This year, Holiday Valley celebrates its 60th year in Ellicottville. While the actual anniversary celebration won’t happen until early 2018, there is plenty to look forward to as the resort anticipates opening late next month.
Holiday Valley recently announced that it is adding to its automated snowmaking system, purchasing two groomers, expanding the beginner’s area and conducting a host of other projects. Guests of Holiday Valley will reap the benefits of more efficient and increased snowmaking, allowing for added time and enjoyment on the slopes this season. This year’s $3.3 million brings the total investment for this independent resort to more than $126 million in the past 24 years.
Other projects include the replacement of the Cindy’s Warming Hut and the Mistletoe Lean To, construction of two new connector trails, renovations at the Inn at Holiday Valley, new uniforms for the Mountain Operations department, a new Resort Shuttle Van, new golf carts and new fountains in the golf course ponds.
Snowmaking is the life blood of ski resorts throughout the country, and Holiday Valley has invested heavily in continuing to grow their state-of-the-art automated system. The resort now has the largest and most powerful HKD snowmaking system on the East Coast. This year’s purchase of 70 HKD Auto units and 10 HKD Viper ground guns gives the resort a total of 314 automated guns, which allow the talented snowmaking crew to make more snow in a shorter period of time using less energy. The new snowmaking guns will be placed on up to six trails. Pipeline additions and upgrades will also take place as a part of this year’s investment. The two new Pisten Bully 600 Grooming Tractors will replace two older units, resulting in a cleaner and more energy efficient fleet of six groomers. These highly specialized machines are used almost every night of the winter season to resurface the slopes for the following day.
The beginner’s slope, Slippery Streets, will be expanded to accommodate the resort’s Shaped Snow Learning Terrain. This slope is specially groomed to make the learning process more intuitive and enjoyable for students of all ages. The two new trails constructed for this season are both rated “Easier” and are located off lower Northwind slope. Shamrock will bypass the steep section of lower Northwind to give beginners and families easier access to the base of the Mardi Gras lift. The Boomerang trail will allow for easy access to the Morning Star Quad chair from lower Northwind. Plans are to outfit both of these slopes with lights and snowmaking.
The Cindy’s Warming Hut has quite a history at Holiday Valley, as it was the original 1960 bottom terminal building of the Tannenbaum T-Bar and moved to its current site more than 30 years ago. It will be replaced by a cozy chalet for the upcoming season, featuring a fire place and large windows for a broad lookout over Cindy’s Run.
The Mistletoe Lean To has also been a part of Holiday Valley’s history, and the new Lean To will be very similar in size and shape, but will be set back a bit more into the tall iconic pines of the Mistletoe slope.
The slopeside Inn at Holiday Valley will be purchasing new furniture and vanity countertops in a continuous plan to keep the lodging facility current. The new Double Black Diamond golf course fountains were installed earlier this summer and the new golf carts are already seeing regular usage.