Bottineau Winter Park opened in early December and with all the snow North Dakota’s getting this winter, attendance has been rising.

“We love all the fresh snow that we got,” said Rachael Buss, program coordinator for Annie’s House Adaptive Recreation Program. “That’s been a really, really great benefit for the park. We’re starting to pick up now that the weather’s cooperating with us.”

Many places in North Dakota have seen more snowfall this year compared to last.

“We have been having a really good season,” said Buss. “Obviously, North Dakota got a pretty hefty cold snap there for a while so it’s really nice to see a lot of people out again. The weather turning around for the better.”

For at least 10 years, the winter park has honored military members with its Military Appreciation Day — and this year was no different with more than 200 military personnel and their family taking advantage.

“A lot of the members, today’s their first day on snow whether they’re skiing, tubing or snowboarding so it’s just a nice way for us and the Air Force base to collaborate to welcome the military members to Bottineau,” said Buss.

A highlight of the day? The skiers coming down the hill holding American flags.

“It’s just incredible to see all the flags coming down the hill,” said Todd Sivertson.

Sivertson is retired from the Army Reserve and is now on ski patrol as well as a ski instructor. This was his first time seeing the parade of flags.

“I think it’s kind of a deep sense of patriotism and appreciation both,” said Sivertson.

And he extends his appreciation to other people who are serving or who have served this country.

“Both of my nephews are in the service and my brother-in-law was in the service too,” said Sivertson. “And for all those people that served, we greatly appreciate you. Thank you.”

Bottineau Winter Park recognizes military personnel every day, offering discounts on lift tickets, tubing and rentals.