Mark Switek from United States writes:
Up until this year I was a huge proponent of what was happening at Granite Peak. Right now the best thing that could happen from my opinion is for them to go bankrupt, a new management group that knows something about ski area take over and then it will be a ski area. If you look at the surface, it seems like a nice midwestern ski area. If you look closer, you will see it is terribly mis-managed with a law suit waiting to happen. One trip to a real ski area will tell you these people are real amateurs.
Examples: Last year the on the hill crew came and cut small trees along the edge of the runs. This year we have punge sticks waiting to impale an unsuspecting snowboarder or skier as the snow depth is not as deep as last year. An easy correction would be to cut them at ground level in the non snow months.
Yesterday I saw 14 ski patrol persons getting on the same lift all at once. I said to my ski partner ' I sure hope this chair doesn't break as the evac crew is on the chair and none of them are prepared to self evac.' The chair has a history of failure. Today we sat on the stopped chair for an hour, yes 60 minutes before the decision to lock out was made. We were within ear shot of the motor house and could hear the happenings, 40 minutes to try to fix the brake solenoid, 20 minutes to try to start the auxillary motor. Standard call is ten minutes to get it up and going and then patrol takes over, locks down the chair and begins the evac. Yes there can be mechanical problems, but someone needs to make a decision and it won't happen here. Do you think starting the auxillary motor every day would be out of order? The ski area that I used to work at had a practice of running all auxillaries every day.
My last rant is on the lift ops. Short of a few, they have not received the proper training to know what their job is. The carpet is quite often dry so you can't slide into the lift box, the entry areas into the lift boxes are anything but flat. It takes a seasoned skier to get in the lift area without creating a problem. And they can't figure out why they have to shut the chair off so frequently. Any real ski area knows to make the loading area as smooth as your living room floor and it will aleviate problems. Not here yet.
I partly feel for them because they are so close to being a nice area, as the owner has spent a fortune making it nice and it is a nice place to ski if you don't see how poorly managed the place is. An on the hill manager that knows something about ski areas could turn this nightmare into a real cool place to ski and ride.