Here’s What You Missed
By Jann Wiswall
If you want signs that the economy is improving, look no further than Ellicottville. Business owners, developers and local governments have been busy all spring and summer making substantial improvements to existing businesses, building new housing and infrastructure, and attracting new shops and restaurants to this thriving community.
Ellicottville’s many festivals and events continue to draw ever-bigger crowds into the area all summer and autumn long, and 2014 has been no exception.
Beginning with the 4th of July weekend’s Summer Music Festival and the Ellicottville Rodeo, and throughout the month with the Americana Folk Art Fair and the always-popular Jazz & Blues Weekend, there is something for everyone with all kinds of interests.
In August, Holiday Valley hosted the 2014 World Championships of the International Bowhunters Organization, bringing thousands of champion archers from around the world to our region — and the competition will be back in 2015. Of course, the Cattaraugus County Fair draws thousands more into the region, followed by the Taste of Ellicottville and Rally in the Valley. Then, of course, September brings us Rock ‘N Roll Weekend and the opening of Pumpkinville.
Many of the Village’s restaurants have been making improvements all season long. Balloons added a large new addition and outdoor patio space to accommodate its loyal following. Madigan’s added a large second-floor deck for outdoor dining and entertaining. And Dina’s is undergoing a major expansion into the building next door to provide more dining and bar seating space, plus a private dining room for large parties.
Meanwhile, Cadillac Jack’s has closed its location near Holiday Valley and is relocating to a great new spot at 24 Monroe St. in the village. The move allows the restaurant to operate year round.
And, folks are eagerly awaiting the opening of the Armor Inn in the Village Centre behind Kwik Fill at Washington and Mill streets. The Hamburg, N.Y.-based barbeque and blues restaurant expects to open its new location by ski season.
A new spa is opening soon at the intersection of W. Washington Street and Route 242 (next to Betsy’s Consignments). The Ellicottville Salt Cave will offer exfoliation treatments, salt massage and halotherapy, or salt therapy, which has been popular in Europe for many years.
And at 34 E. Washington, the do-op Gear Shop has opened to give Ellicottville sports enthusiasts access to high-end, specialized sunglasses, helmets, hats, clothing and other sports accessories.
Ski Area Improvements
Both Holiday Valley and HoliMont ski resorts have spent the spring and summer months on improvements to make your skiing/boarding experiences ever better.
Holiday Valley has invested $3.4 million on new snowmaking equipment and connecting trails, constructed a stone clock tower and bridge outside the main lodge and more. It also has invested heavily in its four-season appeal with additions at Sky High Adventure Park, decking around the pools and renovations at the Inn at Holiday Valley (see story, page 1).
HoliMont is spending $650,000 on improvements, including $250,000 in snowmaking equipment and $100,000 to install catalytic converters to reduce harmful emissions at the power plant per new EPA requirements. The balance of the resort’s upcoming projects includes chalet improvements and the purchase of new generators, snowmobiles for staff and machinery upgrades (see story, page 7).
New Housing Options Galore
Several new residential communities in Ellicottville are in various stages of planning and development.
At 16 Martha Street, developers are renovating two existing buildings to create a 10-unit rental apartment complex and a four-unit, two-story apartment building.
42 Degrees North, a luxury, single-family-home vacation community off Poverty Hill Road, is being built by Canadian developers who expect to break ground on roads next spring (see story, page 1).
One of Ellicottville’s most historic buildings — the 1887 Schoolhouse building at the corner of Jefferson and Washington streets — has been purchased by developers who plan to restore the exterior of the building to its finest. They expect to turn the property into a 7-10 unit condominium with underground parking.
The Glen Burn Trail townhome development at 6422 E. Washington St. is moving along with construction of what will eventually be 38 units. Several have been sold and are now occupied.
EllicottVillas, at 6394 East Washington St., offers luxurious, 3,000-plus square foot townhomes with heated garages for sale as vacation or year-round residential properties.
And, the roads, sewer, water, etc. for HoliMont’s WestMont Ridge development has been completed. Closings on 21 of the 31 available lots for single-family homes sold to date are well underway and homeowners are working on their architectural plans. In addition, plans for new condominium buildings are in the design stages.
If you want to see an example of regional and local support coming together for a great idea, look no further than the proposed Ellicottville-Great Valley Recreational Trail. This project was the idea of a small group of area residents who wanted to see a safe, well-maintained trail that would attract walkers, runners, bicyclists and others year round. The response from the community, both in the form of volunteerism and donations, has been remarkable. And while state grants may take several years to obtain and implement (if awarded), enough privately raised funds are expected to be available to begin the first leg of the trail within the next year. Visit www.facebook.com/evgvtrail.
Local Government Projects
Before the holidays, the Town of Ellicottville will have completed a large and important water project that will alleviate water pressure problems throughout the area, improve fire hydrant performance and allow expansion efforts for public safety and development. The project required installing a new water tank on the east side of Ellicottville and connecting water lines throughout the town, village, WestMont Ridge in Mansfield and Snow Pine in Great Valley.
The water project completion means that the village can get started on a $4-million-plus wastewater treatment plant in 2015. The new plant is part of a consent order placed on the Village by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and involves extensive electrical upgrades, new equipment and new systems. Ultimately, the new plant will upgrade the aging system the area currently relies on and will provide for future development.
At the Ellicottville Central School campus, you can now see evidence of construction progress on the $9.8 million renovation project that includes a new multi-purpose gymnasium, renovation of 10 high school classrooms, repair of the elementary school’s ventilation systems and more.
Getting to and around Ellicottville has been a bit different recently as some necessary road construction is underway. The Southern Tier Expressway (I-86) is still closed between Salamanca and Seneca Junction (substantial completion is expected by December), but the detour along Route 417 is passable and quite scenic.
Paving on Route 219 between Ellicottville and Springville was slated to be completed before Fall Festival, however finish work, such as striping, will be ongoing and weather dependent.
In Ellicottville, the New York State Department of Transportation is laying water pipes along Route 242 in preparation for building sidewalks into the village. The sidewalk construction, along with rebuilding the intersection at E. Washington Street, Elizabeth Street and Fillmore Drive and improving pedestrian ramps at key intersections in the village, has been delayed until spring 2015.
Be sure to watch for traffic signals, signs and flaggers along these routes throughout the fall.
On the Horizon
Planning doesn’t stop with the end of summer in Ellicottville, of course. By next spring, you’ll be hearing about plans from some local entrepreneurs to open an apple brandy and vodka distillery, complete with retail space and a tasting room.