Through the seasons, Ellicottville has evolved into a snowsport enthusiast’s dream. Between the two awesome ski resorts, shops, bars, restaurants, businesses and people, it has become a destination for creative curation. On Saturday, Dec. 12 from 12:30pm-2:30pm, you’ll have a prime opportunity to celebrate the winter lifestyle right here in our amazing town.
Winter Wildlands Alliance, an Idaho-based nonprofit, actively works to promote ways to help preserve the outdoors - the biggest being its Backcountry Film Festival. With showings across the North American continent (as well as Asia and Europe), WWA collaborates with filmmakers to showcase everything that’s best about being outside.
The festival is sponsored by two of Ellicottville’s newcomers, as well as one that’s been around for over 30 years. Nick Pitillo’s Villaggio Restaurant plays host, while John Rounds of Adventure Bound spearheaded the development and execution. The Boardroom Snowboard Shop and its new location - The Boardroom on Main - are also sponsors.
Rounds’ father Chris owned Ellicottville’s original outdoor authority that shares the same name. An avid outdoorsman himself, John’s appreciation for spending time outside is evident in the product mix he carries in his store. Not to mention, the crew he’s assembled are as well - Steve and Deb Wilkinson, who have opened multiple outdoors stores; and Don Boehmer, whose kayak and boating store recently moved into the former Nouriche.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to further immerse ourselves into the Ellicottville community,” Rounds said. “There’s an obvious and palpable love for the outdoors in this town. We’re going to get together and get excited for winter with good food and good people. It’s going to be a fun event.”
The trailer for the film features fat powder skis spraying fresh snow at the camera, spins off natural terrain on a snowboard, and rock climbing amongst frozen waterfalls. For those with a love of snow, the footage makes you feel some major feels.
Villaggio, occupying the space of the former Barn Restaurant, will provide the food, drinks and atmosphere. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think the newest restaurant in town had been there forever. Pitillo’s crew instantly makes you feel like you’re part of the family, and the two-tiered layout of the restaurant allows for great viewing wherever you’re at.
“When John (Rounds) approached us about hosting the event, we couldn’t say yes fast enough,” said Spencer Murray, Villaggio’s General Manager. “Most of the crew and I are pretty new to town, but we’ve been welcomed with open arms. Nick’s roots here definitely play into that. From what I’ve seen (of the trailer) this is going to be an awesome film and will get everyone super excited for winter.”
There are two tickets available: VIP and General Admission. VIP, at $50 per guest, grants you access to Villaggio’s upstairs, with food and two beer tickets. General Admission, at $30, gives you seating downstairs with food options as well as two beer tickets.
Tickets are available at www.adventureboundonthefly.com/backcountry, or stop in to see the crews at each spot for more information. Get excited on winter and follow each sponsor on Instagram at: @BoardroomEville; @AdventureBoundonthefly; and @Villaggio.