SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s, you’re probably not thinking about snow ski season just yet, but they are at Great Bear in Sioux Falls.
That’s because the new chair lift is going up and get this, its way ahead of schedule. It’s an impressive feat once you realize how many people have been working on it.
“I’m just surprised at how fast this has gone up,” Great Bear manager Dan Grider said.
The new state-of-the-art chair lift at Great Bear is beginning to take shape. It was supposed to be completed by mid-October, but they’re about eight weeks ahead of schedule.
Justin Nelson, who is the project manager, is one of two people, yes just two, who have been doing most of the work.
“From the excavation to the pouring of the concrete to the erection of the towers and all the steel and the motor rooms to pulling the cable,” Nelson said.
Nelson says the only thing left to do now is to start hanging the 42 chairs.
Nelson, who works for Sky Trac of Salt Lake City, used to ski here while visiting family when he was a kid.
“They look easy, but they’re awkward they have to be in certain positions and they have to be tightened a certain way and they have to be tested and then you go onto the next one,” Nelson said.
He remembers the old chair lift and says the difference between that one and this one is night and day and skiers will notice immediately.
“They are going to find it; number one easier to get on the chair than the old one, this is not a center post like the old one was,” Nelson said.
He says the chairs are more comfortable and safer; able to withstand stronger winds.
The project, which started in early March with the demolition of the old chair lift, is just about complete and Great Bear manager Dan Grider couldn’t be happier.
“We are really excited about this, this is the best to hit Great Bear in a long time,” Grider said.
Great Bear sold all the old chairs and used the money to help pay for the new lift.