Ski Experience – Holiday Valley
A charming ski village makes a great first impression, and Holiday Valley’s is designed to impress. But it doesn’t stop there. Catch a chairlift to great views over adorable Ellicottville to the north, and scenic McCarty Hill State Forest to the south and west. The ski conditions in western New York’s snow belt are some of the best in the state, with Lake Erie’s close proximity directly delivering the benefits of the lake effect to the slopes. Cutting through forests of towering trees, the runs at Holiday Valley are described as a “magical” experience. Take stops at the warming huts interstitially spread across the terrain to get toasty beside a blazing fire pit as you explore a resort that continually delivers. With ninety-five percent of the two hundred and ninety skiable acres covered by powerhouse snowmaking capabilities, you’ll never run out of great snow.
First time skiers or riders can ease into their on-snow experience with a visit to the beginner’s center at the Creekside Lodge, conveniently located by the Holiday Valley Lodge. Take a lesson from the PSIA and AASI certified instructors of the Holiday Valley Snowsports School. Children’s lessons run from ages three to eleven, and adult lessons are for ages twelve and up. Lessons are available seven days a week, with adults able to also take lessons during the resort’s night hours. Thirty-nine of the sixty trails stay open for night skiing. Thirteen lifts service the mountain, three of which are high-speed quads. This terrain offers up bumps, cruisers and five terrain parks featuring challenges for all levels. With green, blue and black runs strategically placed in each of the mountain’s areas, it’s easy for groups of different levels and styles to still stick together when they ski or snowboard.
Whether you’re staying at ski in/ski out lodging, or one of the inns in Ellicottville, you can find your way to a broad variety of après ski activities. Kick back and party, or lie back and relax; your on-snow day will have the perfect capper. Take a hot tub plunge or pamper yourself at the Ellicottville Oasis Spa located in the Tamarack Club, where a relaxing atmosphere awaits. Keep your energy up throughout the evening at several spots featuring weekend live music and dancing. Sample local vintages at the Winery of Ellicottville, or beer offerings such as Ski Bum Hoppy Ale and Imperial Chocolate Stout Cherry Bomb at the Ellicottville Brewing Company. And over two-dozen local restaurants ensure everyone in your party will have their taste buds well satisfied. If there’s something you forgot to pack, or you’re looking for a great gift or souvenir, the village shops have you covered. This town reaches well beyond the level of just “supplies”, catering to expert technical gear and quirky sock enthusiasts alike.
However you fill your hours, the time at Holiday Valley is sure to pass too quickly. But this is one vacation destination you’ll keep coming back to, with cherished memories created in every visit. The charm of this sweet ski spot will always be equaled by its value and hospitality.
Terrain Parks – Holiday Valley
Every ski and snowboarding ability level can find their sweet spot among the fourteen hundred acres of mountain waiting at Holiday Valley. Hop on one of the three high-speed quad chairs, eight fixed grip quad chairs or two surface lifts and head down any of the mountain’s sixty trails. Take lessons from the PSIA-AASI Certified instructors who use the National ATM Method at the Holiday Valley Snowsports School. Skiing, snowboarding, telemark and cross-country skiing are taught in consistency with other schools around the country.
If you’re new to riding, take advantage of the Burton Learn to Ride Center or Burton Kids Learn to Ride Center, and learn from skilled instructors teaching at the highest standard on top equipment.
Parks & Pipes
Holiday Valley has created five rideable terrain parks for all to enjoy. Multiple lines flow from one feature into the next, for a seamless experience. Get introduced to a terrain park’s fun features by visiting Progression Park and Terrain Garden to the east of School Haus, or the Riglet Park area. You’ll find smaller boxes, rails and snow features that are beginner-friendly. The base of Mardi Gras’ Rail Park offers intermediate level challenges. And Fiddler’s Elbow intermediate level park opens earlier thanks to the addition of automated snowmaking. Moonshadow continues as the mountain’s boardercross course.
Out of Bounds
Night skiing is a great part of Holiday Valley’s big picture, as are the multiple cross country trails. Accessible by chairlift for intermediate skill levels, and at the base of the mountain for a more easy-going experience, it’s easy to enjoy a trail through the trees. Nighttime Nordic is available on the golf course, with solar lights brightening the way. Both experiences are highly affordable, and skis, boots and poles may all be rented for a low price. If you’ve never had a chance to try snowshoeing, Holiday Valley’s lower slopes and golf course offer the opportunity. Equipment may be rented through the High Performance Shop. And if you want to go off-site, nearby Allegany State Park has over twenty miles of free, classical forest trails maintained by Allegany Nordic.
Hangout & Hookup
Stop in slopeside at John Harvard’s Brew House within Holiday Valley’s Tamarack Club condo/hotel complex. Or head up the road to Ellicottville, which will win you over with its originality. Bistros sit alongside one-of-a-kind shops, with no chain stores to be seen. Join your friends at the year-round heated beer garden in Ellicottville Brewing Company, or share some comfort food and catch live music at the Gin Mill or Armor Inn. Whatever your social tastes, Ellicottville has the perfect spot.