Chairlift at Great Bear Ski Valley back open Sunday

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Great Bear Ski Valley’s chairlift reopens Sunday morning after a malfunction Saturday forced ski patrollers to evacuate people from the lift.

Great Bear’s General Manager Dan Grider says the lift had been “misloaded,” causing a cable to fall off. That, in turn, caused the lift to stop.

Grider says Great Bear’s staff evacuated about 50 to 60 people from the lift, which took about an hour. Grider spoke to KELOLAND News Saturday about the repairs being made to the lift.

“Right now, we got the cable back on the sheave wheel and we’re just testing the lift. We’re hoping we’ll open again tomorrow at 9 a.m.,” Grider said.

Great Bear says no guests or staff were hurt, and that the lift will indeed open at 9 a.m. Sunday.

Great Bear has been looking to replace the aging chair lift. It was built back in the early 1980’s. The manufacturer no longer exists, making any repairs difficult.

Grider says a new lift could move traffic on the hill more efficiently and safely. Replacing it would cost about $2 million.

The City of Sioux Falls has approved $800,000, while Mayor Paul TenHaken is proposing an additional $800,000 toward a replacement. That request requires approval from the city council.

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