Of all the times you've been to Mackinac Island, did you know there once was a ski resort? It's possible you never heard of it, as it only lasted two years.

The television televangelist Rex Humbard purchased some Mackinac Island land in 1971. Although he bought a few acres of land found on separate places on the island, the one that had the ski resort was located where Stonecliffe Manor is today. He had high hopes of creating the “Rex Humbard Christian Development Center” which included a college and ski resort.

Construction on the ski resort lasted from September-December 1971 and included cross-country trails, an ice skating pond, two ski jumps, a 28-chair ski lift, two ski runs, and a toboggan run. This 165-acre Stonecliffe property was transformed into a winter 'sports center' and re-named “Mount Humbard”.

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The resort was commercialized and publicized as “the only island ski resort in the world,” and was hoping to attract families and not 'swinging singles' who went to ski resorts looking for more than a good downhill run.

But it was not to last. Where was all the snow that northern Michigan was known for? It wasn't coming. The general manager announced he would bring in snow machines if he had to in order to accommodate skiers but it never happened. Plus, it was too tough even getting to the resort in winter, a proposed ski team never materialized, not enough students were enrolling in the college.....and with not enough funds, the whole shebang – nicknamed “Humbard's Folly” – shut down in 1973, less than two years later.

Reverend Rex had separate financial problems that added to his dashed dreams and woes. You can read more about his story with more details HERE.

Mackinac Island's Ski Resort, 1971-1973


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