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Great Bear Ready For A White Christmas

December 20, 2011, 5:52 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Great Bear Ready For A White Christmas
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The chance of having a white Christmas is slipping away for most of KELOLAND. But if natural snow isn't going to fall, a local business is taking matters into its own hands.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, not everywhere, but it is at Great Bear Ski Valley. The Sioux Falls ski park has been open limited hours so far this season.  But with man-made snow production now in high gear, the park's manager is looking forward to a busy holiday season.

"This is certainly a different year so far. Obviously, everything you see on the hill is man made. We haven't been able to do that more than seven or eight days this season but what we do have on the ground is good," Dan Grider said.

The main skiing area has a foot or more of snow blanketing it. Now, Great Bear grounds crews have turned their snow-making efforts to the tubing hill which hasn't been open yet this year.

"It's a little bit of a disappointment at this point, but we started making snow on it last night. Hopefully we can make snow through the weekend and open mid-week for the Christmas break," Grider said.

This is typically a very busy time of year on the slopes.

"December is traditionally a very good month for us and it has still been good.  But it's not going to compare to last December, that's for sure," Grider said.

For now, those at Great Bear are making the most of what they have, and that's the only snow in this portion of KELOLAND. But a little bit of the real stuff wouldn't hurt their cause.

"I would love to see some natural snow right about now," Grider said.

But until then, the man-made blanket will get the job done.

Great Bear will be open with its extended holiday hours all of next week, and is open on Christmas Eve until 2:00 p.m.

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