Young people take to the slopes at Great Bear Ski Valley

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Along with beautiful weather, Great Bear Ski Valley in Sioux Falls has seen a lot of traffic recently- so much so that the park ran out of rental gear today.

Great Bear Ski Valley has had a busy week.

“It’s been fantastic. You know, we opened up last Monday, had a great opening day, then we got four, five inches of snow came right into New Year’s break,” general manager Dan Grider said. “It’s been great. Yesterday we had over two thousand people out skiing, snowboarding and tubing, so, lots of fun.”

With so many people heading out to the slopes, the park even posted on Facebook today that they were sold out of rental equipment for the day.

“What we try to do is put the word out so people know what’s happening so when they come out they’re aware that we may or may not have equipment, there might be some delays and it worked out okay, but it does happen from time to time,” Grider said.

Schools are on break right now, so there are a lot of young people out on the snow.

Lauren Soulek: How often do you guys come out here to Great Bear?

“Everyday,” snowboarder Joah from Sioux Falls said.

“Two three times a week, almost everyday,” snowboarder Liam from Sioux Falls said.

“Mostly. Sometimes you got the little scared kids bumping into you, it’s okay, they’re learning, we all learned,” skier Ryken from Sioux Falls said.

While Ryken, Joah and Liam may have some experience out on the slopes already, some were heading out for the first time, like Crew from Parkston, South Dakota.

“Today, it’s pretty warm and, but the bad thing is you can get a lot of snow in your boots and your like coat and stuff. It’s kind of cold,” Crew said.

Brynlee’s family is from Pierce, Nebraska, but they’ve been vacationing here in Sioux Falls. She’s been learning to ski at Great Bear.

LS: What do you like about skiing?

“That you can go real fast and its fun jumping over the hills,” Brynlee said.

She offers some advice for anyone else who might want to try it out.

“Always keep your feet together when you’re going way too fast,” Brynlee said.

LS: What does that help with?

“It helps you slow you down. And then french fries are when you keep your feet out together and it makes you go fast if you want to go fast,”

Grider says it’s rewarding to see the park full.

“Knowing all the hard work that went in to get to this point by our staff and our team members and just seeing the smiles on everybody’s faces, that’s what it’s all about,” Grider said.

Tomorrow Great Bear will host its first event of the season, a race which will benefit Emily’s Hope. Find out more details about that event on its Facebook page.

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