Hearings on the proposed Adirondack Club & Resort got back under way this week, and state Senator Betty Little hopes the project is moving closer to becoming a reality.
Speaking to WNBZ late last week, Little said she's always supported plans to construct a large-scale ski resort on and around Mt. Morris in Tupper Lake.
"I certainly hope that the Park Agency looks at this as to what's best for the Tupper Lake area and for New York state," she said. "I do support the project. I was in Tupper Lake recently and we really need this project."
According to Little, the greater Tupper Lake community needs more people and more visitors in order to support current attractions like the Big Tupper Ski Area, the Wild Center, and a planned dark skies observatory.
"Even look at the Wild Center, as a wonderful museum as that it is, you need to continually be able to attract people to come to Tupper Lake and to see it," Little said. "And if we have the resort project, there will be people visiting friends who are there, there will be people renting condos there and coming to the area."
Little, like North Country Congressman Bill Owens, is convinced that the resort will bring both temporary and permanent jobs, boosting the Tupper Lake economy.
She adds that opening the Big Tupper Ski Area on a solid basis will also be a plus.
"It's all about jobs and keeping people," Little said. "The Adirondacks is an aging community and we need the young people. You can't have young people if you don't have jobs for them. And if they don't have jobs they're not going to be here raising their families and then they're children aren't going to our schools - it's just a vicious cycle. We've got to promote our area and create more activity."
Little says the Adirondack Club & Resort will create private sector jobs to replace public employment lost at places like Camp Gabriels.
The state Adirondack Park Agency expects to wrap up adjudicatory hearings on the resort project by July 1.