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February is the time to celebrate romance and friendship. Wine, chocolate, gourmet food and the music of a great jazz-rock band are a few of the highlights offered when you visit the Allegheny National Forest Region during February. 

HoliMont Ski Area officially opened for the 2013-14 ski season on Saturday, December 14th; eleven days earlier than last year’s Christmas Day opening. Since then, the Village of Ellicottville has 1) been buried in beautiful lake effect snow, 2) seen an increase in temperature that all but wiped out the natural snowfall, and then 3) witnessed a Christmas comeback as winter returned just in time to blanket the slopes with enough snow to give the area the winter look that we here at HoliMont love so much.

The dish I have chosen for this month’s SNOWED-IN special is quite a bit lighter than last month’s. Although the garnish for 
this dish screams winter, the scallops tend to offer a more delicate feel on your pallet.  Come dine at John Harvard's Brew House during the month of January and experience it for yourself!
Tired of watching your friends hit the slopes while you sip hot cocoa and watch from the lodge?  Bundle up, grab some skis or a snowboard and join them in January as the nation celebrates “Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.”  Both Ellicottville resorts are offering great incentives to get you off the couch and onto the hill.

A new product making headway in all facets of the sports world, Noggin is a gel-filled elastic covering similar to a swim cap that is worn underneath helmets, and is said to reduce impact by 22%. According to Noggin Sport CEO Alex Abramov, “Noggin Sport is dedicated to providing the highest level of protective headwear, to be worn with certified helmets, to protect against the occurrence of head injuries and minor traumatic brain injuries.”

What happens when skiers and Harley-Davidsons get together at Holiday Valley? A day full of engine-revving, slope-swishing fun during the second annual Harley-Day Valley, set for Saturday, Jan. 25 from 10am-7pm.
Just because we’re located in the Western New York foothills and don’t have as aggressive terrain as, say, Utah or Colorado, the fact remains Ellicottville and Holiday Valley are known throughout the national ski and snowboard circuit. Shops like The City Garage are always willing to play host to fun events on our local mountain, and the “Tell A Friend Tour” is at the top of the list.
Like most of you reading this edition of SNOWED-IN, you’re probably checking in on what’s new at your favorite local ski resorts, the shopping and character of the village of Ellicottville, and of course local happenings in the surrounding communities.  Lucky for you, this issue boasts all of those things and more, as we have one heck of an event coming to the area in early February.  Introducing the AMSOIL Championship Snocross, taking place at the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel Feb. 7-8!  If you have yet to check out an event like this, toss your leg over the seat, and let’s go for a ride!
If you’re a fan of classic rock music, then you’re a fan of Grand Funk Railroad.  The five-piece band that made it big in the 1970’s is a staple on any classic rock radio station you listen to.  I had the chance to catch up with original member and singer/drummer, Don Brewer, from his home in Florida on a very snowy day here in Western New York.

If you’ve ever been in the quaint village of Ellicottville and found yourself asking, “where can I go for a really good steak?” the answer is actually quite simple.  The Silver Fox Steakhouse is an Ellicottville mainstay and its longevity in the market is a testament to the fine food and ambiance that you will find when you are a guest there. 
In.Form is a 13-week holistic health and weight loss program designed to utilize nutrition, supplements, exercise, education, social support and individualized coaching to bring information, inspiration, hope and practical tools to your front door. And it's coming to Nature's Remedy in Ellicottville this month!  We will not be counting calories or points, but rather focusing on a truly healthy lifestyle. We will lead you to the fountain of health … it is up to you to drink the water. This journey will be A LOT of fun and we’ll build great memories in the process!

The more snow the more fun! As the Weather Channel says, “McKean County, Pennsylvania is where you go when you want to find snow. It is a national cold-weather champion.” In northwestern Pennsylvania, McKean County holds the state record for the most amount of snowfall per year. Local folks invite you to enjoy ice-skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling as you experience the natural beauty of winter in the Allegheny National Forest Region.
If you happen to pop into Madigan’s during one of your winter pilgrimages to EVL, you’ll undoubtedly be greeted by a cast of characters like no other - from the patrons to the staff.  This happy hour haven is home base for many locals who enjoy the house wine and the comfort afforded by the iconic woodstove.  One of the newest faces behind the bar there is Jorden Leydecker, 22 years young, hailing from over the river and through the woods, growing up in nearby East Otto.  When she’s not slinging drinks at the “Green Bar,” Leydecker is a self-employed personal trainer at Spring Creek Athletic Club in Springville, putting her Bachelor of Sport Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh to good use. 

Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays has passed, let us help you find some snow-filled joy with our trails for 
cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.  Get out and about, and navigate our unspoiled forested areas.  Whether you’re a novice and need to stay on the beaten, groomed path, or someone seeking to brave unknown territory, you will discover what you’re looking for, in the Enchanted Mountains of Cattaraugus County.
Her work has been showcased in many places, including The Inkwell in Allegany, the Oxford Gallery in Rochester, various galleries in northern California, and of course her own studio in Ellicottville, better known as the Mill Street Gallery. Her realistic paintings have a luminous quality that may cause you to question whether they are actual paintings, or photographs. We’d like you to meet Barbara Fox.
Day groups are a great opportunity for a group of friends, families or co-workers to get together and ski, and according to Kristen Sciara, Assistant Director of Marketing at Holiday Valley, it’s also a great chance for beginners to try the sport in a comfortable group setting.
It’s no secret Ellicottville is an ever changing landscape.  From the businesses in town, to the improvements at the local resorts, there is always SOMETHING changing.  One of the constants however, is you will always find a charismatic, passionate cast of individuals holding down the fort at your favorite bars and restaurants in our little ski mecca.  SNOWED-IN thought you should get to know some of these fine folks, so over the next few months, we’ll introduce you to some of our friends, in hopes that you’ll stop in and get to know them for yourself on your next visit to Ellicottville.  
   The holiday season can create an unsteadiness and inability to remain upright through multiple challenges to our balance. Busyness. Overspending. Grief. Loneliness. Illness ... It’s a time of year created to be “joyful” and “festive,” yet many of us look forward to the 1st of January as a restart button.  For those of you who find yourself “out of balance” and constantly struggling to recover from the holidays, here are 7 areas of life to practice the art of maintaining balance in a simple fashion so that we can help each other experience truer joy.

Searching for the perfect gift can be stressful. The “Treasures of the Forest Shopping Trail” in McKean County, Pennsylvania is the perfect “mall alternative.” Leave the long lines, crowded stores, and cookie-cutter gifts behind and embark on a trip into the small town shops nestled at the edge of the forest, where you can put the joy back into holiday shopping. 

Here in Western New York, we have what some people may call, harsh winters, but we sure know how to enjoy them!  Feel the crisp excitement of winter while dashing through the snow on your snowmobile.  Get the gang together and reserve your stay at the newly renovated Group Camp 5 on the Quaker side of Allegany State Park.
The title of 50’s and 60’s rockers Sha-Na-Na’s first album, released in 1969, was a premonition of sorts that “Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay.” Well into their fourth decade of recording and performing around the world, these “greasers” have built a bridge that connects three generations of families to good old rock and roll music.  Starting Wednesday, Dec. 4, Sha Na Na will be bringing their Rockin’ Christmas Show to Seneca Allegany Casino’s Events Center in Salamanca, NY for five shows, including matinee and evening shows.
The Apex Ski Boot Company can be summed up in one word: INNOVATIVE.  Founder Denny Hanson, a longtime ski industry veteran, designed a radical new boot that overcame the boundaries skiers had between finding comfort and performance.  SNOWED-IN recently got on the horn with Apex'sMarketing Director Jennifer Hanson (Denny’s daughter) to learn more.
   Ski and snowboard equipment can be some of the trickiest products to buy. Lucky for you, Holiday Valley and the major ski and snowboard companies are here to help you with your purchasing decisions. Come test out new product on-hill.  And if the Farmer’s Almanac is any indication of the conditions you’ll be testing in, we’ll be buried in snow by the time Dec. 21 gets here.
Looking for an intense thrill?  Look for the BAGJUMP to return to Holiday Valley this season.  For those of you lost in translation, a BAGJUMP is a device derived from the entertainment and inflatables industry to serve as a landing pad for action shots.  Now, it's being used on snow.