It’s been a roller coaster ride for people looking to hit the slopes in Sioux Falls. And for businesses who count on the snow, this winter season has been a bit of a downer.
Great Bear Recreation Park may be one of the few places in southeast South Dakota where you can actually find snow covering the ground. But it is no easy task getting it to where it is now. And more rain forecasted this weekend only adds to melting attitudes.
“It’s been tough, I won’t kid ya,” Great Bear Recreation Park General Manager Dan Grider said.
It was the beginning of November when snow machines started blanketing the ground in white at Great Bear. A month later, the first set of skis carved through the snow.
"The day after we opened, you know, it rained on us," Grider said.
But he says a cold front and snow right after Christmas gave them near perfect conditions, only to once again be rained out.
"It's been from a wide range of emotions from, 'Boy, it’s so busy. This is great,' to, 'It’s raining again.' So sometimes you get down a little bit but you always go back to the fact that we can’t control Mother Nature and we know that going into this business and you except what happens," Grider said.
Grider says they've been fortunate because cold weather has followed every rain so they've been able to rebound quickly. He says conditions are great right now. But guess what Mother Nature is forecasted to give them this weekend.
"It’s like, really? I was really excited. 'Boy. A foot of snow. That would be great; that would really finish off the season well.' And now its looking like it's going to be rain," Grider said.
Grider says man-made snow is more durable than real snow when it comes to rain. But wishful thinking never hurts.
“If somebody does a snow dance for us that would be great,” Grider said.
Grider says they hope to be open until mid-March and still have some very exciting events on the calendar.