Hey Harv, funny story...
I was working at school today in the machine shop, and the kid who worked the position I have last year came it. Guess what he was wearing? a Ski Big Tupper shirt! He was pretty shocked to hear I knew what it was.
Apparently he lives right in Tupper Lake. I talked to him a bit, it was pretty cool. Also, one of the older guys who works in the shop's daughter is a ski instructor up at Stowe. Some kids who go there went to the Olympics for freestyle skiing, too.
Who woulda though there's so many skiers in Buffalo?
On Saturday December 11, at 1:00 PM, representatives from Avant Ski Company will be at the local train depot in Tupper Lake, NY, where they plan to announce their desire to relocate their company to the Tupper Lake community. You may be asking yourself, why would Avant want to move into a small town plagued by a struggling economy? Well, read on my friends.
Tupper Lake is home to Big Tupper Ski Resort, childhood mountain to the Gaffney brothers, and also to Avant co-founders Ben Callaghan and Joel Nashett. The mountain was closed for years due to the previous owner being forced into bankruptcy; now, things are about to change. And here’s where this story gets exciting.
A development has been proposed that would re-open the mountain and turn it into a world-class 4-season resort, complete with slope side condos, state of the art snowmaking, fancy lifts, etc. This past year, to get the ball rolling, the local community rallied and re-opened the mountain themselves; it was an operation fueled entirely by volunteers. On account of uplifted spirits and some fluffy white stuff, the season rocked.
Building on last year’s success, Avant is collaborating with ARISE (Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving Their Economy) and the ACR (Adirondack Club and Resort of Tupper Lake) this year in an attempt to put this aforementioned development fully into play. Avant formed an alliance with these two groups to produce an initial line of limited edition Big Tupper Commemorative Skis for the 2010 season. This deal is entirely unique; along with the skis come embedded 5-year and lifetime passes to Big Tupper. The proceeds benefit Big Tupper directly.
Avant hopes to re-locate their operation to the slopeside of Big Tupper. There, they would build a research and development center, a tourable factory and a “Mountain Lab” where people can experience the production of skis first hand. One might have the opportunity to even test skis the very same day they are produced. Avant’s move would be a big step in becoming competitive in the global snow-sport industry.
The collective efforts of Avant (Callaghan and Nashett in particular, who seek to preserve their old stomping grounds) and the local Tupper Lake community can serve as a source of inspiration to us all. Thanks to this joint endeavor (and with a bit of luck) the economy and the future of alpine skiing in Tupper Lake look to be back on track.
Click here to read a press release about the announcement on Saturday. Also, be sure to follow along with this unfolding story by liking Avant and Big Tupper on Facebook and following Avant and Big Tupper on Twitter.
Ya know, Avant may well prove to be the proverbial 212th degree, the icing on the cake that enables Big Tupper to succeed this time around. Having an up and coming ski manufactor slopeside at Tupper could generate an en vogue, tres cool popularity for Avamt - Big Tupper.
" Avant a Big Tupper Ski Day! ". Get it? Avant that on a T-shirt. hehehe. "Avant Great Skis"
This whole thing about letting people come to their slopeside factory, then making their own skis and then immediately stepping out the door factory and skiing on them.... I could see people diggin that. Sure would be unique.
Another thing, if Tupper does fly, there will be three good/great ski areas side by side! That's very significant. It's only like 40 minutes from the Whiteface/Lake Placid area to Big Tupper/Avant and then just another 45 minutes to Gore! If Hickory ever gets snowmaking, it's only another 20 minutes to Hickory with it's MRG vibe. Then 20 more minutes to West Mtn.
New York could have it's own version of Vermont's famed Skier's Highway and a more " Destination Skiing" type customer base. This could rock. Nightlife. Apres Ski. Smokin Hot Babes.
Great post Fuj. Bet you will get some Tupper days in now with your new friends. You sure have a knack for meeting the cool people of the ski world.
Avant should let someone from Harvey Road test drive a demo pair of their skis. Harv's lookin for new boards and the Avant Aviator at 123-90-113 sidecut is in the ballpark for what he wants. The Avant Aviator has a popular core/Carbon fiber overlay! That could prove interesting.
Wonder if it Telies? Harv would be a great reviewer! If no Telie, then some other HR staffer should get a demo loaner test pair. That'ld be wicked cool! Maybe several of you guys could ski it and report on it.