Great Bear Ready For Return Of Snow

Conditions Still Too Warm To Start Making Man-Made Snow

The hills at Great Bear Recreational Park will soon be alive with the excitement of skiing, snowboarding and tubing.

There’s only one problem: It’s the first of December and there is no snow.

General Manager Dan Grider said they’ve been in a “hurry up and wait” approach.

He also said the conditions aren’t at a point yet for staff to start making man-made snow.

“What we’re looking for to start making snow is I really like the overnight temps somewhere in the teens and if the daytime highs can stay maybe 25-26 degrees, we never have to stop our snow making system down,” said Grider.

Once they can get their snow making system going around the clock, Grider said they can make enough snow in five to six days to keep the park open.

Until then, they’re forced into the patience game.

“I’m always a little anxious in November when it’s really nice out. I want to see these cold temps,” said Grider.

A late start to the season, however, doesn’t throw a wrench in Great Bear’s plans.

Grider said the expectation each year for the park is to have their opening in the second week of December.

“We did all our staffing and our hiring in mid-November, so we’ve been staffed, we’ve been trained. We were actually working with our snowmakers last night, kind of showing them around the equipment and everything so everything is in place. All we need is mother nature’s cooperation,” said Grider.

He also said crews are working on a water leak found in one of the pipes under Great Bear.

Grider said the issue tends to happen when they start to charge their pumping system.

He expects the City of Sioux Falls Public Works and Parks Department to have the issue fixed by Friday.

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