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Ski Lovers Have A Chance To Purchase Great Bear’s Old Red Chairs

Ski Lift

Eastern South Dakota’s only ski resort is getting a new chairlift. And they are raffling off the old one. 

John Cassidy has been skiing at Great Bear in Sioux Falls since the 1980’s. He remembers when the big red chairlift first opened, and he’s sad to see it go.  

“It's all that I've known out there is that chair. Before that it was rope tows,” Cassidy said. “But that chair has been just a symbol. When you come around the corner, it’s the first thing you see.” 

Cassidy’s family has a lot of memories attached to the ski hill.  

Great Bear Chairlifts

“That's where my kids learned how to ski and snowboard. It’s a small hill and the joke always is, it takes two minutes to get up and 30 seconds to get down,” he said. “With that two minutes you spend one on one time with your kids, your friends, your spouse. It’s just an opportunity to have a conversation.” 

Now, Cassidy and other ski lovers might be able to take one of those chairs home. Great Bear is raffling off the forty chairs in June.  

Alexa Giebink is the director of communications at Great Bear and says there’s a lot of interest. 

“What it really comes down to is there’s been so many memories made out on that hill over the last 40 years. You know it’s a very sentimental piece for a lot of people.” 

But she says it was time for some new technology. 

“This new chairlift will keep pushing us forward as Sioux Falls grows, and we can get more guests up the hill more quickly.” 

Giebink says many people have told her they plan to turn the chairs into benches or swings for their yard.  

She doesn’t know what color the new chairlift will be, but it won’t be red.  

Raffle tickets are $50 each and available for purchase until June 14th. If one’s ticket is drawn, they’ll have the chance to buy a red chair for $700.