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Winter Fun in Ellicottville: What a Great Start to the Season!

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By Alicia Dziak

Winter is officially here, and Ellicottville is filled with winter enthusiasts from near and far taking advantage of all EVL has to offer.

Ski season is in full swing! Skiers and snowboarders can rejoice that Holiday Valley’s slopes have already been open for nearly a month, with HoliMont’s opening shortly thereafter. Be sure to check out www.holidayvalley.com and www.holimont .com before you head out for up-to-date snow reports and information.

Holiday Valley 

Kick off the New Year with Holiday Valley’s New Year’s Eve Celebration. Guests can ski until 10 p.m., and then Cindy’s lift is open until 11 p.m. Intermediate or better skiers can join in the torchlight parade, which begins at 11:30 p.m., followed by a fireworks show that ends at midnight. A family-friendly party on the first floor of the Holiday Valley Lodge features DJ John Barry, drink specials, holiday food and cheer.

Jan. 2–8 brings Canadian Friendship Week to the slopes, where lift tickets and rentals are sold at par for Canadian cash.

In addition, Mountain Coaster rides and two-hour Tubing Park passes are two-for-one Jan. 2-5. For promotion times, visit www.holidayvalley.com.

If you’ve never experienced the Mountain Coaster, you don’t know what you’re missing! The coaster, operating Thursdays through Sundays in the winter, launches near HV’s Tannenbaum lift, takes riders up the hill, and lets them control their own speed as they fly back down. Single rides are $8, with other money-saving options available.

For more non-stop action, a quick trek out of town on Route 242 will lead you to the newly expanded Holiday Valley Tubing Company, offering adventure seekers numerous tubing lanes to race down and two handle tows to pull you back up the hill so you can do it again! The fun starts at $17 for a two-hour slide. In addition, a free shuttle is offered to the Tubing Park from Holiday Valley.

While you’re there, show off your ice skating moves on the new outdoor ice rink. Bring your own skates and pay just $5 to skate. A perfect way to psych yourself up for the upcoming Olympics!

Other upcoming events at Holiday Valley include the Bag Jump Jan. 3-5 where you can ride or ski down the slope, over a jump and into a gigantic air bag. Curious and seasoned motorcycle enthusiasts can look forward to a full day of events, bike displays, lessons on the Jumpstart trainer, food music and more when Harley-Day Valley roars into town on Jan. 25.

HoliMont

Head over to the next mountain to enjoy HoliMont’s calendar of public and members-only events, including Demo Day on Dec. 28, the Jet Set Racing Program fundraising party of Dec. 30, and their New Year’s Eve party.

On Jan. 5, HoliMont is joining forces with Kids Escaping Drugs to provide a fun day of skiing, food and prizes to raise money and awareness for the Kids Escaping Drugs Campaign. The event includes Lake Effect Fire Fighter races where firefighters race down the slopes of HoliMont in full fire gear! For more information, call (716) 827-9462. For other upcoming events, visit www.holimont.com.

Rent Some Gear

Want to enjoy the sights and sounds of Ellicottville at a slower pace? Getting out for a hike on foot or on snowshoes, or maybe a cross-country ski trek, is a perfect solution. Snowshoes and cross-country skis can be rented from Mud, Sweat N’ Gears and The City Garage in the village, as well as from Holiday Valley and HoliMont. Area trail maps can be purchased at Ellicottville Bike and Bean, with all proceeds of map sales supporting WNYMBA (Western New York Mountain Biking Association).

Groove to the Tunes

After a long day of playing, what better way to wind down than with some music and cheer at one of the many local establishments? Whether you prefer live music playing while you catch up with friends, or dancing as a DJ spins your favorites, EVL has something for everyone.

See page 3 for the week’s schedule of live entertainment.

Winter Blues Weekend

The first weekend of 2014 marks Ellicottville’s first celebration weekend of the year. Mark your calendar for Winter Blues Weekend, Jan. 3 and 4, a fun-filled weekend that celebrates local blues music at many village hot spots. Visit www.ellicottvilleny.com for the schedule of events.

Shopping Galore

Of course, don’t forget to check out all the post-holiday sales at the fabulous shops in the village. Whether you’re looking for accessories, the latest fashions, gear for the slopes or just that unique item that Santa forgot, you won’t be disappointed at the selection of goodies offered right in the village.

The streets and slopes of EVL have so much to offer this time of year. Pack up your friends and family and see why EVL is the favorite winter hangout for so many!

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