SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Great Bear Ski Valley in Sioux Falls is a popular destination on Presidents Day.
Big numbers have become the norm during this record-breaking winter at Great Bear Ski Valley.
“For the first time ever we’ve exceeded 50,000 visits for our season,” Great Bear Ski Valley General Manager Dan Grider said.
General Manager Dan Grider says the previous mark was set during the 2010-2011 season.
“We did that with 97 days of operation. We’ve hit 50,000 with just 55 days of operation, so it’s been a great season (laugh),” Grider said.
That number continues to grow during the extended holiday weekend with families hitting the slopes.
“Over the weekend is right around 5,000 visits, which is phenomenal and it’s just not the local kids, it’s the area. We’ve got people from Nebraska, Minnesota, and Iowa coming in,” Grider said.
“Got my sister-in-law out here with her three kids, going to help try to teach them how to ski,” Sioux Falls resident Kathryn Kendall said.
Kathryn Kendall has three kids of her own. She grew up in Sioux Falls but didn’t make her first trip to Great Bear until five years ago.
“I actually didn’t know how to ski, so they help employees learn how to ski with lessons so I decided to get a job, they taught me how to ski, I now ski and snowboard and I love it,” Kendall said.
And it’s all about keeping up with the kids.
“They’re hoping they can break a record for how many lift tickets they get,” Kendall said.
With another major winter storm on the way, the end of the tubing season is nowhere in sight. Grider says another foot of snow could extend the year into late March or even April.
“Really it all depends on rain. If we get rain, that will erode the snow pack but just a nice, slow melt we’re going to be here for several, several weeks,” Grider said.