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November 20, 2011 10:18 PM

First Snow At Great Bear

Sioux Falls, SD

We may be warming up later this week, but the conditions this weekend had people thinking about the long winter ahead. And while that may be a headache for drivers, it's nothing but pleasant thoughts for those longing to ski and snowboard at Great Bear in Sioux Falls.

Thanksgiving is just days away, but the scene at Great Bear this weekend looked a lot like Christmas.

"When we can make snow this early, and it is a little bit early for us to do this, everybody's excited," Great Bear Recreation Park General Manager Dan Grider said. "You know, everybody's got the snowboard and skis waxed. It's just that time of the year."

Starting late Saturday night and into early Sunday morning, crews at Great Bear put down the first snow of the season. The window to cover the hill was short, but the cold air made the decision a no-brainer.

"Usually, we don't make snow before Thanksgiving," Grider said. "It's not because I don't want to, it's just that the temperatures don't allow. But, we saw this little cold front come through and we said, 'let's make a run at it.'"

And while the start of the season is still weeks away, this first blanket is a good sign for the winter ahead.

"The snow will come, but it's a great time of the year for us," Grider said. "We're all excited and looking forward to getting open for the season."

Grider says Great Bear saw around 50,000 visitors last year alone.


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