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Great Bear: Expanded Hours Now, Expanded Park Soon

December 26, 2013, 5:55 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Great Bear: Expanded Hours Now, Expanded Park Soon

Great Bear Recreation Park on the east edge of Sioux Falls has a peak of business during the holidays. 

"We're from Minneapolis and once a year around Christmas time we come out here as family and we always come out and do the tubing hill," Rob Hines said.

A recently-approved plan could have Hines and his family enjoying the park even more in the future. The plan calls for a larger tubing area and a new lift that will cut the wait time, significantly.

"That would be nice, I mean, right now we think it is great but any upgrades they could do would be wonderful," Hines said.

If planning goes well, work on the upgrades could begin as early as this spring.

"One board is so much better. You can control it better. I don't know, I've just always been a snow board kind of guy," Adam Von Behren said.

On the other side of the lodge, Von Behren and Chris Night Pipe say they enjoy visiting the park and are glad to hear the updates will eventually include the main hill, as well. 

"It would be nice if they could add a couple thousand feet. But the changes sound awesome," Night Pipe said.

The ski hill can't be expanded but the lodge will be in the coming years. Changes will also be made to ski and snowboard runs, and the lift eventually replaced.  Those here say with that kind of work, this park will remain a destination.

"Especially on a day like today, there's no wind and it is just beautiful.  You couldn't ask for better weather than this," Hines said.

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