Officials from the town of North Elba voted unanimously Tuesday night to pass a resolution backing the Adirondack Club & Resort project in Tupper Lake.
Town council members called the resolution a vote in support of economic development in the Adirondacks.
Officials expressed their interest in seeing Tupper Lake reach its potential as a ski resort destination.
Supervisor Roby Politi said he sees a "tremendous need for growth and development in that area," adding that he supports the development "100 percent."
The Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board has voiced support of the development plans on Mount Morris, including expansion of the ski area, the construction of resort buildings and the sale of about 650 building lots scattered over several thousand acres.
The ACR proposal is the largest of its kind ever to go before the state Adirondack Park Agency and, after several years fraught with delay and setbacks, hearings before the APA are set to begin this month.
Two legislative hearings, which let members of the public put their comments about the project on record with the APA, will begin at 3:30 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 16 in the cafeteria of the L.P. Quinn Elementary School in Tupper Lake.
Environmental groups taking part in the hearings have called for a revised plan that would cluster development near the base of Mount Morris.
These groups say their plan is better for the environment and the local economy. Not only does a smaller resort help preserve the wild character of the area, they argue, but it also makes more business sense given today's economic realities.
With the project nearing the first of a series of APA hearings, public debate over the resort proposal has intensified in the local media.
In a recent guest commentary published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, the environmental group Protect the Adirondacks called the development a "highly speculative scheme perpetrated on the people of Tupper Lake as well as the state of New York.
"The country is not yet out of a recession caused by these real estate scams," the editorial reads.
Lead developer Michael Foxman shot back in a commentary of his own, responding to his critics stating that "from what I have observed, the preservationists usually say the opposite of what they mean."
"They are not afraid the Adirondack Club & Resort will fail," Foxman wrote. "They are afraid it will succeed."