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Expansion Of Wausau Ski Resort Could Give Area Economic Boost

Granite Hill Wants 150 Acres Of Public Land For More Hills And Trails

The city of Wausau, and Rib Mountain and its Granite Peak ski area behind it. Photo: Glen Moberg/WPR News.

The proposed expansion of the Granite Peak Ski Area could mean a significant boost for the Wausau region’s tourist economy.

Granite Peak wants another 150 acres in Rib Mountain State Park for new downhill runs and year-round hiking trails. President and owner Charles Skinner said the use of more public land is vital if the hill is to become a national destination.

“In the west, almost any destination ski area you can think of — Aspen or Vail — is on public land,” he said.

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Skinner’s big plans could mean a jolt for the Wausau area’s tourist economy, according to Richard Barrett, executive director of the Wausau Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“It’s a huge economic impact for the community,” said Barrett. “Their projections are to go from $30 million dollars to $53 million dollars in economic impact. Granite Peak is probably the premier ski resort in the Midwest, and we want to keep it going that way.”

The plan still needs to go through public hearings, and be approved by the Natural Resources Board.