Nestled in the dunes behind the Tri-Cities Family YMCA, Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl has come a long way from its days as a Coast Guard boot camp during World War II.
In 1963, the former boot camp mess hall was converted into the Hollow’s first warming hut and everything has snowballed from there. Fifty years later, it is buzzing with activity every winter with almost 12,000 ski passes sold every season.
After its official dedication in 1973, the ski bowl was operated and maintained by countless volunteers, the City of Grand Haven, and the YMCA. In 2009, the Mulligan’s Ski Bowl Association, a non-profit organization, was handed the ‘key’ to the park and has operated it ever since. Their mission is to keep the area affordable for anyone who wants to experience the excitement of skiing and snowboarding.
The Hollow now boasts a new lodge, complete with a cozy fireplace and concessions, a snow groomer, snow guns, and a storage barn. Skiers and snowboarders can make their way to 6 slopes and adjoining trails via their 6 tow ropes throughout the 7 acres of the park including a terrain park. The highest run has an elevation of 1300 feet that offers views of Lake Michigan from the top of the dune. Also all slopes are complete with lights for night skiing.
“We’ve gradually improved our snowmaking abilities over the past 10 years. We have an awesome grooming and snowmaking staff led by John Spruit that should be credited with keeping the hills open during even the most dismal, dry, no snow years,” says ski bowl representative, Sean Sterzer. “They have 7 snow guns and they know how to use them!”
New this year, skiers and boarders can check the ski bowl conditions in real time via the freshly installed webcam thanks to Buffalo Bob’s in Grand Haven.
Lift tickets for the Hollow range from an $8 Bunny Hill Only Pass to a $20 All Hill Lift Ticket on peak days. Pass booklets start at $30 and full season passes start at $220. Parents always ski free with the purchase of a youth lift ticket. Check the website for the complete lift pass rate schedule.
Open skiing at the ski bowl is Thursday & Fridays from 4-8pm and Saturday & Sundays from 11am-6pm. During Grand Haven Area Public School holidays and snow days they are open 11am-6pm. Lessons, Freestyle Club, and Racing Leagues take place Monday-Wednesday. The Hollow is closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
For younger skiers and beginners, there is a bunny hill as well as group and private lessons available. Rentals are available for an additional $12 thanks to a partnership with Reliable Sports.
“The Ski Bowl is the greatest place to take a lesson if you’re thinking about trying snowboarding or skiing,” says Sterzer. “We have more PSIAA certified instructors available than most of the big ‘Up North’ areas.”
Mulligan’s hosts a variety of events each year including their Ski Swap in November and their ‘Banners, Bowls, & Brews’ fundraiser in February. The Hollow is also home to many Grand Haven Winterfest events at the end of January including the Glow Bowl, Cardboard Sled Race, and Ski & Snowboard competition.
For more information including hours of operation, lift pass rates, and current conditions visit MulligansHollow.com or call the lodge at 616-842-0634. You can also follow them on Facebook at FB.com/MulligansHollow.
Cost(s)All Hill Lift Tickets: Thursday 4-8pm-$12 Friday 4pm-8 pm $12 Saturday, Sunday 11am-6pm $16 Bunny Hill Lift Tickets: Friday $8 Saturdays and Sundays $10
Amenities6 Slopes with Adjoining Trails 5 Tow Ropes Lights for Nigh tSkiing Lessons Lodge Snowmaking Ice Rink