Beginning this season, Wisconsin’s Granite Peak Ski Area will be restricting access to three of its runs to skiers only. The resort, which boasts five terrain parks that president and owner Charles Skinner says are used almost exclusively by snowboarders, has been hearing from a “growing chorus of skiers requesting a few ‘skier only’ runs,” says Skinner. “Skiers have told us that the rhythm, turn radius, and visual orientation is different for skiers and snowboarders, and that they would enjoy a few runs dedicated just to skiers. We are now responding to this request by the dedication of three runs for this purpose.”
Granite Peak currently has a trail map posted on its Web site, skigranitepeak.com, showing that six runs will be given the new “skier only”
designation this winter, but Skinner says that this was an “intermediate plan” that has since been revised to include three of its 75 runs that he describes as “shorter and narrower than the average run.” The segregated terrain accounts for about three percent of the total mountain.
The new policy is not currently listed on the Granite Peak Web site, but Skinner says it will be explained in an updated version of the resort’s site scheduled to launch shortly.
“Many families, like my own or groups of friends, are comprised of both skiers and snowboarders and this new policy restricts their options to enjoy the mountain together as a group – this is not right,” says Louis Bailoni, a Granite Peak local rider. “Granite Peak is open to the public, is not a private club, [and] is located on State Park property and therefore to restrict mountain access purely based on whether you choose to ski or snowboard is discriminatory. What’s next? Restrict access to the Disabled? Telemark skiers? Children below a certain age? Adults above a certain age? I.Q. level?”
“This year’s change is an effort to provide a better balance for all of our customers,” explains Skinner. “We have responded aggressively to the requests of snowboarders to expand terrain features over the past few years and have continuously upgraded and improved the features. Our snowboarder customers are important to us and we will continue to improve and enhance our terrain parks. This change is an experiment for this season and will be evaluated at the end of the season based on feedback from customers. This is the same process we have taken with our terrain parks which has resulted in changing locations and other modifications of terrain parks over the years.”
If you would like to make your voice heard, please contact Granite Peak at 715-845-2846 or visit skigranitepeak.com.