The new owners at Mystic Miner at [R2803R, Deer Mountain] in South Dakota seem to be making a splash with locals. Not only did the resort report shattering all previous attendance records for opening weekend during the Thanksgiving holiday, but the ski hill then threw a free ski day in January for the area residents from Lead and Deadwood to come try out the resort.

The resort is gaining accolades for Blizzard Park, its revamped tubing hill. New tubes and doubling the number of lanes to seven make the tubing operation run much smoother.

The Atomic Shelf Terrain Park also has a different look this year. The park crew lined up a series of rails, boxes, and snow jumps varying in difficulty from beginner to advanced. Look for unique features such as culverts and barrels, too.

Friday Night Lights adds to the buzz at Mystic. The hill opens Friday nights from 4 - 7 p.m. for tubing, skiing on the poma, and entertainment in the Mine Shaft Tavern.

Upgrading hill equipment has improved the skiing and snowboarding. The lifts run faster now, and the grooming has enhanced the corduroy on the slopes and permits Miner's Canyon to open on a more consistent basis. Those who need to rent skis will find a new rental lineup of gear.

Lifts run for skiing and snowboarding Fridays through Sundays. The first three weeks in March add on Wednesday and Thursday operations, too.