About Adirondack Explorer

The Adirondack Explorer is a nonprofit magazine covering the Adirondack Park's environment, recreation and communities.

Reader Interactions


  1. James Lanthier Jr. says


    I pay a lot of attention to your reporting, articles, and links. The information that you are trying to expose is very misleading, and partisan. I know who your buddies are, and the way you think. The best way I can describe your form of reporting is (Propoganda).Propoganda stands for the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping (ADIRONDACK WILD),or injuring an institution (ACR), a cause or a person; or ideas facts or allegations spread deliberately to further ones cause (ADIRONDACK WILD); Also a public action having such an affect. (ADJUDICIARY HEARING).

  2. James Lanthier Jr. says

    One more thing that I forgot to mention. Whenever I have something to say I’ll say it, and proudly sign my name to it. And what communities are these anonymous independent real-estate agents located that were contacted for this story??? (Mabe, Keene, or Balston Spa).And also you have taken a picture of a vacant building on one end of town. There is many businesses in town, and I dont think that I’ve seen a shutter on a window in town since Dr. Gachowkis building burned. And those shutters were there for safety reasons. They were removed once the building was rebuilt, other wise Dr. Gachowski would have trouble giving eye exams in the dark. The village of Tupper Lake looks great, and Mr. Lawson is doing a great job with the buildings he owns.

  3. Philly Jones says

    Opponents of this project seem to think that this should be a 100% slam dunk, no negatives, unqualified success on all fronts. That is a very unrealistic world view. Please show me guarantees in life and business. What are they? Go ahead, name a few. Do you think Aspen and Vail were successful from day one, or rather even ahead of day one? Do you realize how far away people come from to vacation and live seasonally there? California baby, two states away, and it did not happen overnight. Is Foxman expected to build this in a day and not react to market conditions over the course of time? Of course not, that’s another unrealistic viewpoint.

    I love it when your ilk, Adirondack Wild, Protect the Adirondacks, etc. all use the same buzzwords like “massive” in describing this project. Shows how you are all in collusion. The pseudo environmental groups have had seven years to build a factual case showing how the environment would really be negatively affected. They have failed. There is no snail darter here.

  4. Philly Jones says

    One more point. The founders of Vail/Aspen share one important trait with Michael Foxman. Vision. It is a trait the detractors sorely lack as their vision only extends unto their backyards.

  5. Kate Martin says

    One needs to loek at resorts in places such as Utah and Colorado. These resorts and even golf courses were designed on the back of a napkin during a lunch meeting. No one complained nor tried to subterfuge the projects in these places. There were no environmental groups intent on destroying those projects. As Philly Jones said, there needs to be Vision. And that is what we have here in Messrs Foxman and Lawson – backed up by a huge desire and a quiet desperation from a community of people wishing to see a future for their town. And, remember, Tupper Lake, which has both a ski mountain and a lake, is and only will ever be, a destination resort. Let’s make it the best one!

  6. Jim LaValley says

    The most discussed aspect of the Adirondack Club revolves around the finances.  From the PILOT, to the bonds, to the money sources.  Real estate development is always ripe with financial controversy.  It often centers around whether the principals have the financial capability.  Ask Donald Trump, the Toll Brothers, and the others that do it on a large scale.  Once approved there are all types of resources available – from private investment money, government loans, EB-5 type money, etc.  This holds true for the Adirondack Club. 

    The principals of the ACR are fully invested.  That means money is tight for them – at the moment.  It doesn’t mean the project won’t happen.  I have personally seen tens of millions of dollars from private investors, inquire about the project, and leave with the understanding that some would be back when the permit is in place.  We know that the EB-5 program is getting finalized and will open up an incredible amount of private foreign money.  They are waiting.  And, there are other resources being developed.

    Real estate speculation is a risk.  The ACR investors know that.  They have done plenty of projects and they have attempted to put as many safety nets in place to move this project towards a successful development.  Don’t think for a minute that they came into this, thinking they would fail.  Their experience tells them otherwise.

    The picture Brian has painted is somewhat incomplete, and not entirely accurate.  Would Michael Foxman hold on for this long if he felt the money wasn’t there?  Would Tom Lawson continue stretching to make a better downtown?  Should Jim Treadwell have given up on Vail and Aspen because his personal finances were stretched thin?  These are incredible individuals who have a deep background in this type of development.  The risk is with them, and they have taken steps to ensure the local taxpayer is protected.  They feel Tupper Lake has an incredible opportunity.  Their viewpoint is experienced, large scale, and with an eye towards success. 

    Finally, did we think Jarden Plastics was a safe bet?  Did we think Hackett’s was a safe bet?  Do we think Sunmount is a safe bet?  Ask vendors how long they have had to wait for payment from the State Of New York.  No one is immune to financial challenges.  If not the ACR, then what is the next 100% GUARANTEED PROJECT?  I’m not seeing anyone else stepping up to offer a guaranteed solution to a struggling community.

  7. Brian Mann says

    Mr. Lanthier:

    You’re tossing around some serious accusations.

    I think it’s fair to ask you to give a few details about what you think I got wrong.

    My report on Mr. Foxman’s project was a scrupulously reported effort to get at the facts of this proposal from a financial point of view.

    This is the kind of work that is published in the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal every day.

    Why? Because good business-people want facts about projects.

    If Mr. Foxman’s project is sound and worthy, then it will surely stand up to fair-minded scrutiny.

    And if anyone finds factual errors in my reporting, I will correct them publicly immediately.

    –Brian, NCPR

  8. Mark Moeller says

    Brian- I was always skeptical of your reporting but I was told that you were more impartial so I gave you the benefit of the doubt. While I expect biased reporting from the Explorer, I’m sad to see you contribute to it. There is no doubt that the timing of this hit piece is to coincide with the next round of APA hearings. Your suggestion that local businesses are skeptical is very misleading as are your quotes from anonymous realtors. Local businesses are worried- worried about a future with no economic development opportunities because green groups have undue influence in this Park. Green Groups are not concerned about this project failing- they want it to fail. They are afraid of this project succeeding. The Village, Town and County support this project because the risk to them is almost nill. Instead of beating the same old enviro drum that the sky is falling and that this project is to dangerous, why not ask the question “So What?” If these investors are willing to invest millions, and they already have, and abide by APA and DEC guidelines why can’t we let them assume the risk and let them do it! What taxpayer will be hurt if they fail? More importantly, who will win if they succeed? All of us who live and work locally, that’s who.

  9. Joe P says

    Wow, John Tubbs sounds really scary if he is the Head of the FCIDA. ” We couldn’t find other places where a PILOT worked like that” and the asked the Developers attorney to provide us with precedents? Really doing your homework up there in Franklin county John. Apparently he hasn’t read the proposed PILOT aggeement very carefully either, “He also suggested that franklin county would aggressively pursue ACR to make sure that its PILOT payments to local governments were made on time”. Thats a joke, I,ve read the proposed PILOT, in it, there isn’t even a guarantee that any payment at all will be made to local governments. The bond payments will be primary and if any money is left over it gets split between the taxing entities, and there is no mention of any timetable for those payments to be made. For Tubbs to be making these statements shows he is either woefully incompetent or purposely trying to deceive the public into thinking there is no risk to the local governments.

    • Brian Mann says

      Joe P –

      Having spoken at great length with Mr. Tubbs, I did not come away with the sense that their scrutiny of the PILOT or bond arrangements would be superficial.

      There are currently no finished PILOT or bond arrangements. The Franklin County IDA plans to do a significant amount of diligence before any deal is signed or moves forward.

      We will report more on this aspect of the process as we get into the next phase of the project, assuming an APA permit is issued.

      –Brian, NCPR

  10. Philip Williams says

    I’ve been a lawyer thirty years. Here are some warning signs of failure in real estate development: 1. can’t keep taxes current 2. plans shift over a period of years 3. expectation of sales at very high prices 4. not enough personal money involved 5. assumption that outside financing will materialize 6. expectation that gov’t will borrow or lend the money for water and sewer when needed, and finally, 7. – cultivating a posse of folks who ignore 1 through 6 and blame the gov’t for holding things up.

    Mr Foxman is there already.

    • TV says

      Why are you surprised by this story? He is behind on his taxes, the economy is as bad since 1929-1938. The Real Estate market has been hardest hit. Have you been seeing alot of Cadillac Escalades pulling into town to buy up these lots? Mr Foxman knows he is facing an uphill battle financially. What is the propaganda in this story? Have you not heard about the recession? Housing bubble? You can root for the development and still be realistic in your expectations. I didn’t hear any surprises in the story to be honest.

  11. Ray says


    Jim Lavalley mentions Jim Treadwell:

    “Should Jim Treadwell have given up on Vail and Aspen because his personal finances were stretched thin? These are incredible individuals who have a deep background in this type of development. ”

    When you were doing research for this article, did you find any background information on ACR investor Jim Treadwell and his development experience? I cannot find any mention of Treadwell as a developer in Vail or Aspen or anywhere else.

  12. James Lanthier Jr. says

    Brian, to be fair, this entire article is a prime example of propoganda, and you will find another prime example on my wall on my facebook, and now you will find some more, tarnishing NCPR. (My profile photo is a blackbear eating peanuts). I will make a lot effort post and comment all of your journalism on my page. I will be one of your biggest fans.

    • TV says

      James, stop airing your personal attacks against Brian. SO you don’t like him, the story is not propaganda. What aspects are biased? Most everyone wants the project to go forward, even the environmental groups, be it with changes. The fact is the finacial are shaky and one can see that. It’s not Mr Foxmans fault but this is a different economic world then 6 years ago. Go back to playing farmville or pull your head out of the sand.

      • James Lanthier Jr. says

        Right now its time for everyone to stop airing personal attacks. It used to take thousands of dollars to get your point of view across. Its not cheep for columns in newspapers and magazines, or spots on the radio. This is what environmental groups raise some of thier money for. Now with the internet we have a ballance. its time for everyone to think about what they are saying. All I am doing is keeping them honest. I am attending every single hearing and I know everything that is happening. I dont see Brian at every single hearing. If he was, He’d be doing a much better job at his investigation, and be more credible and more respected. You can,t do reporting on heresay. Now when is Brian going to do a report on how this project about is going to be a great thing for Tupper Lake, and the surrounding communities. I think the people of Tupper Lake deserve something like that. That would be a fair thing to do. I also think that it is time for brian to stop putting out personal attacks on Mr. Foxman, and stop trying to dig up dirt on him. Oh, and by the way, I am glad my parents didn,t give me a name like TV.

  13. Paul says

    “He also noted that the IDA would assist the project only if it moves forward as a full-scale resort.”

    Won’t permit restrictions requiring phasing basically kill the project if this is true?

  14. Paul says

    This new hearing appears to have nothing to do with financing. That must be coming later?

    Right now an Adirondack Council witness, and expert on amphibians, is describing a “600 hour several year” amphibian assessment that would be required for a a 1000 acre parcel (this one is almost 7000 acres). We won’t have a migration of “froglets” from the vernal pools until July….

    He is describing how the application is incomplete in his opinion(and should be deemed incomplete by the APA)until a more extensive biological survey of the area is done.

  15. Paul says

    Sorry I should amend my last comment. I am not sure what group has invited the amphibian expert. A good guess is that it isn’t the developer!!

  16. John says

    Many commenters are saying that opponents want the project to be “a 100% slam dunk, no negatives, unqualified success on all fronts.” I don’t see that at all. I see them saying that embarking on a real estate project in which there is no historical evidence that the goals will be achieved is seriously risky.

    I hear real estate types talk about “comps,” or comparable sales, all the time. Why not look at comps around the Adirondacks? 650 total units, 40-50 per year. How does that compare to other parts of the region, in the last 5 years, last ten? Is it realistic to think that ACR will outsell the Lake Placid area? So what if it doesn’t? What if sales are half what they are in Lake Placid? Basically, is there a market for his project?

    The “opponents,” or skeptics, seem to be saying there isn’t a market for such a large development. I’m skeptical about the project’s ability to fill. Isn’t there a huge downside to having a partially-completed 650-unit housing development sitting empty in Tupper Lake? The proponents of the project seem to be saying, “there is no 100%, let’s just do it,” without acknowledging the fact that no project of this scale has ever been accomplished in the Adirondacks. Is this project at this time, led by these people really poised to be the largest, most successful real estate development in the history of the Adirondacks? I’m skeptical, too.

    I’d think a more reasonable approach would be a more modest development where meeting the goals doesn’t mean smashing all-time real estate records. Wouldn’t a project a quarter the size be great for Tupper Lake? Couldn’t that project be expanded upon if the market proved there was more demand?

  17. Philly Jones says

    I’ll clarify my “opponents” to the project. I’m speaking of the pseudo environmental groups like the Adirondack Council. The “doubters”, including experienced real estate people, etc. quoted and not in this article have legitimate concerns about expectations for the financial success of this project. Time will tell.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *