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Snowy week could make for best Ski Bowl opening ever

Becky Vargo • Dec 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The Ski Bowl at Mulligan’s Hollow opens to the public Friday afternoon and the ski hill’s manager, Benji Stone, said, “It’s going to be one of the best openings we’ve ever had.”

Cool temperatures allowed Stone and sidekick John Spruit to operate the Ski Bowl’s snow-makers 24 hours a day for four days straight last week. 

Combined with this week’s snowfall, conditions are expected to be optimal by opening day, Stone said as he watched the blowing snow cover the big hill, called The Tank, out back.

The base on the front hill was 3 feet deep on Tuesday. Stone said all of the hills will have at least a 3-foot base by Friday, and all of them will be open. The facility opens at 4 p.m. Friday.

Stone claims to love skiing more than anyone around Grand Haven, and wants to spread the love of the sport to everyone possible. That will be done by making sure the instructors are well-trained and teach with an emphasis on fun, he said.

Instructor training was scheduled to begin Tuesday evening.

“Our goal this season is to be the No. 1 place for kids to learn to ski and snowboard in Michigan,” Stone said.

The local ski hill is also a good place for instructors to learn skills they can take to bigger hills.

Stone noted that Mulligan’s Hollow also has a bunny hill and one of the best terrain parks around, designed and built by Spruit.

The ski hill manager said parents should know that they ski free when they come with their children.

“Parents have always skied free here,” he said.

Or parents can drop off their kids for a lesson and go sit by the fire inside or outside the lodge. Or they can go into town for an hour.

The older kids are often dropped off for the entire day, Stone said.

“I become basically a middle school principal in the winter,” he said with a big smile. “I love being able to work here.”

The Ski Bowl will be open from 4-8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Ski passes are $15 on weekdays and $20 on weekends. Multi-visit passes and full-season passes are also available.

Mulligan’s Hollow also has a freestyle club that starts in January. More information on the club, and rate and slope information, can be found on the Mulligan’s Hollow website at www.mulliganshollow.com. Stone said they are pushing information on Instagram as well, at mulligans.hollow.

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