New Great Bear chairlift taking shape

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Winter is still months away, but there’s something for skiers to start getting excited about.

A new chairlift is being installed at Great Bear Ski Valley.

When skiers hit the slopes at Great Bear Ski Valley this winter, they won’t be catching a ride on the decades-old red chairlift.

“The old one was just it; it was old, 40 years old,” Great Bear General Manager Dan Grider said.

Instead a new, modern chairlift will be up and running.

“There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the new chair. It’s been a long time coming and guests are eager to see its development this summer,” Great Bear Director of Communications and Human Resources Alexa Jerstad said.

“We’re thinking late August, maybe early September we can start doing some load testing on it. Still a lot of work to do, but it looks great,” Grider said.

General Manager Dan Grider says it will be easier for people to get on and off this new chairlift.

“One thing you’ll notice is there’s no building at the bottom of the lift. The old one had a counter weight and that’s what kept tension on the wire rope. Now this is hydraulically tensioned so that will make it a lot better for us to groom and maintain the load area. And then also once you get on top we’ve re-engineered the unload area so it’s not nearly as steep as it was in the past,” Grider said.

And it won’t be long before liftoff into the skiing season.

“That old lift of ours was great. This one’s going to be even better,” Grider said.

Grider says the project is scheduled to be done by mid-October, but he believes the Utah-based builders are ahead of schedule.

Sub-contractors are also helping.

If you want to check in on the progress of the chair lift construction, you can watch our Great Bear Live Cam.

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