Uludağ was one of the twenty-odd mountains around the eastern half of Mediterranean basin that used to be called Olympos in ancient times—more precisely Mysian Olympos in this case, Mysia being the ancient name of the region what is about eastern two-thirds of Southern Marmara region today.
In medieval times, Uludağ served as a hermitage to Christian monks, which explains why it was named Keşiş Dağı ("Mountain of the Monks") in Ottoman Turkish. It was also this time when, in the absence of refrigators, the ice harvested from the mountain made its way to the imperial kitchen in Istanbul's Topkapı Palace (The imperial enclave of the Ottoman emperors for four centuries.). The mountain was later renamed Uludağ, which translates "Great Mountain" ("great" being more in the sense of "grand"), in 1935, about a decade after the Turkish Republic was founded.
Uludağ was the first (and, still the most popular) wintersports resort in Turkey, with the first guesthouses aimed at skiing enthusiasts opening in 1940s. It was declared a national park in 1961, but that didn't fully stop tourism developments.