I think Granite is very good considering the hills that surround it. I live in IL, about 10 min South of the WI border. About 25 min from me is Wilmont Mtn. = crappy. 20 min further is Mountain Top at Grand Geneva= tiny and expensive. 15 min further is Alpine Valley= decent and has nice midweek specials. I drive to Alpine after work, get there at 6pm and ski till 10pm, then drive an hour home b/c it is that much better than Wilmont or MountainTop. Cascade and Devils Head are better but if I'm going to drive 2.5 hrs I'd rather just go to Granite Peak.
Having said that, I have been to Granite 3 times this season. It is just close enough for a day trip. We leave at 5am, drive 4 hrs, ski from 9am-9pm, then drive the 4 hrs home.
Steep top section followed by flat bottom
Every little cut through is considered a trail. 73 runs is more like 30
Chairlift on the West side is loooong and sloooow.
Chairlift on the East side only sits 2 people and is called Cupid, as if I didn't feel weird enough about my buddies knee touching mine
Lodge food is expensive and is cafeteria style.
Runs are longer than any other Mtn around.
30 runs is still more than any other place around.
6 man high speed lift really flies. Just watch out for Grandpa putting down the safety bar.
You can bring coolers and outside food, beverages, and beer into the lodge instead of buying there food and they're cool with it.
Buy online and ski from 9-9 for $50.
You can actually demo high end skis, something no place near me does.
Go during the week and you'll have the whole Mtn to yourself. I went last Wed. and I seriously think there were more employees than there were skiers.
They actually groom the runs, sometimes TWICE per day! Holy Cow!
Good terrain park and bumps if your into that sort of thing.
All in all I would recommend Granite Peak. Having never been to Lutsen or Spirit I'm not sure how it compares to those. But it Beats the pants off anything South of it.