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Great Bear Ski and Snowboard swap meet helps get people ready for winter sports

Published: Dec. 4, 2021 at 11:29 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The slopes at Great Bear may not be ready for skiers and snowboarders yet, but that hasn’t stopped people from coming by and getting ready for the season at the annual Ski and Snowboard Swap.

The swap meet is a way for people to get ready for their favorite winter sports, in a way that doesn’t break the bank.

“You know, with the kids, they grow through the stuff so fast, so this is an inexpensive way to keep them current with their gear,” said Dan Grider, Great Bear Ski Valley General Manager. “20 percent of all the proceeds go to our ski patrol, to help purchase safety equipment and things like that.”

In addition to the gear, new riders are able to learn from more experienced riders about what to look for.

“It’s really cool, I’m kind of new to the whole thing so it’s cool to have the opportunity to get stuff for cheaper, and it kind of just makes a little community here, and I’m really excited to be part of the Great Bear atmosphere,” said Ben Boyko, a new snowboarder.

Great Bear expects it to be a fun year, especially with a brand-new lift.

“We really start getting ready in the fall. We had our Octoberfest, we sold 13-hundred season passes so far and that’s fantastic,” said Grider, “We’re staffed, that was a bit of a challenge getting enough people to operate the lifts and everything. Now, we got ski swap, so the next thing is let’s start making snow.”

It’s been warm so far this season, but temperatures are expected to drop soon.

“We’d like to be open by the holiday, things are set upright with a lot of snow north of us in Canada, Alaska, Siberia, we’re just waiting for the jet stream to move a little bit, get a trough down here, but were all geared up and ready to go, the snow guns are ready, and we’re all excited about it,” said Grider.

To stay up to date on when the slopes open click here. Or follow Great Bear on social media.

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