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Winter Fun Starts Now!


By Jann Wiswall

Hello January! Ellicottville is now officially in its favorite season of the year. There’s skiing and boarding. There’s tubing and skating. There’s also cross country and snowshoeing, shopping and dining, music and dancing. Want even more? How about some great discounts and the opportunity to support some great causes?

All month long, it’s Learn a Snowsport Month at both Holiday Valley and HoliMont. At Holiday Valley, this means significant discounts on Learn to Ski or Ride packages, all of which come with age-grouped lessons, beginner’s area lift tickets and equipment rentals. There also are packages for nighttime skiing/boarding, weekday lessons and for more advanced beginners who want to hone their skills. Discounted lodging packages also are available. Visit

At HoliMont, which is open to members only on weekends, weekday specials are available for members and non-members alike. The Weekday Experience Pass includes 10 weekday lift tickets with five group clinics. During the month of January, if you bring in a new skier for a Learn to Ski lesson, you get a free group lesson for yourself! Visit

This coming Sunday, January 4, you can make a difference in adolescents’ lives by taking part in the 17th Annual Kids Escaping Drugs (KED) SkiScape at HoliMont. The event features individual ski races, the must-see “Lake Effect Firefighters Race,” lunch, a t-shirt and more. More important, proceeds from registration fees support KED’s efforts to provide facilities, education and prevention programs for adolescents and their families suffering from alcohol and drug dependency/addiction. For registration and more information, visit or call (716) 827-9462.

From Jan. 5-9, while Canadian children have a winter school break, Holiday Valley sponsors its annual Canadian Friendship Week. All week long, our wonderful neighbors to the north can purchase lift tickets, rentals and tubing tickets at par when paying with Canadian cash. Plus, riders on the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster get two rides for the price of one. Note: both the Mountain Coaster and the Tubing Park will be open on the weekdays as well as the weekends during this week only.

Then, on Jan. 9-10, everyone is invited to warm up during Winter Blues weekend, Ellicottville’s first festival of the year. This village-wide event transforms Ellicottville’s hot spots into a hub of live music, with a focus on locally grown blues. The fun begins Friday, Jan. 9 with great bands at the Gin Mill, Armor Inn, Ellicottville Brewing Company and Balloons. Saturday features another great lineup at all of those venues as well as at Madigan’s. Visit

On Sunday, Jan. 11, head over to Holiday Valley to show some support for Aspire, a western New York non-profit that offers programs and services for children and adults with developmental disabilities.  Aspire’s “Ski the Valley” gives friends and participants in Aspire’s programs the opportunity to participate in skiing/boarding according to their abilities through the Lounsbury Adaptive Program. Proceeds from this “Funday Sunday” help the organization provide “one-of-a-kind services for one-of-a-kind people.” Visit

Saturday, Jan. 24 is the third annual Harley-Day Valley. You’ll be in Hog heaven on this day celebrating everything Harley Davidson, with bikes on display throughout the resort, motorcycle safety information, t-shirts and merchandise for sale and the opportunity to test-drive a bike on the Jumpstart® simulator. While you’re there, why not take a skiing/boarding lesson? Then stick around for a Harley-themed party featuring live music and loud bikes from 3-7 p.m.! Special lodging packages are available. Visit

All month long, of course, Ellicottville’s beloved bars and clubs offer live music every weekend and many week-day evenings. Be sure to check the Ellicottville Times each week for a list of performances at your favorite watering holes, or visit us at or on Facebook at The Ellicottville Times.

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