By Jann Wiswall
Things are always changing, and that is surely the case in Ellicottville, where opportunity, investment and solving problems are part of the fabric of the community.
The most visible signs of change are in the Village, where three new businesses have opened to great reviews.
Monroe Street Brick & Brew, a new brick-oven, gourmet pizza restaurant, was an instant success when it opened a few months ago, offering creative pizza and wing specials and a nice beer and wine selection. The restaurant offers dine-in, carry out and delivery within a three-mile radius.
On Washington Street, The Gin Mill opened a name-sake “Mercantile” shop next door to the popular dining and nightlife hot spot. It offers logo merchandise, as well as gifts, fresh baked treats and more.
The Daily Grind, the new coffee shop on Washington Street, retained some of the character of a former café in the same spot (notably the outdoor firepit), but has added some great new features, including a menu that has something for everyone, from meat lovers to vegans, at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In the town of Ellicottville, you might want to take the short drive out Rt. 242 to visit the brand new Ellicottville Distillery, where owners will show you how they use locally produced grains and fruits to make various vodkas and, in the future, gins and honey spirits. A retail space offers tasting flights and cocktails as well as bottle purchases. The distillery is open to the public Fridays from 4-8 p.m., Saturdays from 1-7 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
Also, be sure to put Pumpkinville on your to-do list this weekend (or come back next week!). The beloved entertainment and amusement venue is one of the Southern Tier’s most abiding fall destinations, offering games, activities and deliciousness through Oct. 30.
This year, Pumpkinville has been named an official Peanuts Worldwide partner in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the animated film, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. And, to those who know and love the place, it’s no surprise that it was also named “one of the most sincere pumpkin patches in America.”
Both Holiday Valley and HoliMont have made and continue to make significant investments in their properties to enhance the resort experience for all visitors.
Holiday Valley continues to put the finishing touches on new pedestrian areas created by last year’s realignment of Holiday Valley Road. Other projects include purchasing new automated snow guns, new equipment and upgrades for Sky High Adventure Park, new golf carts, grooming equipment and more.
HoliMont also is investing in snowmaking equipment and infrastructure, and is improving some of its ski runs and operations buildings.
Above all, both resorts have invested heavily in pleas to Mother Nature to deliver cold temps throughout the upcoming season!
Did you know that Fall Festival weekend is one of the biggest weekends for vacation home shopping all year long?
If you’re in the market, take note that Holiday Valley Realty and Rental Management’s headquarters has moved and is now located at the corner of Rt. 219 and Holiday Valley Road (across from the Inn at Holiday Valley). Most of the area’s other realty offices will be open extended hours over the long weekend, too.
While you’re at it, be sure to ask your realtor about the two new housing development projects along Fillmore Street in the village, which are progressing nicely. The Glendale project, a townhouse community with nine buildings (18 units) on the east side, currently has four units constructed and available for showings. At Colton Corners, a half dozen of the 19 lots for build-to-suit single-family homes on the west side of the street have been sold. On Martha Street, 18 new furnished rental apartments and townhomes, called EVLofts, are under construction; owners will be showing a model home and offering tours on Saturday and Sunday during Fall Festival.
In the town of Ellicottville, a new single-family home development off Poverty Hill Road called Trail Heights has broken ground and infrastructure construction is well under way.
School and Local Governments
Ellicottville’s public school is off to a strong start with the largest student population (651 students in K-12) in 13 years. The school calendar is rich with curricular and extracurricular opportunities at all grade levels.
Both the town and village governments of Ellicottville have been particularly busy this summer, as new projects have been approved and old projects are nearing completion. Both also have been working together to conserve and share resources for projects of importance to both communities, including sharing the cost of the restoration of the Village Park’s tennis and basketball courts.
Construction of the Village’s new wastewater treatment plant is essentially complete. This state-of-the-art facility is not only more efficient, but it was designed to be able to handle decades of new development in the village and in the town.
The summer’s dry weather was ideal for road improvements, so crews are on track to complete repairs and improvements before the snow flies.
Both municipalities have enacted laws that require property owners to obtain annual permits for their alarm systems and to keep them in good working order. Its intent is to ensure that fire and police are able to contact property owners if their alarms go off, either due to a true emergency or a false alarm. It is also intended to reduce the number of false alarms, which are a burden on local fire and police departments.
Efforts to build a recreational trail linking Ellicottville and Great Valley continue. The committee has re-applied for a $1.8 million New York State DOT Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to fund the first leg of a 15-mile network of multi-use trails.
In the meantime, the trail board is working with a BOCES teacher and students to construct the trailhead structure near the entrance to the Nannen Arboretum.
Travelers should be aware of a year-long detour on Rt. 219 at the Erie/Cattaraugus County border. The old Rt. 219 Bridge was literally and spectacularly blown up in June. The detour carries local Rt. 219/Springville traffic between Miller Road and South Cascade Drive via new lanes on the 219 expressway. Expressway drivers merge into one lane each way for a short stretch before the expressway ends at Peters Road. Watch for new crossovers, exits, ramps and signs.