22-23 SEASON PASSES ON SALE
While we still have three more weekends to go I wanted to write and express my gratitude to our guests, passholders, our staff, ski patrol volunteers, GPST program participants and the local community for another fantastic season here at Granite Peak.
I think this may have been my favorite season of my career as I really feel at home here and that is thanks to you and the local community. While my family and I have not found a home yet (if you’re selling let me know!) we have been welcomed with open arms and have found some great friendships.
The 20-21 season was successful but trying given the restrictions in place of the pandemic and our building capacities. Lifting those this season really let us do what I feel was a true ski season. Full capacity restaurants & menus, a full event calendar & plenty of additional activities for you to enjoy.
Event management is how I started my career and it will always be a big part of the resort culture here as long as I’m around. Last weekend was fantastic. It was so cool to see so many families enjoying & participating in the spectator friendly pond skim and cardboard sled race. But that carried through with many of our events this year including the massive slopestyle and of course, our kids friendly Grom Jams. I’m happy to say that we are already slotting in dates for next year’s events and I think you’ll find that it will be very similar to this year’s slate.
Staffing across the country has been an issue and if you are in-tuned to the ski industry it was a big deal at some big resort conglomerates. I’m really proud that we were able to maintain our operations steady through the season with little interruption. After 115 days of operation yesterday’s Dasher closure was the first time we couldn’t run a lift due to staffing challenges. Our lift operations manager Ryan Spiess came to us from Copper Mountain this past fall and has stepped right in as a scheduling master.
Capital Improvement Planning
What’s going to happen here over the summer! Nothing. Ha! That’s an April Fool’s joke. Our year round team doesn’t just go off to the beaches we all work together to better our ski area.
We have another huge summer of capital projects aimed at improving our services and operations for you! Here’s a sample of some of the key things we have going on this summer.
- A new 2022 Prinoth Bison X Winch Cat is currently being built for Granite Peak and will be added to our fleet in the fall!
- Two new Can Am Defender 6x6s have joined our garage
- A trail mower that attaches to a groomer with rubber tracks has been purchased which will allow us to mow our trails this summer keeping growth minimal and come fall make snowmaking more efficient.
- 10 New SMI Polecat Fan Guns will be installed this fall primarily in the middle of the ski area near Lower Birch, Miracle, Aspen, and the transition from Upper to Lower Dusky.
- Blitzen & Santa are receiving unloading deck upgrades
Because we lease the operation of the ski area from the DNR there are somethings we need to ask permission to do especially to the Historic Chalet. We are in the process of receiving permission and the necessary permits to do the following:
- Expand the kitchen. We will remove the bathrooms, add grab and go windows and create more menu items for inside and outside dinging.
- Expand the lower bathrooms.
- We know that bathrooms at Granite Peak are an area of need. We will be looking to expand the current footprint of the bathrooms adding much needed stalls to both the women’s and mens rooms making these the main facilities centrally located for our ski area.
- Expand the Historic Deck.
- Yes we are looking to continue the expansion of the Historic Deck. Intentions are to follow the bump out of the current deck by adding two raised sections on either side of the bump out with additional seating.
- Move the Pizza Shack to the old Prancer Lift Shack and create another food outlet option.
- My intentions here are for something sweet. Waffles, donuts or maybe crepes. Who knows but it will be different and we wish to create a fun seating area on that flat area that currently has picnic tables.
- The area where the pizza shack is now will become more seating with potential for grab and go window for mixed drinks from the bar.
- A new roof on Sundance
- Parking lot repairs.
- Rental remodel & moving the Tuning Shop to the Snowboard Room for a better footprint and access point for guests.
- New Walk-in Freezer & Fridge Storage at Sundance.
The off-season is really not an off-season for us. In all honesty the ski season is the fun part for us. It’s hard work but we enjoy it and it’s why we all work in the ski industry. The summer and fall is where we planning, timelines and cooperative management come into play!
Expansion, DNR & Mountain Biking Future
Finally I was invited to and attended the CWOCC (Central Wisconsin Off-road Cycling Club) 10th Anniversary Party last night. I am not an avid mountain biker but have worked on a ton of mountain bike events including a few national championships and love the culture. My son Ronan picked up mountain biking last year and I intend to get more involved with it this summer. We are hopeful that in the future with the proposed expansion we can welcome mountain biking to Rib Mountain and Granite Peak. I hope to work with organizations like CWOCC, Iron Bull and more to offer summer activities & events in the future. This place is beautiful and one of a kind in Wisconsin. We are hopeful to hear from the DNR soon on the proposed expansion of Rib Mountain and where the future will take us.
For now we have plenty to do. Including three more weekends of skiing. Hopefully I’ll see you out there.
Thanks again for the amazing season. I look forward to welcoming you back for our 85th season in 22-23 but maybe I’ll see you on the slopes before we close up on the 16th.