22-23 SEASON PASSES ON SALE
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.
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.
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!
- Additional coolers in the Sundance Cafe that will be fully stocked with plenty of drinks thanks to Mid-Wisconsin Beverage!
- 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.
- 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!