John Spruit, the facilities and maintenance manager, said that he and his assistants had been making and grooming snow since late December — and intensively since Thursday — to ready for the event.
By 6 p.m., more than 300 snow-lovers had zipped up the hills on towlines and back down on boards and skis.
They were having so much fun, they probably didn’t think about the funds that many were helping raise to finish building a maintenance barn for the park. Once completed, the $110,000 building will house snow-blowers that generate compact, icy crystals to blanket the hillsides. It will also store the groomer that converts those crystals into surfaces in which skiers and snowboarders can traverse.
“That’s our big push — we want to fill that hole,” said Kellie Oom, secretary of the Ski Bowl Association.
Since 2009, the nonprofit association has managed Mulligan’s Hollow during the winter months. Previously, the facility was administered by the city, which acquired the property in 1908 and opened the Ski Bowl in 1963.
Oom gestured toward the roughed-out barn, nestled at the base of a sand dune, and added that long-term plans also include finishing another bunny hill and reconfiguring the park’s ice-skating rink.
Income from day-to-day operations pays for staff and regular maintenance, Oom said.
Special projects require the additional money that fundraising brings in.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.
To see more photos from the event, click here.