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December not a great month for snow sports

Winter sports venues hoping first storms of 2021 will deliver fresh snow instead of rain.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — December was not a great month for winter sports in West Michigan with storms bringing mostly rain and ice and very little precipitation in the form of snow.

But the new year brings hope, and as New Year's Day storm clouds were progressing north across Lake Michigan towards Mulligan's Hollow Ski Bowl in Grand Haven skiers and snowboarders had their fingers crossed there'd soon be fresh snow.

"I hope it's snow," said Mulligan's Hollow ski school and marketing director Grace Miracle. "Just waiting for winter to show up." 

Miracle along with those skiing and snowboarding at the non-profit community ski hill say more fresh snow is needed to enjoy the winter sports they love.

Workers spent significant time and effort making snow at Mulligan's Hollow from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day in an effort to open for the season.

"Because the temperature was perfect," said Miracle. However one rain event could be devastating and send the season in reverse.

The ski hill is already pivoting because of COVID-19. The changes this season include capping daily capacity, requiring masks, and closing the lodge.

"And we've moved our rentals completely outdoors," said Miracle.

Even with the challenges of COVID-19 and a winter that so far hasn't really started there's excitement because skiers are skiing, and snowboarders are snowboarding at Mulligan's Hollow.

"It was super important that we were open for the holiday break," said Miracle. "We're glad to be open and we hope we can stay open until March, that would be a full season."

Mulligan's Hollow is a popular destination with families in Ottawa County in part because parents ski free with the purchase of a youth ticket.

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