The October Blizzard destroyed trees across KOTA Territory, including at local tourist attractions. But one Black Hills attraction owner says certain trees are here to stay.
Heidi Bybee, Cosmos Mystery owner, says the blizzard caused about 80 trees to go down around the property. Several large trees also crashed through the roof of the gift shop and power was out for awhile.
Bybee says crews have been cleaning up fallen and broken trees, and hauling away logs, but she's made sure the weird trees that look storm-damaged aren't touched.
She says the crooked trees aren't storm damaged, they just grow that way naturally and will always have a place at the Mystery Area. "We're just kinda a crazy place with some unusual pulls of gravity that we like to play with," said Bybee. "And the trees seem to play with that unusual pull of gravity, so we are just going to leave them and let nature be funky for us."
Cosmos Mystery Area will open for the season on April Fools Day or Tuesday, April 1.
Bybee says indicators show this year will be good for tourism.