LEAD, SOUTH DAKOTA
Story By: Jodi Schwan, Pigeon605
The slopes at Deer Mountain Ski Resort have been empty for years – but not for much longer.
Keating Resources, a fifth-generation family business on the Nebraska border just south of South Dakota, purchased the nearly 700-acre Black Hills property near Lead earlier this year and has big plans for it.
“My life has been buying problems and finding answers,” said CEO Gerard Keating, who bought the former Gateway campus in North Sioux City and sold it in May, having grown it to five companies with more than 1,000 combined employees.
The slopes at Deer Mountain Ski Resort have been empty for years – but not for much longer. “This was overlooked for its lifetime, and now it’s been found.”
Deer Mountain Village will be the second of two mountaintop land developments for Keating and his son, Alec.
They also are developing Spearfish Mount Ranch in Whitewood, featuring both 40-acre estate ranches and 2-acre residential lots, “That’s 30 homes on 700 acres. It’s very special, and we sold 50 percent of it in 45 days, and the majority of the buyers are from Sioux Falls,” Keating said.
Deer Mountain, which opened in 1967, has not been operational since a bank took over in 2017. The new development will begin selling lots in late spring of 2022, he said.
Roads are scheduled to be done by mid-October.
At 6,200 feet, the elevation is the highest in the country east of the Rocky Mountains, Keating said.
“That’s special because of what it provides you,” he said, comparing it to Teton Village and Jackson Hole in Wyoming and Park City, Utah.
“Climate is a solid 10 degrees cooler consistently, and it’s just a special climate overlooked by people.”
There are 185 home sites planned on 630 acres, plus residents will have exclusive access to the two existing ski lifts, which are being restored and scheduled to be operating in December 2022.