- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) - The owner and president of Granite Peak in Rib Mountain State Park is proposing a $50 million expansion that would add lodging and more than a dozen new ski runs to the grounds.

Charles Skinner wants to expand the leased portion of the ski area from 415 acres to 565 acres to add more than a dozen new novice and intermediate runs. Granite Peak sees about 110,000 annual skier visits and 3,500 season pass-holders at the ski area, according to the company.

“The ski area is really too small to survive long-term,” Skinner said. “The existing runs are really pretty crowded now.”

Skinner submitted his project proposal to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources about a week ago. He estimates the ski run expansion would cost about $20 million and the slope-side lodging would cost about $30 million.

Skinner plans to fund the improvements through company earnings and bank loans, he told Wausau Daily Herald Media (https://wdhne.ws/1BY5eOp ). Much of the work will be done in phases and the timetable will depend on how strong business is at the hill, he said.



“We’ll need to grow our skier visits as we go along, so it will depend on the pace of the growth of skier visits and that kind of thing in terms of how long it will take to complete the project,” he said.

Granite Peak is expecting the ski area expansion to nearly double the amount of annual skier visits, from 110,000 to 200,000. It will also add about 180 new jobs to the current 200-strong workforce at the hill.

The project would also add more hiking trails and other summertime recreational opportunities.

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Information from: Wausau Daily Herald Media, https://www.wausaudailyherald.com

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