This is going to be a great winter. Farmers, weathermen, Mother Nature and the magic 8 ball all agree that we’re going to see better snowfall this season.
If you’re a Member at HoliMont (North America’s largest private ski club), you know that it is an experience that can be tough to put into words because it really is just that – an incredible winter experience. Any time throughout the season you can hit the slopes and set your skis on edge to engage your finely tuned, high performance skis or snowboard on pristinely groomed corduroy and carve down one of HoliMont’s 52 slopes. But as with most things in life, picturing it doesn’t do it justice. Until you can actually feel that crisp Western New York winter air on your face as you cruise down a slope, all you can really do is imagine what spending your winters at this family-friendly ski club is all about.
Located just outside the village of Ellicottville, NY, HoliMont has a slightly different mantra than many ski areas you are familiar with. HoliMont, you see, is a private ski club with a membership base that is very passionate about their little slice of winter ecstasy. Think this is like your grandfather’s country club? Think again. People choose to become members at HoliMont due to its family-friendly atmosphere just as much as they do for its pristinely groomed terrain and snowmaking abilities. With a strong emphasis on a children-focused ski school and racing programs that teach young members proper skiing/snowboarding techniques - and most importantly, lots of fun - the HoliMont experience is one that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Experience HoliMont. Think of that phrase as a lifestyle suggestion or a word to the wise, if you will. Check out www.holimont.com and follow the club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where you will find a continuous stream of content and action-packed photos. But social media isn’t going to give you anywhere close to the true feeling of being at the club on a Saturday morning in January after Ellicottville has just got pounded with glorious lake effect snow and the HoliMont Mountain Crew has been working throughout the night to get the slopes in optimal condition. Those are the days you will find out exactly what the edges on your skis are made for or how floating through the glades on a snowboard is as thrilling as any feature in the terrain park. It’s the little particulars that truly make HoliMont a special place. This club was founded on family values, hard work and a deep-rooted love of skiing. And while the club has definitely grown up over the years, the one thing that has never changed is that it offers a one-of-a-kind family atmosphere.
HoliMont still has original members (the club was founded in 1962) who are active in the club. Those people can tell you stories about hiking the hills in the off-season in order to remove any large rocks that could possibly cause damage to skis. Or they can convey tales about how the main chalet once doubled as a garage for the first snow groomer purchased by the club. Perhaps you’ll hear about how the chairlifts used to have numbers (i.e. One, Two, and Three) for names instead of being called Exhibition Express, Cascade, or Greer. After all the stories are said and done, what you will really find out is that becoming a member at HoliMont is about more than involvement in a club; it basically becomes a home away from home and a vacation that you can enjoy all winter long.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
If membership isn’t for you, you need not worry. HoliMont still has plenty for you! Years ago the HoliMont membership decided to open HoliMont to the general public every Monday through Friday (except for the week between Christmas and New Year’s). This change allowed any snowsports enthusiast to experience this special private ski club during its off-peak times. It’s not uncommon for people to use their vacation days (or sick days if you feel that “cold” coming on the morning after a powder dump) to take advantage of HoliMont’s Weekday Experience Pass (10 non-transferrable lift tickets and 5 snowsports clinics for as little as $240). Since the weekday traffic is considerably less than the weekend traffic, at times it is almost as if you have the slopes to yourself.
After your day of skiing and boarding, we recommend you take advantage of some of the new improvements made at The Mont during the off-season. If you have enough gas in the tank, check out the newly graded and widened cross-country trail. Snowshoeing and XC skiing are great ways to cap off the day or take a break from the slopes. Cozy up in the new lean-to with friends and family for an outdoor experience beyond compare.