Flood Damages Cause Great Bear To Close Earlier Than Expected

SIOUX FALLS, SD- On a sunny day like today, people would be skiing or snowboarding at Great Bear.  But fun in the snow will have to wait until next season.

“You know this is kind of a typical time for us. It’s just a shame that we can’t take advantage of the next few weeks,” says Great Bear’s General Manager Dan Grider.

With this past week’s weather, the holding pond that holds all the water to make snow overflowed into the ski area.  A big reason why Great Bear closed was because the ski lift is broken as a result of water damage.

Grider explains, “It absolutely flooded out our rental shop, our operation shop, and more importantly our lower lift station. Now the lift doesn’t work.”

Officials from Great Bear say the plan was to stay open until the end of March, but this is out of their control.

“We really thought we were going to be here til the end of March, which would have been fantastic.  2 weeks longer than ever before,” says Grider.   “But at the end of the day, Mother Nature gets the last laugh and it’s a shame. But there’s nothing you can do about it.”

The Sertoma Butterfly House and the Outdoor Campus have also been forced to close due to standing water.  Dan Grider realizes that the whole town has been affected in more ways than the ski lodge.

“It’s a mess throughout the whole town and just this little ski area really isn’t that important. Everybody is safe that’s important and our houses are dry. You know, it’s just a shame that with all this snow on the hill we can’t take advantage of it,” states Grider.

Grider says the lift will be fixed and ready to go for next season.   The Outdoor Campus hopes to reopen on Monday.  The Siouxland Library Branch off 49th and Oxbow was also forced to close due to flood water.  The library reopened today.

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