Granite Chief celebrates 30 years of local business
Clad in stretch pants, rear-entry boots and fanny packs, a group of locals celebrated Granite Chief’s 30-year anniversary last Saturday like it was 1976.
That was the year that Herb Manning, living out of a West Shore closet and working as a lift mechanic at Squaw Valley, decided to try his hand at ski tuning. With a $4,000 loan coaxed from his parents, Manning set up shop in a condemned motel in Tahoe City. He named the shop after his favorite spot to score fresh tracks, Granite Chief, Squaw Valley’s highest peak.
“The room was so small that I had to open the door to pass a ski over the sander,” said Manning, writing of his first 30 years of business. “Remember those were the days of long boards.”
The shop soon attracted a following among Tahoe notables, including Wayne Poulsen, who rented Manning a space in Squaw Valley.
The store pushed the envelope in ski repair and maintenance, becoming the first shop to use commercial factory stonegrinders and ski presses. The shop has gained the trust of hard-core skiing greats like Tamara McKinney, Shane McConkey, Julia Mancuso and Terry Sternberg, a weekend warrior from Mill Valley.
“The last 30 years Granite Chief has evolved from a one man tuning shop to a full service core ski shop,” said Manning.
At the shop’s anniversary celebration in Squaw Valley on Saturday, almost 150 customers were able to reflect on the shop’s history, many while dressed in some of the most distasteful, eye-wilting fashion known to man.
“There were some unique and horrifying ski outfits,” said Treas Manning, Herb’s wife, who heads up the clothing side of the stores. “Please tell me these people are not still skiing in these get-ups.”
Following the celebration, Herb Manning recognized Granite Chief’s customers over the last three decades.
“A big thank you to all of you who have supported us over the last 30 years,” said
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