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Great Bear Opening Some Slopes Friday

December 13, 2012, 5:42 AM by Austin Hoffman

Great Bear Opening Some Slopes Friday

The warm weather has been great for many outdoor activities. Skiing, however, isn't one of them. But, last weekend's cold snap gave Great Bear Recreation Park just the boost it needed.

"We were really glad to see that arctic front come through," General Manager Dan Grider said.

It hasn't been an easy year for Great Bear Recreation Park in Sioux Falls. A lack of significant natural snow has forced them to make nearly all of the snow on the hill.  But Mother Nature hasn't been very cooperative with that either.

“We would start then stop, start then stop.   We had that really mild spell and we lost a lot of the snow that we made then. But you just keep going forward and hopefully we get some more arctic air in the forecast so we can continue the snow-making operation,” Grider said.

Grider says last weekend's cold snap is exactly what they needed to make snow and turn on the open sign for about 40 percent of the hill.

"People have been waiting, like I said.  We're not gonna have 100 percent of the ski and snowboard runs open.  We won’t have the tubing hill open but we will have some features.  We'll have the kids on the lift; people will be making turns. Looks like the weather will be really mild. Should be a lot of fun," Grider said.

Now he just hopes the weather turns cold and stays that way.

"Otherwise we're just going to be picking away at it.  You know Christmas break starts in about 10 days.  Hopefully we'll have more runs open by then but right now it's just all up to Mother Nature," Grider said.

Great Bear plans to open the park Friday at 3 p.m. for the weekend.

Extra videos:
LIVE: A lift to the top
LIVE: Testing The Slopes

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