Snowmaking for the 2020/2021 season has started.
Our crew took advantage of a night where temps...
We are entering our 82nd winter ski season with challenges never before undertaken by the ski industry. We are asking for your participation in our operational plan, created with guidance from National Ski Areas Association Ski Well, Be Well plan. The goal is to embark on a fun winter season on the slopes for all!
We are following the operating plans being laid out in the industry as resorts prepare for the season. We anticipate there will be evolving guidance throughout the winter, hopefully, we can be flexible together.
Resorts across the country have unique markets, operations, and capacities. We need to do what is best for our resort and guests. We will do our best to be out front and communicate as much as we can for the 2020 - 2021 season. We realize that, while our goal is to provide a safe and friendly environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s unlikely we will please everyone with our practices, we are going to do our best to provide the most safe, and enjoyable experience you can have on the slopes so please read through this and use it as a guideline prior to your visit to Granite Peak this season.
The Granite Green Team Program was created in part to strengthen our cleanliness and recycling program. Establishing the Green Team is the first step in a long-term commitment to making the safest and cleanest possible environment at our resort that we can. We have teamed up with ServicePro Clean to ensure that we are staying on top of our cleanliness and ask for your assistance.
Our Green Team members will be responsible for disinfecting, cleaning and sanitizing our base lodges, food service areas, bathrooms, and outside eating places. Members of our Green Team will politely enforce physical/social distancing, mask protocols, and other safety parameters this season. The purpose of following these protocols is for the well-being of our guests and our employees. We’re all human, and at times we may forget to follow the rules. The Green Team will be there to keep us safe.
We will NOT be placing any restrictions or reservation requirement on your ability to visit during the time your pass is valid. We have, however, instituted a number of operating protocols to sharing of limited space and keep everyone safe that will apply in particular on Weekends and Holidays.
We STRONGLY encourage you to buy online, in advance, particularly on Weekends & Holidays. WHY?
Keep this in mind. We sold out scenic chairlift rides six times this fall and turned many away. In 10 years of operation, we have never sold out. EVER. We did it six times this year.
Our goal for Opening Day is to operate with two chairlifts immediately—most likely, Comet and Blitzen, plus one or both of our beginner surface lifts, allowing for more spacing from the first day to the last day! As you know, Granite has a strong lift infrastructure with our three high-speed lifts, and we believe this will help us spread out our guests across the resort to provide a safe environment outdoors and on the slopes. Hopefully, Mother Nature will work with us to make the snow needed to accomplish this for November 20th.
Our primary message to everyone is that wearing a face-covering / mask will be required in any line, including our lifts. We had our most successful fall season to date with our scenic chairlift rides and food & beverage offerings on the Historic Chalet Deck. We asked all guests to wear masks while in line and at the time of loading & unloading. We were delighted that few guests had problems complying with this standard operating procedure and that most wish it to continue into the winter. You’ll find all of our lift attendants and staff in our Granite Peak Buffs while at the resort.
We won’t force anyone to ride with a party other than their own. Safety on the lift will have single riders spaced accordingly. Keep in mind that lifts are moving in the fresh air, are consistently distanced, and everyone will be in masks, gloves, and goggles!
In an effort to move guest traffic around our resort footprint we have made the decision to move our terrain parks to the East Side of the resort and Granite Peak Parks will now be serviced by the Cupid High Speed Detachable Quad. We are very excited about this as we feel this will give our park enthusiasts a dedicated lift and terrain that can be lapped for hours of enjoyment. It also alleviates some congestion at the six pack Cupid and opens up a bit more terrain in the middle of our resort for most guests. Check out our new Trail Map
The terrain parks will be located on Idle Wild, Sidewinder, Upper White Wolf, and Lower White Wolf. Wedgewood and the other trails on the East side will also provide us the availability to constantly create and change parks by only closing sections and not entire parks. Look for possible enhancements at the bottom of Cupid with potential for seating and mid-season BBQs.
Rental equipment will be cleaned and sanitized upon return and before they go out to our guests. In person, rentals may take a little longer to complete due to the size and space we have here at Granite. To help alleviate busy Saturday mornings, our rental shop and office will be open until 11pm on select Friday nights to offer ticket pick up and rental pick up for those traveling from a distance. We like to call this Late Night Express. We’ll even have fresh coffee available should you need a little pick-me-up.
This will undoubtedly be our most challenging obstacle to overcome this season. This fall, we’ve been able to operate 100% outdoors for our food & beverage concessions through the Historic Deck. We know during the winter that there will be times when a simple warm-up might be necessary. We will be following the guidance and mandates set forth by the State of Wisconsin. At this time, that is a 25% capacity of all indoor space through November 6th.
To allocate as much space as possible, we will NOT allow guests to leave any gear or bags, bring in outside food or "claim tables" in our chalets this season. Please start your day from your car and leave any extra clothes, bags, etc. out there. We will have plenty of outdoor seating available in and around our buildings. We are continuously building benches and other seating arrangements for you to use.
The Sundance Chalet will become our primary use lodge due to the size, layout, and cafeteria traffic flow. We are working with Spectrum, Pepsi, and Drip Media to create a multi-functioning lodge that features digital signage, TV programming, and music. We also built a fantastic bar that will be available on opening day. This lodge will be HOSTED with one or two ways in only and seating within the lodge itself will be limited to 30 minutes at a time. We will ask guests to sit with only those who they have traveled with and that one from each table goes to get food and drink for the entire table where ever possible.
The Historic Chalet this season will be a HOSTED RESTAURANT for indoor eating and dining. We will ask guests to see a hostess for seats and we will provide wait service inside the lodge. We are increasing the quality of the food in the Historic Chalet to truly feel like a dining experience. We are working with Open Table to create a reservation experience.
Luckily for us, we’ve already invested heavily in an outdoor heated deck adjacent to the Historic Chalet, and we continue to update those heaters and fire pits. You’ll find more heaters and fire features on Sundance Deck this year as well.
The 10th Mountain Hut on the Historic Chalet Deck is getting a new name and theme. The Granite Pizza Barn or GPB for short will feature a variety of single serve & family sized pizzas, pretzels, appetizers, and a huge selection of canned craft beer, seltzers, ciders, and anything you can get in a can. The goal with this operation is to offer "finger" food that can be eaten without utensils and is prepared fast.
We’ve purchased two tents from our friends at Everest Tent Rentals and will be putting these up before our November opening! Our largest tent, a 60 x 40’, will provide approximately 100 - 120 seats in the area adjacent to our Historic Chalet and the space above our main ticket windows.
The other 30’x15’ tent will be outside the Sundance Chalet and offer up additional coverage.
We will still operate our ski and snowboard school programs for the season, and we are going to stagger the start of a few of our popular children’s programs to alleviate crowds and gatherings.
All those wishing to take a lesson will need to wear a mask at all times, sign a waiver, and go through a health check prior to beginning his/her/their lesson. Snow Sports instructors will also be in masks, gloves, and will keep socially distant as much as possible during lessons. Group Lessons will be strictly kept to limited sizes and if you have a family that is looking to participate in a group lesson please check out our Granite Peak Explorers program that is specifically designed for traveling parties.
All guests will be required to sign a waiver this year and are highly encouraged to book in advance as programs sell out and will this year. We are continuously working on this program and will update our programs in the next few weeks.
The Granite Peak Ski Shop will operate as usual with capacity limitations set by the state. We’ll have everything you need, from logo wear to face-masks to those little items you may have forgotten at home.
General Manager, Marketing Guy, Skier, Husband, Father, Friend of the Outdoors.