The Wisconsin Skier just learned of the initial phases of a Granite Peak expansion plan. I do not ski there often, but I have visited and reviewed the resort. The resort has some good terrain but is looking to expand to add more slope capacity and to add some more varied beginner and intermediate terrain.
Granite Peak is fabled for its steep headwalls and rapid transitions to very “meh” terrain, even “meh” for beginners (maybe not first week skiers). There is some intermediate skiing to be had but not much. The top of the mountain is mostly black and double black skiing and yes as I state once you survive the initial ½ to ⅓ of the run you are very safe, the initial headwall and narrow runs are challenging.
In addition to the increasing the variety of beginner and intermediate terrain the resort is looking to get into the lodging business by adding skiside lodging, a feature currently lacking at Granite Peak.
So to add that capacity and to add more varied terrain Granite Peak is in the initial phases of a $50 million expansion proposal. This will be an interesting project to watch as Rib Mountain is a state park and this gives the state and the local citizenry more say in the matter. The main concerns voiced in the Wausau Daily Herald are the increased demands additional snowmaking will have on the local water resources and the change of the views up the side of the mountain.
The snowmaking concerns about the Granite Peak expansion are a bigger deal than you think. Early winter one always sees a rash of news and opinion coming out of the Wausau area about what a pain Granite Peak’s snowmaking is. The locals gripe about the additional snow getting blown into town and on the roads, making for slippier driving and increased road maintenance costs.
Obviously, I the Wisconsin Skier support this plan. I believe the increased visits to Wausau during the winter and the increased spending during the construction phase will all be of benefit to Wausau’s citizens.