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No snow means slight setback for Black Hills winter tourism

With multiple 60-degree days recently, it’s been unseasonably warm. Which most people wouldn’t complain about unless you’re in a business that needs a little more snow.
South Dakota runs on tourism and to the surprise of some, summer tourism did fairly well during...
South Dakota runs on tourism and to the surprise of some, summer tourism did fairly well during 2020. But what about the winter?(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Dec. 10, 2020 at 6:13 PM CST
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BLACK HILLS, S.D. (KOTA) - South Dakota runs on tourism and to the surprise of some, summer tourism did fairly well during 2020. But what about the winter?

Terry Peak and Mad Mountain Adventures thrive during the wintertime... when winter decides to show up.

“We’ve had to postpone our opening once again,” said Linda Derosier, Terry Peak’s marketing director. “We were hoping to be able to open for the weekend but with the temperatures being what they are and the inability to make snow at 38 to 65 degrees, we’ve had to push the opening back.”

With multiple 60-degree days recently, it’s been unseasonably warm. Which most people wouldn’t complain about unless you’re in a business that needs a little more snow.

“We went all out,” said Braedon Petersen, owner of Mad Mountain Adventures. “40 new snowmobiles, gear, all this stuff so it is a concern. I think once the snow finally hits, I think we’ll be just fine, even if it takes a little bit longer.”

The snowmobile trails usually open by December 15th and Terry Peak had plans of opening almost two weeks ago, but Derosier and Petersen said mother nature is in control.

“It’s a day-by-day thing, we really need to have some weather so we can make snow,” said Derosier. ”We’re hoping maybe we could get open and have a soft opening by the middle of next week, but time will tell.”

Even though the Hills have seen some snow, it’s not nearly enough. Which could impact more than just the northern hills.

“I think it affects the entire economy right here in our area, the direct area,” said Derosier. “Of course, motels and hotels and our restaurants are all being affected, Terry Peak does have quite a draw during the Winter and skiing months.”

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