Great Bear Ski Valley starts making snow

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There was no shortage of sunshine across KELOLAND Monday, but it was a flurry of activity at Great Bear Ski Valley, where staffers are firing up the snow guns.

Great Bear Ski Valley started making snow early Monday morning.

“Kind of kicking the tires on the system if you will, getting some training done, making sure things are working correctly, things like that, so we’re pretty excited, the first night of snowmaking,” Great Bear Ski Valley General Manager Dan Grider said.

Temperature is just one of many factors that influence the decision on when to start making snow at Great Bear.

“We pay attention to what’s going on in Alaska and snow on the ground in Canada, there’s a La Nina out in the Pacific, all that affects the weather we get,” Grider said.

Snow is flying, but don’t grab your skis just yet.

“We really want to be open by Christmas break. You know, it’s all up to Mother Nature. We are staffed, we are trained, obviously, the systems are working now, so we’re just waiting for a good cold front,” Grider said.

As they play the waiting game, Grider has been implementing COVID-19 protocols and upgrading equipment since April.

“We’re working with local vendors on air purification systems. We spent a lot of money on online web stores and reservation platforms to reduce touchpoints,” Grider said.

And once you arrive at Great Bear Ski Valley…

“Masks are mandatory this year inside the chalet for both guests and staff, and outside if you can’t maintain that social distancing,” Grider said.

It’s all in an effort to keep everyone safe.

“Our concern and our hope is to provide a safe environment, not only for the guests but for our staff,” Grider said.

Great Bear Ski Valley is participating in Cyber Monday, with specials on season passes, gift cards, and merchandise.

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