Hey! It has been a while and I apologize for that but we (I) have been really quite busy. You know the ski season may have ended months ago but in reality the off-season might be the most busy time of year for many of us here at Granite Peak. Lots of review takes place both personally and professionally as well as planning for the next season. It’s always good to do this while the ideas and challenges of the season are fresh! I’ll be sure to share what we have planned for this season soon but we have some very big news to share and help to request!
This off-season though is a little different than any other that I’ve been a part of. This one includes the path to expand the operations of Granite Peak. It’s been on the drawing board for a while now and the pandemic put a pause to it in 2020 but now it’s got a head of steam and we need your help to push it along!
On June 10th at the Hilton Garden Hotel – The SE Group (link) presented the Rib Mountain State Park Mountain Recreation Needs Assessment – Final Study to a private group of local officials. The SE Group was contracted by the Greater Wausau Prosperity Partnership to evaluate existing and potential downhill skiing and mountain biking opportunities at Rib Mountain State Park.
This presentation showcased a review of the current state of Rib Mountain State Park, which of course includes Granite Peak (as we sit inside the boundary of this wonderful state attraction) and a study on what an expansion to the park offerings could do for our local economy and business.
This project has been in the works since the 1980s believe it or not and our President and CEO Charles Skinner brought it back to the table. Since then a Guiding Task force of local town officials have been working to bring it to where it is now: Open for public review and comment period please, please, please comment and support OPTION #4.
This is very exciting. There are essentially four options on the table that range from little to no change in option #1 to the addition of lifts, mountain bike terrain, mountain coasters and more in option #4. Of course as an operator and outdoor enthusiast I want to go big and Option #4 is awesome.
I strongly encourage you to check out the DNR report and comment on your own (this is obviously a theme of this blog) but if you want me to give you the “Cliff Notes” here you go!
All the opportunities are great but Option #4 gives us not only a huge expansion of skiing services but a full year round promise of activities and downhill mountain biking! This is the one I’ll hone in on and talk about. Option 4 gives us the most opportunity to utilize so much of the Natural Resources we have here within the park boundary! Mountain Biking is something so many of you have asked me about and I would love nothing more than to work on the development of it and other summer time fun as well!
Here are the details of Option #4: the maps will be better viewed within the DNR Report and are just here for overview. Clicking on the map will bring you to the DNR Site and the map itself.
|SKI TERRAIN||LIFT UPGRADES|
|139 acres of new terrain||Relocation of our conveyor lifts|
|16 new beginner runs (including 2 top to bottom)||Blitzen upgrades to a detachable quad|
|20 new intermediate runs||1 new chair in the East|
|5 new advanced run||3 new chairlifts in the west|
|New dedicated learning terrain||3 new conveyor belts|
|A glade area wide enough for a groomer to pass through||1 new mountain bike lift to the SOUTH!|
|BASE / CUSTOMER SERVICE AREA IMPROVEMENTS|
|33,000 sq feet of guest service space added||10,000 sq feet dedicated learning (ski school) center|
|New Base Area & Parking in the West||New Parking Location in the East|
|Upgraded snowmaking pump station||New Warming Hut / Yurt|
Doesn’t that sound look awesome! Don’t worry keep reading it gets better! Check out the Summer Improvement Map (scroll down for summer) Option #4
|MOUNTAIN BIKING||HIKING TRAIL IMPROVEMENTS|
|14 miles of bike optimized (bike only) trails||14 new community access (trail head) points|
|Dedicated Lift on the South Side of Rib Mountain||1.6 miles of hiking trail realignment|
|5 gravity (downhill) lift serviced trails||2.5 miles of trail to be rehabilitated|
|Winter lift serviced fat tire biking||Loop trails for family options|
|15 miles of shared use trails for biking & hiking|
|OTHER / ALTERNATIVE SUMMER RECREATIONAL FUN|
|Scenic Rides||Zip Lines / Canopy Tour|
|Mountain Coaster||Aerial Adventure (Ropes) Challenge Course|
|Glamping (Camping) Sites||Family Fun Zone|
I love winter but the addition of summer options and activities here is something that I couldn’t be more thrilled about and something that I can’t wait to dive into professionally.
Mountain biking is something I have a passion for but not in terms of actually riding but running events and I love the people who do it. Throughout my career I’ve had the pleasure to work on events such as the Sea Otter Classic, NORBA National Series, USA Cycling National Championships, and numerous Eastern Gravity fed series.
The opportunity to grow the mountain biking program here at Granite Peak is really exciting as the area offers so much already but lacks the Gravity portion of mountain biking. You really can’t find much of that anywhere in the midwest and I know it would be a home run. I could see Granite Peak and the Greater Wausau area potentially being home to some large scale events down the road that could include multiple activities and disciplines.
The additional “alternative” recreational activities listed above will also create a summer destination many families including my own would enjoy. Coming from an area like North Conway, NH we were lucky enough to have these at our disposal and I can say we totally got into the zip lines and canopy tours that both Attitash Mountain & Cranmore Mountain resort offered during the summer months. The idea that these would be at the mountain I call home now is nothing more than stellar.
Obviously this is a big undertaking and will take some time to deliver but the biggest thing right now is to get the word out about this and offer up our support. Granite Peak is just a piece of this overall plan and the Department of Natural Resources in the end holds the ultimate decision in the overall master plan of the Rib Mountain State Park.
TO GIVE YOUR SUPPORT USE THIS FORM:
I’ll be happy to answer any questions but please voice your support on the DNR site that’s the most important!
Wishing you and your family a wonderful, safe summer!
Greg (Logan too)