What to Expect on Opening Day

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Tomorrow will be my 22nd Opening Day working in the ski industry. I can honestly say that the excitement, anxiety, and fun surrounding that first day hasn’t changed at all in two decades.  While I’m excited to get the season underway I want to take a moment to give you all a sense of what to expect this season.

Last year at this time I was writing about COVID-19 policies, protections and things that we were going to implement to keep you safe. This season it’s much simpler, putting control back in your hands.

  • No Vaccine Requirement
  • No Mask Requirement
  • No Ghost Lanes in Lift Lines
  • We will be loading chairs to capacity when we need to on peak busy days.
    • If you would prefer to ride alone or only with your party we will respect your wishes.  Please let attendants know.

You can still do your part in keeping our area, staff, and guests safe. Socially distance yourself as best you can at all times. If you want, wear a mask (we still have plenty) and wash your hands. If you are feeling at all unwell, please stay home. There will be another day to ski. Ski Well, Be Well.  

We will be operating the first three weeks as we normally do with operations sticking to weekends until December 10th. Check our hours of operation here and always check in with our snow report / conditions page updated daily.

An Early Season Terrain Park will be located on Upper Duskey. The Granite Peak Parks team will update what will be available on Wednesday morning.

While operating a ski area during a pandemic did have its challenges, it also brought out significant changes that we will keep moving forward as they improved the experience for all guests.

  • Bags & equipment will not be allowed within our chalets and we will ask you to boot up at your car or return your belongings to your car. Lockers are available in Rental and Lower Historic (after Dec 10) for your use.
  • We’ve added more tables and chairs to both Chalets, while maintaining appropriate spacing. “Parking” at a table all day during our PEAK busy periods will not be tolerated. Our Chalet Hosts will assist you in cleaning tables but they may ask you to leave after 45 mins if tables are unavailable for other guests.
  • The Historic Chalet will continue as a sit down restaurant, open on Wednesdays, Fridays – Sundays & Holidays starting December 10.
    • The Deck and Historic Chalet will be closed until we complete the deck renovations and new HVAC system.  We are also updating the lower level for better use.
  • We will have caps for daily lift ticket sales. Lastly, we will keep our stance on weekend lift tickets and rentals as requiring to be purchased in advance.
    • Not only will you save money if you purchase at least 5 days in advance but it will better help us prepare for the day with proper staffing, parking, and more.
  • Comet Lift Mazes & Loading Procedures
    • We will maintain our lift loading procedure of calling out groups prior to the Gate.
    • No ghost lanes but will look to create lanes for singles, doubles, triples & then multiple 4+ lanes
      • The west side will open on Weekends & Holidays and Peak Days for singles and doubles.

Comet Loading Maze

On the snow I think you’ll find that we have great coverage and the snowmaking team did a phenomenal job during the last few weeks. I wanted to hit the 20th and like I said in my last post we could have made it. But would it be worth marginal conditions for two days?  The answer is NO. Seriously, it’s no. With two extra days to push snow, get in an afternoon of training for our ski school, and two additional nights of the best snowmaking yet will make Wednesday and beyond so much better.  Wednesday by the way looks like a spring day with temps in the 40s!  Don’t worry it drops right back to normal for Thanksgiving!

Check out this photo  a pilot sent to us!  Really shows the coverage our team has been able to accomplish for you.

Aerial Plane Photo of Granite Peak

What else will you find at the ski area on opening day?

  • A ton of new gear in the Ski Shop. Vicki has done a great job in curating a huge variety of new logo wear and the shop looks awesome. Grab some Christmas gifts while you’re here!

Retail Itms

  • Additional coolers in the Sundance Cafe that will be fully stocked with plenty of drinks thanks to Mid-Wisconsin Beverage!

Cafeteria Coolers

  • New recycling bins in our base area.  A new initiative Granite Goes Green to reduce our carbon footprint and doing our part in trying to recycle. More on this in another blog.

New Recycling Bins

  • Way-finding Signage. You’ll notice them for sure in the base area.  Thanks Dave Kallaway for the sweet photo!

  • Six New Draft Lines in Sundance and a better selection of liquor. You’ll have more to choose from than just Jack, Jim, Tito, Jose, and Captain.  😉

We will be expanding our snowmaking operations immediately on Thursday as we transition over to Mystery, Aspen, and Sundance to get the Blitzen Lift open as soon as possible.

Finally, I can’t say enough about our staff. Everyone has been working hard to get us to opening day. Driving into work this today listening to the morning show talk and everyone is like, “Ooh short work week!”  Ha. We’ll be thankful to have you here but please give them a handshake, high-five, and a smile this Thanksgiving. These men and women are going to be giving up their holiday(s) to ensure you have the best they can be on the snow!


P.S. You better believe you’ll see me out on the Comet lift first thing on Wednesday morning. Not skiing but welcoming you all back. My son Ronan will be skiing with you all. No First Chair for him but he’s more excited than Christmas morning.  Speaking of First Chair.  The First 50 people in line will score a very cool Custom Blackstrap First Chair Project Buff!  

Our GM's Son Ronan Hyped


  1. Isaiah on November 22, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    This is great thank you for the update on new procurers, I am super exited to get back up here and go skiing again. I may just have to come a little early to get that first lift?

  2. Jeff Misener on November 23, 2021 at 8:35 am

    So excited! Thank you Greg! Looking forward to snowboarding this year.

    • Greg Fisher on November 23, 2021 at 8:59 am

      Awesome! We look forward to having you.

  3. Casey on November 23, 2021 at 9:18 am

    If you WANT wear a mask??!
    Excited to get back to fun, but sure would feel more protected, (and encouraged to visit) if masks were required indoors…my confidence in others’ courtesy is not what it once was… :-/

    • Greg Fisher on November 23, 2021 at 9:55 am

      Casey life is full of choices. I’m the opposite. I’m of the mind that most people are honest and are trustworthy to do the right thing. I think you’ll find the season to be safe at Granite Peak.

  4. Kevin on November 23, 2021 at 9:42 am

    Will the magic carpet be running opening day?

  5. John on November 23, 2021 at 9:48 am

    Looking forward to it Greg….thanks to the team there and all the work that goes into getting GP up and running.
    I’m in the recreational industry and I know you can’t please everyone….keep pushing to make GP the Midwest’s premier destination.
    There is a fiercely loyal and common sense minded group of pass holders that would make a great asset for you to speak / meet with regularly.
    See you tomorrow for my BUFF !!!

    • Greg Fisher on November 23, 2021 at 9:53 am

      I’m always around and approachable so feel free to reach out at any time.

  6. Carol Mendrygal on November 23, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Thank you so much for all of your hard work! Our family and friends really appreciate it and are SO looking forward to enjoying all of it! See you opening day!!

    • Greg Fisher on November 23, 2021 at 9:57 am

      Thanks Carol! We look forward to welcoming you and the family back!

  7. Ty Morrow on November 23, 2021 at 10:26 am

    Do you have snow tubing?


    • Greg Fisher on November 23, 2021 at 10:28 am

      We do not offer snow tubing.

  8. Robert on November 23, 2021 at 10:35 am

    The runs look great! I believe the crew did a great job making as much snow and opening as many runs as possible. I know some people will be disappointed not as many runs/lifts are open. You work with what you have and you did. Look at the bright side, we are skiing over Thanksgiving weekend. Most of the big name resorts out west and the PNW aren’t even open yet. You can look at their webcams, it’s 20-25 degrees out and they don’t have a single snow gun running. They aren’t even making the attempt to open. While GP worked tirelessly to make it happen. Hats off to you and your crew. I am making the 5 hour journey with my family this weekend.

    • Greg Fisher on November 23, 2021 at 1:27 pm

      Thanks Robert. Been a tough go out west and in the east for temperatures. I have a ton of friends on both sides of the country and I know that we actually have more terrain than most even places like Killington etc. The Midwest I think by the end of the weekend will have the most ski hills in operation between the two coasts! Hopefully our friends on both sides of the country can get some cold and snow back in the forecast.

  9. Amy on November 23, 2021 at 11:16 am

    We are looking forward to it! If we have a family season pass but did not received anything via mail, should we bring anything to opening day? Where do we get our passes?

    • Greg Fisher on November 23, 2021 at 1:26 pm

      Amy pick up your passes at the Administration Building next to our ticket windows.

  10. savannah on November 23, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    are you guys open on thanksgiving?

  11. Roy on November 23, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks for choosing not to have a vaccine and mask requirement to this snow season! A lot of resorts out there have fallen into the pressure of politics in this country requiring vaccines and/or masks inside of their facilities and by you guys choosing not to fall into these pressures, I hope a lot more people spend their money with your business! Thanks for all the hard work!!!

    • Greg Fisher on November 23, 2021 at 7:11 pm

      Thanks for the nice words Roy. It’s not really about what’s right or what’s wrong, politics or anything other than we want to offer an environment for everyone and we feel that skiing is a safe outdoor sport. Going inside is not a necessity it is an option.

  12. Slash on November 24, 2021 at 2:09 am

    I got a feeling
    That tonight’s gonna be a good night
    That tonight’s gonna be a good night
    That tonight’s gonna be a good, good night

  13. Kim Williams on November 24, 2021 at 7:13 am

    Looking great and we can’t wait!!! We heard awesome things about your location so we traveled all the way from Georgia to see it for ourselves…we will see you on the slopes this morning….hooray for opening day!!!!

  14. Derek on November 24, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Greg, from all of us out here in the northeast, we’re cheering for you! Can’t wait to come out again. In the meantime, let ‘er rip, Ronan!! ??❄️

    • Greg Fisher on November 25, 2021 at 8:59 am

      Happy Thanksgiving Derek! Appreciate all the work you have done and the blessings! Ronan got in 21,000 vert on day one.

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