By Alicia Dziak
It’s been a banner ski season for Holiday Valley. Not only did they celebrate their 60th anniversary, but guests also enjoyed 127 days of skiing and snowboarding, with 210 inches of natural snowfall. The resort opened to skiers and riders on Nov. 26 and the last runs were taken on April 14. (While the resort was originally scheduled to close on April 8, HV remained open for a “bonus weekend” April 13 and 14.) While April 14 seems like a late season, it’s not the latest one on the books; in the 1991-92 season, the season lasted until April 19.
“Our average snowfall is 180 inches, so it was exciting to surpass that number this year,” said marketing manager, Kristen Sciara. Perhaps surprisingly, during the 2016-17 season, the resort had 230 inches of natural snowfall, and was open 116 days.
“In December we had a great opening with good snow that continued through January,” Sciara said. “We had some tough weather cycles in February but bounced right back with and ideal March full of sun and nice snow.
Sciara noted that Holiday Valley conducts surveys with customers throughout the season. “Our customers expressed happiness over the season,” she said. “We had many days of terrific skiing and riding, fun events, and great snow! This is a good recipe for a season full of great memories with family and friends! Our customers were especially thrilled with the snowy March and the chance to end on such a great note during the bonus weekend!”
As is the case every year, Holiday Valley made many improvements going into the 2017-18 season.
“Our customers did benefit from the improvements we made for this year. Our powerhouse snowmaking system continues to allow the crews to take advantage of challenging weather cycles like we saw in February to keep snow on the slopes. The addition of 70 HKD Auto units and 10 HKD Viper ground guns brings our fleet to a total of 701 snowguns; the resort now has the largest and most powerful HKD automated snowmaking system on the East Coast,” Sciara explained.
She also added that the renovation of the Cindy’s Warming Hut and Mistletoe Lean to provided nice spaces for guests to warm up or picnic with their friends and that the addition of the Shamrock and Boomerang slopes gave beginners easier access to the base area and all skiers and riders greater access to the Morning Star chairlift.
Just because ski season is over doesn’t mean the staff at HV is sitting around waiting for the snow to fall again. In addition to gearing up for numerous “green season” events, they are already working on several projects for next year.
“As we begin to prepare for next year, we have to work on the Winter Brochure, Season Pass brochure, and Snowsports brochure in house by Summer Festival,” Sciara said. “Other managers prep their departments for any capital improvements that will happen over the summer and our sales team attends ski and snowboard shows beginning in May to promote Holiday Valley in our region.”
Of course, improvements are planned for the 2018-19 season, but guests will have to wait a little bit longer to find out just what those are. Stay tuned!