Residents and businesses speaking out towards Rib Mountain and Granite Peak changes

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 9:52 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The proposed changes from the SE group and the Greater Wausau Prosperity Partnership gives four options for changes to Granite Peak and Rib Mountain. The first choice has no changes, the fourth has the most.

In the research done for the first alternative, it shows a steady decline in tourism in the summer and winter months with climate change. The proposed sales are just under $30 million, and about 460 jobs would be created.

Option two offers the lowest amount of changes, most of those focused on summer activities. Sales are projected a little under $33 million and 520 jobs are expected to be created.

“Option 2 does have an addition of mountain bike trails,” Granite Peak General Manager Greg Fisher said.

Options 3 and four are projected to have more than 10 times the number of summer and winter visitors to the State Park and Granite Peak area. Both options also add 33,000 square feet to the land to the west. Alternative four adds more land to the east as well.

“This area (the east) would actually give two top to bottom beginner trails which is something that Granite peak unfortunately right now doesn’t have a great access to,” Fisher said.

Some Rib Mountain residents feel the addition of mountain biking and ski trails interferes with the people walking the trails. That’s why they’re hoping for option one, or nothing to change at the state park.

“Reduce the availability for inclusive recreation opportunities in exchange for increasing the footprint of high cost activities like skiing and mountain biking,” Rib Mountain resident for 23 years Nancy Anderson said.

Granite peak says doing nothing would offer less options for tourists. While option four could help boost the local economy ten fold.

“We could really develop this into a full year round businesses mountain. This wouldn’t only impact Rib Mountain, but also the greater Wausau area, and a lot of lodging partners, restaurants and it trickles down that way,” Fisher said.

Some residents believe preserving the land is more important than using it to boost business.

“To enjoy the natural resources in a sustainable or low cost manner,” Anderson said.

If you are interested in making your voice heard or looking at the options you can find that here.

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