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Too Warm To Make Snow At Great Bear

February 3, 2012, 9:50 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Too Warm To Make Snow At Great Bear
SIOUX FALLS, SD - From Colorado to Europe, and even parts of the Great Plains, it seems everyone is getting snow but us.

And now even places that make the white say they're going to have to stop for awhile.

There is snow at Great Bear, but they're making it just as fast as they can. And, it’s too warm to make snow overnight, so the park isn't gonna do it. But that isn't stopping the crowds.

It's the one place with complete snow cover, and it's all man-made.

“People have been riding motorcycles, bicycles. I'm here without a jacket on. It's been an odd year all around,” Great Bear Director Dan Grider said

But Great Bear is busy despite the state's lack of snow. Friday was one of the park's busiest Fridays yet. Grider says that is the upside to all the warm weather.

“When it's warm like this, its great skiing conditions, and the snow itself is pretty good. But we would like to see a couple shots of natural snow. Maybe some colder temps,” Grider said.

“He was getting warm, so he wanted a sweatshirt instead of his jacket,” Bob Heim of Dell Rapids said.

Heim's boys hit the slopes with friends Friday night. Even when the sun went down, they were too warm to bundle up. Heim says the kids haven't been deterred at all.

“The oldest one waited until they got first snow before he got coming down. But since then they've been down almost every weekend,” Heim said.

“If what happened last week is the future, it's going to be tough,” Grider said.

And that is the downside of this mild winter. Grider says the park still has 18 to 36 inches of snow pack on most of the slopes. And he's depending on people to keep coming, even if Mother Nature doesn't cooperate.

“Right now the goal is to get to March 4. That's what we're circling on the calendar. Anything beyond that would be gravy,” Grider said.

A silver lining in all of this is that the park sold more than a thousand season passes --that's an all-time record.

As for when the machines will make more snow, Grider says it looks like Sunday or maybe even Monday.

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