Owner of Granite Peak & Lutsen Mountains to Purchase Michigan’s Big Snow Resort
Charles Skinner, agrees to acquire the largest ski area in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Lutsen, MN, and Wausau, WI (May 25, 2022) – Charles Skinner, the owner of Minnesota’s Lutsen Mountains Ski Area and Wisconsin’s Granite Peak Ski Area, has a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Big Snow Resort, which consists of Indianhead and Blackjack ski areas, from Art Dumke. Skinner’s family has owned and operated vacation destination ski areas catering to Midwest families for 60 years.
All the resorts in the Skinner ownership portfolio are accessible to Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, and Minneapolis/St. Paul markets, offering customers outstanding affordability and the luxury of travel flexibility.
Big Snow Resort in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, known as “Big Snow Country,” so named thanks to the lake effect snowfall of Lake Superior, delivering 200-inch averages annually. Indianhead was the first ski resort built in this region of Michigan, while Blackjack is the most recent ski area built in 1977.
“We are thrilled that these two historical, Upper Michigan ski areas, known for their prodigious powder snow, will be joining our two legendary Minnesota and Wisconsin ski resorts,” stated Charles Skinner. “The current owner and his excellent staff have done a terrific job honoring the legacy of Indianhead and Blackjack and combining them into the largest ski area in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We intend to build upon this work by investing in new lifts and base area infrastructure at Big Snow soon.”
Big Snow will join the tradition of its sister resorts providing Midwest families with diverse and high-quality alpine ski vacations in some of the most picturesque areas in the Midwest.
“I would first like to say how grateful we are to the many wonderful employees, skiers, and community members who we’ve had the privilege of serving and working with the past many years,” stated Art Dumke, owner of Big Snow Resorts. “I’m also pleased that the new ownership has so much expertise in operating premium Midwest ski areas and is vested in improving the ski area for skiers, employees, and the community.”
“We’re committed to providing Midwest families with great destinations close to home that offer the best snow, great customer service, and fast, modern ski lifts,” added Charlotte Skinner, VP of Finance and Resource Management. “We are planning major investments at Big Snow that we know everyone will be very excited about when details are announced later this summer.”
The Skinner Family plans to retain all Big Snow Resort’s current employees. “Art has told us great things about the current staff, and we look forward to working with the entire team on this exciting new chapter for this legendary resort,” explained Charlotte Skinner. “The current management team will enjoy support from our management teams at Lutsen and Granite Peak, and our goal is always to be the best employer in the region.”
“This transaction will strengthen all three areas. We will continue our pace of investments at both Lutsen and Granite Peak,” emphasized Charles Skinner. “At Lutsen, we are pleased to announce that we will be installing a new, high-speed, 6-place chairlift from Leitner Poma on Eagle Mountain next summer to replace the ‘Bridge Lift.’ This summer, major investments are also taking place in snowmaking and a host of building improvements at both Lutsen and Granite Peak.”
The transaction includes all of the assets of Big Snow Resort, including over 1,000 acres of private land. The closing, subject to financing and due diligence completion, is expected to occur by the end of July.
Will granite peak season passes be honored at big snow?
Any pass programs or reciprocal benefits between resorts will be announced once the acquisition is completed after July. Stay tuned.
Awesome! Will lift passes work at all locations?
Any pass programs or reciprocal benefits between resorts will be announced once the acquisition is completed after July. Stay tuned. Glad you are excited – I am too!
Love it !!! Hope we are able to use season our pass at all 3 locations to create more variety of skiing throughout the season!!!
I’m sure we’ll have some opportunities here. Technology plays a big role in how that works across resort lines. First the acquisition must close for anything to happen and that will be a few months still.
Wow! We love Big Snow and have been impressed with Granite Peak. My wife grew up skiing and has turned our family on to skiing. Having the quality of lifts, snow and add in the solid lodging at Big Snow, skiing life just got even better!
Awesome. We are excited to get in there and do some updates. I think you’ll see some new interiors first followed by some updates outside.
You buried the lede; the Legendary pass should include unlimited riding at the new mountains. Yes okay, “update incoming once the deal is closed”… do the right thing.
Aaron once closing happens then we will be looking at options for visitation for passholders to the UP.
I see a lot more season pass sales in ur guyses future if all 3 will be accessible….me and my family being a few lol
Great to hear Nick. Once the sale closes we will be working on figuring out any pass programs for our properties. Stay tuned.
Any update on timeline for the close of sale and possible season pass options to include all 4 resorts?
Not yet Ryan. Sorry for the late reply I honestly missed this one. See my reply to Jay just a few seconds ago.
Has the sale closed, and is there any update on pass programs or other information at this time?
The sale has not closed yet but is close. Closing dates are fluid and with a ski area there are a lot more pieces than buying say a home or dwelling. We are 100% still moving forward with ownership and operation. Thanks for checking in Jay!