Granite Peak wraps up record-shattering year of chairlift rides as countdown to ski season begins
RIB MOUNTAIN, Wis. (WSAW) - On Sunday, Central Wisconsin got a taste of the winter chill, and it was the last day to take a chairlift ride at Granite Peak.
Granite Peak might be synonymous with winter, but they say they’ve had more than double the number of people they usually see on their fall chairlift ride.
“I mean, we’ve really smashed records, we’ve sold out a couple times,” said Greg Fisher, Granite Peak general manager and marketing director.
They sold out several days for the first time ever, during a ride season they shortened a by few weeks in September.
“Typically, we’ll see about 7,000 to 10,000 people over the course of the time that we’re open. We’ve seen record crowds come out, and we’re going to do over 20,000 rides,” said Fisher.
They’re encouraging social distancing, using hand sanitizer and masks, and most guests are wearing them.
“I think the weather has really helped, people wanting to get outside,” he said.
“It smells just like fall, I wish you could bottle it up,” said Elise Evenson, visiting from Door County.
Evenson is taking a ride and a hike at the top.
“It’s my first time on a chairlift ever. It’s kind of funny the first time I’m going on a chairlift is in fall,” she said.
But working in the service industry, she’s not surprised so many people are taking advantage of the fresh fall air.
“Everyone is making a lot of money right now, there’s not much else to do, so get outdoors,” she said.
After Sunday, the countdown is on to the upcoming ski season. Granite Peak says that involves building a 40 by 60-foot tent and keeping guests mostly outside during their visit. They’ll also make their historic chalet a weekend-only seated restaurant.
“We’re going to see some busy times here for sure, and hopefully Mother Nature will help us out,” Fisher said.
The ski season is expected to begin around Nov. 20.
Copyright 2020 WSAW. All rights reserved.