s Deli. There will also be a few individuals who will be carrying signup sheets with them, including Timmy Brown and Cliff LaMere.

Signup ends Friday, Jan. 18; then the sheets will be turned over to Titus so front-desk employees there will have a running list of who is eligible.

The day at Titus will include several special events, including an Ugly Sweater Contest, a Rossignol Demo Day and a toast of the 10-1 APA vote scheduled for 4 p.m. in Titus’ Main Lodge.

Holiday Inn Express in Malone will offer a $99 room rate for any ARISE member who wants to spend the night.