By Alicia Dziak
HoliMont will soon be ready to welcome members and guests for the upcoming ski season. In the meantime, fall is full of ways to enjoy Ellicottville’s private ski resort.
Perhaps the biggest change HoliMont has seen in the off-season is a new General Manager. Ed Youmans took over the position in June, replacing Dave Riley, who retired after 18 years. Youmans comes to HoliMont with a wealth of experience, having held key positions at several ski resorts all over the country.
In a past interview with the Ellicottville Times, Youmans said, “HoliMont is an excellent opportunity for me. It’s a place where there are huge opportunities for me to do a lot of things that can make a big difference in a smaller organization … and I like that.”
If you haven’t been to HoliMont in a while, Fall Fest weekend is the perfect time to check it out. On Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, the resort will be abuzz with activity.
Enjoy the fall foliage from above and take a ride up the Exhibition lift to take in the views. Donations are welcome, but not required. You can even hike over to Holiday Valley when you get to the top, a scenic half-mile stroll.
Back at the base, you can learn about membership and other great winter sports opportunities. Pick up your weekday pass before Nov. 8 for huge savings on weekday skiing and riding this winter.
Head to the Slopeside Ski Shop in the main lodge for their annual clearance event, with an array of miscellaneous items from past season selling for incredibly low prices.
HoliMont will also have a tent in the high-traffic area along Monroe St. where they will provide information, host a Tiki Toss game with prizes and give passers by the chance to win lift tickets for filling out a survey.
In the off-season, HoliMont crews were busy constructing a new flow trail going from the top of Greer to Base Lodge. While it won’t be open for Fall Fest, HoliMont’s marketing director Greg Culver, said it will hopefully be open before the snow flies.
“We’re going to increase our mountain biking offering to include more trails and more availability,” said Culver, an avid mountain biker himself.
Part of the new offering for mountain biking is the third annual HoliCross, a USAC sanctioned race scheduled for Oct. 20. Culver said this year, the course was lengthened to 2 miles, and the new terrain has been rolled and groomed all summer.
Vendors on-site for the event will include 42 North Brewing and Kickstand Crafts, among others. Guests can also camp out at HoliMont and take part in casual and group rides on Sunday.
Registration details, times of events and other information can be found online (www.bikereg.com). If you’re the type to wait till the last minute, there will be day-of-registrations starting at 8:30 a.m. race day. Racing, parking and spectators will all enter at the WestMont entrance located at Ridgeway drive, off route 242. There will be a fun kid course free to all racers 8 and under. All other racers will need a valid USAC license or buy a one-day license for $10 on top of the registration fee. The first 100 people to register get a free pair of HoliMont bicycle socks.
It’s sure to be a fall and winter to remember at HoliMont. Whether you ski, ride, mountain bike or all of the above, there’s something for every outdoor enthusiast. Visit www.holimont.com for the latest and greatest info.