Kansas Farmers to Build State’s First Ski Resort | To be Highest Point in the State

Luke Guilford | | Post Tag for Industry NewsIndustry News
Ski the heartland, an AI rendition. Photo Credit: NightCafe
Ski the heartland, an AI rendition. Photo Credit: NightCafe

Kansas will soon have its first ski resort three hours west of Kansas City near Hays, KS. The plan is to use a collection of heavy machinery, such as excavators and bulldozers, to move an estimated 1.5 billion cubic feet to construct a peak standing at 6,000 ft. You’re correct if you think Kansas has no mountains, but that isn’t stopping a few farmers from building one.

A group of farmers agreed to combine 700 acres of their land to form what will be called High Plains Peak Ski Resort. We connected with Gary, one of the farmers committing land to the project, and he said this on the uphill battle of keeping the slopes loaded with snow:

“Cloud seeding is definitely a possibility that I’ve considered as a way to supplement the natural snowfall in Kansas. Cloud seeding involves using silver iodide or other materials to encourage the formation of ice crystals in clouds, which can then fall as snow. It’s a technique that’s been used successfully in other parts of the world to enhance snowfall and could be an effective tool for a ski resort in Kansas, where snowfall can be unpredictable.”

“However, we also plan to invest in snow-making equipment, which can produce artificial snow using compressed air and water. This equipment can be very effective at creating a snow base even when natural snowfall is lacking. Between cloud seeding and snow-making equipment, I’m confident that we’ll be able to provide excellent skiing conditions for our guests throughout the winter season.”

The idea of High Plains Peak is extremely exciting for those stuck in the flatlands. The project could make skiing an affordable day trip for many, eliminating the need to travel to the Rockies. The plan is for the resort to resemble iconic mountains like Jackson Hole, Big Sky, and others. It won’t be your typical Midwest ski location as they aspire to hold major ski competitions, from freeride to freestyle; High Plains Peak wants to do it all.

When asked about the duration of the season, Gary seems to believe that it can stretch from mid-December to early March.

Hays, KS
Hays, KS, sits right along I-70 in western Kansas, under a 5-hour drive from Denver. Photo Credit: Google Maps

Funding is underway, and it will come in various ways, from private investors to government grants. Gary had this to say on funding:

“Gathering the funding for a project of this magnitude is definitely a challenge, but we have several strategies in mind. One of the first things we plan to do is to seek out investors who are interested in supporting a new ski resort venture. I’m also exploring the possibility of securing government grants or loans to help with the construction costs. Additionally, I’ll be looking into private loans from banks and other financial institutions.”

“In addition to traditional funding sources, I’m also exploring the possibility of crowdfunding, which has become a popular way to raise money for entrepreneurial ventures. I believe that there may be many people out there who are excited about the prospect of a ski resort in Hays, Kansas, and who would be willing to contribute to the project in exchange for perks like discounted lift tickets or other rewards.”

Moving 1.5 billion cubic feet of dirt is no small feat. The team expects the project to break ground in the next year or two.

“I’m hoping to begin construction as soon as possible, ideally within the next year or two. In the meantime, we’ll be working diligently to secure funding, finalize our plans and designs, and gather the necessary permits and approvals from local and state authorities.”

“I realize that this is a long-term and ambitious project, and that there will be many challenges and obstacles to overcome along the way. But I’m committed to seeing it through and to bringing a world-class ski resort to Hays that will benefit the local community and attract visitors from around the world. We will ensure High Plains Peak will provide something for everyone, from tubing hills to extreme freeride terrain.”

Hays weather
Annual precipitation for Hay, Kansas. Photo Credit: Weather & Climate

One of the more exciting parts of this project is the design competitionGary and the team of farmers plan to hold a design competition that would enable the people to pick the slopes that shred. Gary had this to say:

“While I haven’t yet made any final decisions about the design of the mountain, we’re going to hold a design competition, where anyone can submit their ideas for what the mountain should look like and how it should be constructed. This could be a fun and engaging way to involve the community in the project and to gather a range of creative and innovative ideas.”

“Of course, there would need to be some guidelines and criteria in place to ensure that the designs are feasible and safe, but I think that a design competition could be a great way to generate excitement and engagement around the project. I’m also open to other ideas for how to involve the community in the design process, so I’ll be exploring a variety of options in the coming months as we move forward with the project.”

High Plains Peak has the potential to turn flatlanders into shredders. This project has created a lot of buzz around the Midwest and local news; most people seem to be all for it. Could this development spark a chain of similar projects across the flyover states? Stay tuned as we learn more about the design contest that will eventually reveal the terrain of the mountain and the estimated completion date. Follow High Plains Peak for updates and their entire plan for the project.

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