Great Bear Ski Valley is wrapping up a historic season. They’ve seen over 66,000 visits this season, which breaks their prior record of 49,500 visits set during the 2010-2011 season. This has been due to people rediscovering the outdoors during the Covid era, along with Sioux Falls having one of its top five snowiest winters ever.
With these record-breaking crowds, Great Bear is now figuring out how to sustainably grow. The Argus Leader reports that the South Dakota ski resort is working on a new master plan. A few details on what will be included in the plan have been revealed. An improved lodge is planned, as their current chalet is too small for the crowd volume that they are currently seeing. The other planned improvement is a seven-acre terrain expansion, which would include a new chairlift. Great Bear is aiming to present the master plan to the city board within the next couple of months.
I’m rooting for this place. Not many major metropolitan areas have direct access to a ski resort, but Sioux Falls, which is the state’s largest city, literally has one right in its community. This allows more people to learn the sport without having to travel far or pay a boatload of money at a corporate resort. Helping more people learn the sport at an affordable value in places that aren’t typically viewed as skiing hubs is what the ski industry needs.
Great Bear Ski Valley will have its final day of operations on April 1st and then shut down for the season.
Image Credits: Great Bear Ski Valley