Midwest 2021-2022 Midwest Ski Resort/Conditions/Meetups

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Dwight

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Wonder what this means for either pricing or some multi mountain pass goal?

Or is your opinion they're simply wish to update to be competitive and more so comsidered a destination?
The lodge burnt down a few years ago. They need a lodge. The hotel needs major upgrading. Taking a resort that needs major upgrades takes time and lots of money. I sure hope David can pull it off. Very glad to see this announcement. Whitecap needed these updates 20 yrs ago.
 

focker

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The lodge burnt down a few years ago. They need a lodge. The hotel needs major upgrading. Taking a resort that needs major upgrades takes time and lots of money. I sure hope David can pull it off. Very glad to see this announcement. Whitecap needed these updates 20 yrs ago.

Yea they need this. I had friends go up last year and they said they'd never go back until they redo some things. This is sorely needed for them to stay open IMO and stay competitive with other local hill in the area.
 

David D

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Maybe @David D (manager at Whitecap) can comment? He hasn't been on since November, so I don't know if he's still coming around here and in the same position.
I agree. These improvements are long overdue and quite necessary. Without elaborating, (and I haven't said this anywhere else), this is the first step in a multi year project. All of us here are excited! It has taken some time to get to this point but we are ready to roll. There will be news posted as we continue to announce and finish projects. Thanks for all of your support, David
 

DerKommissar

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Wow. The Skinner Family (owners of Lutsen and Granite Peak) are buying Big Snow. New 6-pack replacing Bridge Lift at Lutsen this summer also. EDIT: Sorry, *next* summer.

Fantastic news.

https://www.skigranitepeak.com/blog/big-snow/
Is Granite Peak worth the drive from St. Louis (8 hours)? It's hard to find something worth driving to from here rather than just flying to Denver.
 

MN_Drew

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Is Granite Peak worth the drive from St. Louis (8 hours)? It's hard to find something worth driving to from here rather than just flying to Denver.

For a group of adult advanced skiers, I would probably not drive 8 hours to Granite Peak and would instead head west if the budget allows. For a family group that includes beginner skiers who might not get a whole lot of extra enjoyment out of being on a much larger mountain, it could make a lot of sense. It would certainly be a better value, especially if there are kids who might not ski the full day. Granite has very good lifts and base facilities for the Midwest and can be a lot of fun, but the terrain is several big steps below anything in the Rockies.
 

focker

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For a group of adult advanced skiers, I would probably not drive 8 hours to Granite Peak and would instead head west if the budget allows. For a family group that includes beginner skiers who might not get a whole lot of extra enjoyment out of being on a much larger mountain, it could make a lot of sense. It would certainly be a better value, especially if there are kids who might not ski the full day. Granite has very good lifts and base facilities for the Midwest and can be a lot of fun, but the terrain is several big steps below anything in the Rockies.

If you're going to drive 8 hours to ski, just driver the 13 to Colorado. You are spot on here.
 

focker

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Wow. The Skinner Family (owners of Lutsen and Granite Peak) are buying Big Snow. New 6-pack replacing Bridge Lift at Lutsen this summer also. EDIT: Sorry, *next* summer.

Fantastic news.

https://www.skigranitepeak.com/blog/big-snow/

This is huge news IMO.

First off, Lutsen is known for investing funds in their hills, so you're likely to see new lifts, including potential high speed ones, get installed at Blackjack and Indianhead. This puts them quickly at the top of the heap in the UP. Expect more visitors in the area when they get done with what they're planning.

Also, I wonder if this will get Big Snow added to the Indy Pass going forward, as Lutsen and Granite are already on there. Big Powderhorn is on it as well, so this could be interesting.

I love Lutsen adding a 6 pack up Eagle Mountain as well. We generally avoid the Bridge lift when skiing there, and ski just to the 10th mountain chair, but this will definitely change the way Eagle skis going forward. This is super exciting news if you enjoy skiing Lutsen. You'll be able to get some super fast laps down Eagle now and really enjoy the steep runs it offers.
 

Nathanvg

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Is Granite Peak worth the drive from St. Louis (8 hours)? It's hard to find something worth driving to from here rather than just flying to Denver.
probably not. I'm not really a fan of Granite, it's very flat except for the first couple turns. I'd rather ski Sundown and Chesnut which are about 5 hours away. Cascade and devils head are about 6 hours and a little better. Both of these destinations have two ski areas close to each other which makes for some nice variety. The top tier Midwest ski areas are just too far (Boyne, Bohemia, Lutsen, Big Snow)
 

wiread

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probably not. I'm not really a fan of Granite, it's very flat except for the first couple turns. I'd rather ski Sundown and Chesnut which are about 5 hours away. Cascade and devils head are about 6 hours and a little better. Both of these destinations have two ski areas close to each other which makes for some nice variety. The top tier Midwest ski areas are just too far (Boyne, Bohemia, Lutsen, Big Snow)
I went to school in IA and Chestnut was about an hour drive. Friday nights had 10 tickets to ski from 4-midnight and they usually had a band playing in the bar until 2. Spent a lot of Friday nights there :)

As far as Midwest skiing goes, it was a fine place. I wouldn’t drive the extra hours to granite peak vs that.
 

focker

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probably not. I'm not really a fan of Granite, it's very flat except for the first couple turns. I'd rather ski Sundown and Chesnut which are about 5 hours away. Cascade and devils head are about 6 hours and a little better. Both of these destinations have two ski areas close to each other which makes for some nice variety. The top tier Midwest ski areas are just too far (Boyne, Bohemia, Lutsen, Big Snow)

I do want to get over to Granite eventually as I have not yet, just to try it once. I've heard from people that they basically put the lifts too far back to make the runs 'longer' and if they had moved them up a couple hundred yards the hill would be much more fun overall.
 

focker

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Question for everyone on this Lutsen buying Big Snow topic:

Do you think installing new high speed lifts would help a place like Indianhead get more skiers? I have not skied there yet to answer the question myself, but I have skied Big Powderhorn and thought the lifts were painfully slow. I myself would be more likely to go back if high speed lifts were installed.
 

DerKommissar

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probably not. I'm not really a fan of Granite, it's very flat except for the first couple turns. I'd rather ski Sundown and Chesnut which are about 5 hours away. Cascade and devils head are about 6 hours and a little better. Both of these destinations have two ski areas close to each other which makes for some nice variety. The top tier Midwest ski areas are just too far (Boyne, Bohemia, Lutsen, Big Snow)
Thanks- Chestnut looks somewhat interesting. We only have about 300 Vert at Hidden Valley in MO. It's only 20 minutes from my house, so it's good for a 2 to 4 hour session, but it would be nice to find something else to check out without having to go to Colorado (plane tickets, rental car..,). I've got family in WI, so I was somewhat interested in Granite.
 

Nathanvg

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Question for everyone on this Lutsen buying Big Snow topic:

Do you think installing new high speed lifts would help a place like Indianhead get more skiers? I have not skied there yet to answer the question myself, but I have skied Big Powderhorn and thought the lifts were painfully slow. I myself would be more likely to go back if high speed lifts were installed.
Yes. I think Whitecap and Big Powderhorn in particualr will lose skiers to Big Snow. I also think more skiers would visit the region but I'm not sure if these skiers will be suffient to pay for such a lift.

I also have a concern about where these skiers come from. Most of them would be choosing to ski Big Snow instead of regional competitors Lutsen and Grante. Since all 3 are now owned by the same guy, there is a pretty big business disincentive to building a high speed lift. Maybe you could make an argument that more skiers will ski all three or maybe you take some market share from cascade/devilshead/giants ridge/etc.
 

Beach Bum

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I do want to get over to Granite eventually as I have not yet, just to try it once. I've heard from people that they basically put the lifts too far back to make the runs 'longer' and if they had moved them up a couple hundred yards the hill would be much more fun overall.

Yeah but with high speed lifts you are zooming past the flat part. They also have a midway loading on a lift that allows you to ski just the top face on that area of double diamonds, I've lapped it many times. It also gives you ability for some really long runs and vertical when you angle from the top of the W side down across hill, for Midwest standards. They also have some decent steeps and fun little double black chutes that are like 50' long, albeit icy.

They also have arguably the best ski base with respect to dining and bar options in the Midwest.
There is a lot to criticize, especially compared to the UP where the snow quality is not even comparable. But there's a lot to like about GP as well. My biggest gripes are snow quality (super icy), crowds, the flat section but this can be avoided.
 

Beach Bum

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Question for everyone on this Lutsen buying Big Snow topic:

Do you think installing new high speed lifts would help a place like Indianhead get more skiers? I have not skied there yet to answer the question myself, but I have skied Big Powderhorn and thought the lifts were painfully slow. I myself would be more likely to go back if high speed lifts were installed.

My biggest issue with IH is that for the length and vertical that it has, one of the best in the Midwest, it's lifts are soooo slow. It's in a wind tunnel so a high speed bubble would do wonders to that place. I really think of all the resorts that don't have high speeds in the Midwest, Indianhead is #1 on my list as needing one. I mean BoHo sure but you have much longer runs generally due to trees and random trails not to mention the lift climb is steep that I feel like you spend less time on chairs than at IH.

BP does alright with it's doubles, they move quickly. Also with only like 410' of vert and a steeper climb then IH's 550' or so I don't think it matters as much there.
 
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Dwight

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Pretty sure a HP lift will be coming. Also, real snow-making will be coming, which will help with early skiing. IH will probably be the main focus first then BJ.
 

wgo

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Question: is Lutsen generally open over Thanksgiving weekend? If so, I would imagine that not much would be open, right? My brother and his family live near Duluth and invited us up there for Thanksgiving 2022, and I was wondering if I could get some skiing in.

p.s. apologies for not starting a new thread!
 

skiJ

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Question: is Lutsen generally open over Thanksgiving weekend? If so, I would imagine that not much would be open, right? My brother and his family live near Duluth and invited us up there for Thanksgiving 2022, and I was wondering if I could get some skiing in.

p.s. apologies for not starting a new thread!

Thanksgiving weekend is a goal at lutsen -
I believe they have hosted a race camp for a while now over Thanksgiving weekend.

Conditions are MotherNature and weather dependent and generally dependent on snowmaking.
Ullr has been most consistently Open for Thanksgiving ;
I believe there have been years when they have had a short run Open on Eagle ( I believe CoCo ) --
Lutsen does a Very Good job with snowmaking, often deep into January. And it pays-off, as lutsen's season lasts well into April
( I believe this year they were Open on May seventh ! )

I have friends who have enjoyed lutsen at Thanksgiving --
( just don't expect to ski Moose mountain )


Good luck. skiJ
 

focker

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I also have a concern about where these skiers come from. Most of them would be choosing to ski Big Snow instead of regional competitors Lutsen and Grante. Since all 3 are now owned by the same guy, there is a pretty big business disincentive to building a high speed lift. Maybe you could make an argument that more skiers will ski all three or maybe you take some market share from cascade/devilshead/giants ridge/etc.
I wondered about this as well. I would guess their main goal is to pull skiers who would be heading to IH or Whitecap, but you've got to think they'll be poaching families who would perhaps have headed to Granite.

At the end of the day, who are the main skiers who go to places like Lutsen or Indianhead? I feel like Lutsen is most heavily trafficked by people from the Twin Cities, St Cloud, Brainerd, etc. I'm not as sure about the UP. Certainly people from MN head up there, but is it more local skiers to the UP area and WI in general? Lutsen could never really survive on 'locals' as the North Shore is really not that heavily populated.

It just feels like anyone from Chicago, Milwaukee or Madison who wants to go to a 'Bigger local ski area' is going to Granite already. You're really not gaining much there are shifting people around potentially.
 
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