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NEW at Holiday Valley

Sixty Years, Sixty Trails, More Snowmaking ... MORE FUN!

When Holiday Valley’s founders opened their tiny, rural NY ski resort in 1958, would they have ever dreamt of what it would become? Three beautiful lodges, 60 trails, 13 lifts and a resort that hums all year long. Over the past 60 years, a combination of strong leadership, innovation, and a loyal, diehard ski/snowboard base has been the continual catalyst for Holiday Valley’s success. We’ve come a long way from one lodge and tow ropes.

Through good winters, great winters, so-so winters and one really bad (looking at you, 2015-16) winter, Holiday Valley has maintained its status as one of the premier resorts on the East Coast. While at its core it remains a ski resort, HV has expanded its amenities to include conference centers, a beautiful wedding venue, an aerial adventure park/mountain coaster and much more. It truly is a four-season destination. 

Always putting money back into itself, the Valley’s reinvestments this season include new snowmaking guns, a new Mistletoe Lean-To, a new Warming Hut at the top of Cindy’s, two new trails and two new Pisten Bully grooming cats. 

Strategically located less than three hours from big population centers (think Toronto, Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh), ski and snowboard lovers of all ages proudly - definitively - call HV their home resort. With $3.3 million going back in this year, the grand total of reinvestment over the past 24 years has hit a cool $126 million. 

 

A SNOWMAKING POWERHOUSE

And while we are blessed with Nor’Easters and lake effect (shoutout to Lake Erie), through many of its 60 winters, the Valley has kept its proverbial head above water by constant reinvestment in its powerhouse snowmaking systems. This summer, the resort added 70 HKD KLIK Automated Snowmaking guns as well as 10 mobile HKD Viper units - bringing the grand total to 701, with 371 of those being automated. 

Superior in the snowmaking world, HKD’s automated system allows the Valley’s crew to monitor temperature, humidity and other weather factors and adjust the system accordingly. Now, instead of a crew having to haul guns and hoses on the hill when there might be a good weather window, they can turn the guns on and off from their home base - or from an app on their smartphones. With the addition of the guns this summer, Holiday Valley now boasts the largest HKD-specific automated snowmaking system on the East Coast. 

Here’s an example of just how incredible the snowmaking capability is at HV: Last March, the crew had a solid weather window (low humidity, 12º-20º, not a lot of wind) and laid the hammer - busting out over 150 acre-feet of snow. The maximum capacity for the system is 8,000 gallons a minute, so it helps when you’ve got a reservoir (Spruce Lake) with over 160 million gallons of water. 

Additions for automated snowmaking trails this year include: lower Foxfire, lower Cindy’s, Cross Cut, Chute and upper Northwind. The resort has also installed and replaced new snowmaking lines to continue to boost the efficiency of the overall system. 

 

ON-THE-MOUNTAIN FACELIFTS 

Iconic as they were beautiful, the Cindy’s Warming Hut (which still utilized a gas stove) and the Mistletoe Lean-To were fan favorites. But every so often, old needs a facelift. This season, the Valley is proud to reintroduce the new Mistletoe Lean-To, tweaked a bit to make it much more accommodating for passing skiers. And the Cindy’s Warming Hut, although it was super old school (and super cool) definitely needed a little makeover. Crews from Dana John Construction tore the old warming hut down and built it again from scratch. It will offer better views of the hill, more windows, and a wraparound deck. 

 

TWO NEW TRAILS

To celebrate the 60th anniversary, the Valley has built two brand-new trails to bring its grand total of slopes and trails to 60. Aptly named Slingshot and Boomerang, they will allow guests who aren’t at expert or intermediate levels to access parts of the resort easier. They will begin at the top of the lower Northwind headwall, with one taking you to the bottom of Mardi Gras, while the other circumvents the expert Cross Cut so you can get to the bottom of Morning Star. 

Night skiing is getting tweaked a bit as well. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the lifts will close at 9pm, while Wednesdays through Sundays will remain open until 10pm. And great news for you night owls - the night ticket will begin at 3:30pm this year, an hour earlier than the traditional 4:30pm start time. 

 

APRES AT JOHN HARVARD’S BREW HOUSE

Half the fun of hitting a ski resort is the apres! After a strong day on the slopes, a cold beverage is the perfect way to end it. John Harvard’s Brew House, home to over 20 beers on tap, has views of the slopes and a (very cool) concrete bar. Bartenders will ask you how your day on the slopes went, all the while keeping you satisfied with drinks and food. 

“The food and drinks are excellent, but nothing makes a good apres experience like an awesome bartender,” said Franco Brady, Holiday Valley’s Director of Food & Beverage (of CenterPlate). “The brick oven (for pizzas) is always hot, and the views of the slopes - especially when they’re lit up at night - complements the experience so well.”

John Harvard’s square-shaped bar allows you to communicate with other visitors and swap stories. Or, if you’ve got the family, there’s tons of additional seating. Your favorite beers are all on tap, including seasonals from Ellicottville Brewing Company and Southern Tier Brewing.

 

MORE THRILLS ... ON A COASTER, ON A TUBE!

Two very underrated activities at the resort are the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster and the Tubing Park. The coaster, located at Tannenbaum, takes you up the hill in a two-person sled and then loops and twirls back down through the trees. Bonus? You control the speed with two hand brakes. 

“The coaster is a huge hit,” says Jane Eshbaugh, Marketing Director at Holiday Valley. “Parents can ride with their kids (as long as the combined weight is under the limit) and it’s a great time, especially at night. If you’ve done the coaster and want to experience some more high-speed thrills, the Tubing Park is for you.” 

The Tubing Park, located just a short drive down Route 242 east of the village, has 22 lanes with quality snowmaking to match. When it’s super cold, put those goggles on - because you’re going to go fast, Ricky Bobby. 

There’s a special vibe around Holiday Valley and Ellicottville that’s validated by the ever-growing number of people who come to visit. Also, fair warning from a local kid - when you come, do NOT mention El Nino in any shape, size, or variation. Thanks in advance.