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You can already tell by the buzz that it’s going to be one heck of a season. Thanks to the timing of some good old fashioned winter weather, HoliMont and Ellicottville are in great shape to offer a fun and prosperous new year. It’s time to bring your friends and family to the area and enjoy the best winter experience in Western New York.

Gallery 14731, downtown Ellicottville, is now exhibiting “Winter in EVL,” Chris Cove’s nature photography exhibit. Cove, an avid skier who lives in Pittsford, New York most of the year, is proud to call Ellicottville home too, as he and his family have owned a home here for the past ten years. The exhibit, which is part winter-themed scenes and part snowy owl photographs, is inspired by Cove’s love of winter and the Ellicottville area, and is sure to inspire visitors looking to enjoy the great outdoors “indoors,” for a change!​

Here in Ellicottville, you always hear about the great skiing and snowboarding, but not often do you hear about the advanced programs offered at our local resorts. I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Ellicottville natives Hayly and Logan Fredrickson (twins), two U16 alpine ski racers out of the Holiday Valley Training Center (HVTC).

Western New York Winter is upon us in The Enchanted Mountains! Here is Cattaraugus County, one day we could be shoveling out two feet of snow and the next dodging raindrops!  Never fret, whether you choose to explore the Winter Wonderlands of our natural areas or prefer to celebrate the season by visiting our splendid indoor museums, galleries and theater performances, you are sure to celebrate all of Winter, not just the holidays!  

Holiday Valley and the major ski and snowboard companies are here to help you with your purchasing decisions. On Saturday, Dec. 17, visitors are welcomed to test new product. Reps from major manufacturers, plus Ellicottville’s local shops, will set up a demo village at the base of the Main Lodge. Brands like Burton, Salomon, Volkl, Atomic, Mervin Manufacturing (Lib Tech, GNU and Roxy), Head, Elan, Nordica, Apex Ski Boots, and many more will set up shop to put product out on the hill.

With winter quickly approaching here in Ellicottville, there’s no time like the present to get into some of your favorite local, specialty retailers to get outfitted for the pending snowfall. One of the mainstays in our community, Mud Sweat N’Gears, is located on the corner of Washington and Monroe Streets in the heart of the village. Recognized by the industry as an ‘America’s Best Bootfitters’ shop, as well as home to the only Montana Speed Factory around, MSG’s passionate, knowledgable staff is ready to get you dialed in. We caught up with owners / operators Kimberly Reading and Miguel Azcarate, to talk about the products they’re most excited about for the coming season.

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” George A. Moore’s words may sound a little cliche for a lighthearted piece as this, but honestly, he nailed it. You may travel the world over, experiencing sights and sounds of cultures far different than the one you grew up in. But the more time you spend away from home, the more you begin to miss it. John Rounds, Nick Pitillo and Rick Jackson all grew up in our (anymore, not so) small town before moving to various places around the country. And when I asked what brought each of them back, the answers were quite simple. “It’s home.”

Flash sales at big box stores. Christmas dinner planning. Last minute shopping. Too often, society attempts to reinforce this notion that Christmas revolves strictly around the giving and receiving of material possessions. We live in a consumer world, where drones deliver packages to you that you ordered from your cell phone. It’s easy to get lost in the noise. But this holiday season, the crew at SNOWED-IN implores you to think about the concept of giving a little differently. As a proud alumnus of St. Bonaventure University, I’m taking advantage of this platform to tell you about an incredible, admirable endeavor of the University - The Warming House.

While you were enjoying summer in the States, this former HoliMont Snowboard Team racer was chasing winter in Chile, in preparation for the World Cup circuit / 2018 Olympics

Facials are one of those misunderstood spa treatments. They are commonly viewed as a luxury; a great way to enjoy part of your Saturday afternoon. But what if I told you facials are not just a way to be pampered, but rather something you should at the very least do seasonally, as they provide both short and long-term benefits to our skin and our overall health.

So I named my fitness studio Core Performance Fitness and Training because I have been trained and believe that all motion comes from your core strength. Training and strengthening of these muscle groups are critical for maximum upper to lower body (or lower to upper body) transfer of strength during many sporting activities. Some may consider this functional training, and still some others may consider it athletic performance training. They may be right, but core strength training has within it all these elements.

Leave the malls, long lines and stressful shopping behind. Explore the 2016 Treasures of the Forest Shopping Trail as you search for holiday gifts and one-of-a kind treasures as you travel through the Allegheny National Forest Region in northwestern, Pennsylvania. See page 28 for the map, or download from visitANF.com. Along the trail you’ll find just the perfect gift for everyone on your list - and maybe something nice for you!

There is something to be said about being in the right place at the right time. For how many times in life things don’t always add up, beautiful coincidences always seem to be peppered in. If you ask Lyn Hall of Quirky Quilters, she will tell you that her career started from a chance encounter. “About six-seven years ago, I was perusing a sewing shop in Erie, PA. There was a woman there looking to purchase a new long-arm quilting machine. After she proclaimed to the store, ‘Anyone want to buy my used machine?’, I for some reason, said yes.”

Singer songwriter Peter Cetera has accomplished what few artists have in the music business … succeed at a very successful solo career, since 1986, and preceding that as the lead singer, bass player and songwriter for the multi platinum group Chicago. Cetera will be kicking off the 2017 concert season when he makes a stop at the Seneca Allegany Event Center in Salamanca on Saturday, January 7 for one show only.

With 12+ inches of natural snow and a good snowmaking run that began yesterday, Holiday Valley’s President and General Manager, Dennis Eshbaugh announced plans to open for their 60th season of skiing and snowboarding on Saturday, November 26, 2016.

When the fall colors are in their twilight and we’re knocking on winter’s door, there’s one event at Holiday Valley to bridge the dreaded November gap - the Beer & Wine Festival, presented by Ellicottville Brewing Company, Southern Tier Brewing Company and Holiday Valley. Now in its 13th year, Beer & Wine has become a favorite event for an (ever growing) contingent of fermentation lovers.

As many of you may already know, Ellicottville is home to some of the most entertaining festivals and events in Western New York. From the multiple fetes produced by the local Chamber of Commerce, to the countless gatherings afforded by HoliMont and Holiday Valley, there are no shortage of reasons to visit our Village. There are plenty of reasons to visit Ellicottville before the snow flies. Here are just a few fun events you'll want to experience ...

As the air grows crisp and we say goodbye to summer’s sweltering temps, many cool weather fans are gearing up for a new season of adventure. If you are an avid fisherman (or woman), chances are you have thoughts of steelhead swarming your brain. Want to know where you can seek out world-class steelhead fishing in Western New York? Pack your gear bag and get ready to head out. The answer lies in Ellicottville, NY. Adventure Bound onthefly, located downtown on the main drag, has the guides, the gear and the knowledge to help you live out the fly fishing experience of your dreams.

Since opening Ameri-Can on September 1, 2015, owner Liz Boberg has made a strong commitment to American craftsmanship, art, and industry in the Ellicottville area, as her inventory is made by local artisans and crafters. The scope of Boberg’s inventory expands even further to include items such as clothing made in the United States and Canada. Now, Boberg is pleased to share the exciting news that her store features a selection of merchandise from the well-known franchise, the Made in America Store. And did we mention ... Ameri-Can just celebrated their one year anniversary!

The Boardroom is moving on up, and they couldn’t be more thrilled, as their 2nd location will be housed on the main floor of 14 Washington Street. Look for them next door to Adventure Bound onthefly … they’ll have all of the same sweet stuff as their Flagship store, plus more lifestyle apparel.

Whether you have an appetite for floaty powder skis, all mountain performers, gutsy sidecuts for groomer days or blazing fast race equipment, Mud, Sweat n' Gears no doubt has the ski you're looking for. Their helmet and goggle collection is bigger and better than ever, and their "Speed Factory" in the back has added some new artillery to make your equipment ready for anything.

Not only is The City Garage stoked on a few new lines they're bringing in (TOBE, Strafe, and Planks, just to name a few), they are also gearing up for the showing of "Ruin and Rose" in November, and busy ski shop days through winter, where they'll rely heavily on good grub cooked in the back to fuel them through ... aka Crockpot Creations, where the key ingredient in every meal is ...

This summer was a bit different for the winter-only shop ... they were OPEN! According to Ciara Peters, soft goods manager, "It went very well! We offered a variety of casual and swim wear from companies like O’Neill and Picture Organic Clothing. In addition, we also freshened up our t-shirt wall with some summer inspired designs." But with winter just around the corner, the Dekdebruns crew is anxious to fill the shop with winter-inspired product, including a few new items, including Uvex helmets and goggles, the latest boot by Apex, and the Nitro line of snowboards.

Last year, Holiday Valley (and to be completely honest, the entire east coast) were put on a Code Red high alert. When November came along and it was still 80º, no one panicked. Winter would come, fast and furious. But winter didn’t come, and even if you count what we had as winter, it was bad. But props to everyone at Holiday Valley - management, Mountain Ops, instructors, parking attendants … everyone - for keeping calm and weathering the storm (or lack of). Honestly, I still had some really good days on-hill last year. Shoutout to the snowmakers and groomers for saving the day in early January.