SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For $10, a Sioux Falls 5th-grader can get skis and lift ticket from 4 p.m. on every Tuesday and Friday at Great Bear Ski Valley.
“We ask them to bring their report card,” said Dan Grider, the manager at Great Bear. The report is proof of elementary grade and it’s only needed once. Great Bear takes the 5th grader’s photo and makes them a card which they can use the next time they want to ski at the designated times.
The student can also register in advance for $20 group ski lessons, Grider said.
The city-owned ski area opened today. The 5th-grade program is a longstanding one at Great Bear.
Great Bear also works with middle school students in Sioux Falls to cover the costs for skiing in a one-day event, Grider said.
Great Bear will offer discounts and special rates but how does that compare to other seasonal options at city-owned facilties?
The city has six outdoor ice skating rinks. Individuals can rent ice skates at the following rates: $1 for those 2 to 15 years; $2 for 55 and older; $3 for those 16 to 54; $1 on Friday nights.
Skate rental is free from Jan. 7-9.
The city also operates several outdoor pools and one indoor pool.
Grider said Great Bear doesn’t offer discounts similar to the structure of the pool season passes.
For example, a family summer pool pass is $100 and it’s $50 for reduced-income families, according to the city’s website. There is also a reduced season pass rate for qualified individuals.
A summer season swim pass is $30 for children 2 to 17. The daily fee is $5.
The daily fee is $6 for 18 to 54 and $5 for those older than 55.
Regular rates for using Great Bear
A full day ski lift pass is $28 at Great Bear. A full day is 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. A Friday pass is $33 from noon to 10 p.m.
A full day weekend or holiday pass from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. is $33 and $28 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Kids under 5 are free.
If equipment is needed the cost breakdown is: $28 for downhill or cross country skis, boots and poles; $28 for skis and boots; $10 helmet only; $12 boots only; $16 ski, snowboards only; $4 poles only.
Tubing charges are $7 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. $14 for the same hours on Wednesday and Thursday and $14 from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday.
Prices increase for weekends. A weekend morning session from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and evening session from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. are $17 each. An afternoon session from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. is $22.
Group rates are available for skiing and party rates are available for tubing.
A season ski and snowboard pass is $300. A family of four pass is $1,344.
Tubing and family passes are also available.
How do Great Bear rates compare to others?
A Great Bear season ski pass can be used at more than five other sites.
One site is Terry Peak in Rapid City.
Terry Peak is privately owned with sponsors.
Adults 13 and older pay $62 for an all day Monday through Friday ski lift pass and $47 for a half day pass. The charge is $47 and $36 for 6 to 12 year olds and $10 for those older than 70.
The weekend and holiday rate is $66 for 13 and older, $50 for 6-12 and $10 for over 70. The half day rate is $50, $38 and $10 in the three age groups.
A season pass bought by Oct. 31 is $375 plus tax and after its $750 plus tax. It’s $225 and $450 after Oct. 31 for under 13. Those do not include tax.
Those 13 and older can rent skis, poles and boots all day for $33 and $25 for a half day. Those under 13 can rent the equipment for $28 and $20.
Terry Peak has three-day and some group rates. Terry Peak has multiple lifts and at least 25 trails.
Another sister ski area is Mount Kato in Mankato, Minnesota.
Mount Kato has 19 ski trails, three double chairs, five quad chairs and two conveyor lifts. It is a privately owned ski area.
Those 13 and older can get an all day ski pass on weekends and holidays for $45. The free for under 13 and senior citizens is $32. The fee for all day on weekdays is $40 and for those under 13 and senior citizens its $30. Rates go down after 4 p.m. after 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Ski equipment and snowboards can be rented for $30 and $26 in the evenings.
A season pass for 13 and older is $449. For under 13 it’s $389. Discounted passes are available for college students. A family of four pass is $1,499.
Andes Tower Hills is a privately-owned ski area in Kensington, Minnesota. It’s also a sister site.
An all day lift ticket is $50 for those 12 to 62. $40 for those under 11 and older than 62 and $5 for 6 and under. Rates are reduced after 3 p.m.
Rental for full ski equipment is $25. A snowboard package is $35. Cross country skis are $15 for equipment and $15 for a trail ticket.
Tubing tickets are $25 all day and $22 for three hours for all ages.
Andes offers specials and discounts including a discount for season pass at $488 for gold level on sale and $900 at regular price. A family of three and four gold pass on sale is $1,198 and regular price is $2,220.
Andes has three chair lifts, carpet lift and high speed rope tow and a carpet lift for tubing.