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Hit the slopes during January for great opportunities

By Kellen M. Quigley

As winter finally rolls in and feels like it’s here for the long term, why not spend a day (or two) on the slopes this January, the perfect month for skiing, snowboarding and all things snow sports.

January is National Learn a Snowsport Month, and Holiday Valley will be offering some great deals for adults all month long.

As of press time, 10 lifts at Holiday Valley were spinning and 28 trails were open, and at HoliMont 5 lifts were running with 13 trails open. However, those numbers are sure to increase now that the warm spell earlier in the week is gone.

On Friday, the Learn to Ski or Snowboard package at Holiday Valley is just $25. The Beginner’s Package includes a rental, beginner lift ticket and lesson.

The Bring a Friend deal will give your friend half off the Learn to Ski or Ride package and you get a voucher for half off your lift ticket on your next visit.

If you’re interested in night-time skiing, nine of Holiday Valley’s lifts run after dark, which means there’s still plenty of terrain to cover once the sun goes down. As the days start getting longer, the nights you can spend on the slopes will only get shorter.

With Martin Luther King Jr. Day next week, having that Monday off is the perfect reason for a three-day weekend to explore Ellicottville and all that it’s known for this time of year.

Whether you prefer your winter fun indoors or out, you’re sure to pack a whole lot of memories into three days.

Plus, long weekends mean more time on the slopes. On Monday, HoliMont will also be open to the public. It’s the perfect opportunity to check out the private ski area!

Later this month, Holiday Valley Snowsports School is featuring the 6th annual “Your Turn” women’s clinic on Thursday and Friday, Jan. 24 and 25.

Led by Lisa Densmore Ballard, a widely acclaimed coach, instructor and ski racer, will be assisted by several of Holiday Valley’s finest women instructors. Intermediate through advanced level skiers will benefit from this clinic.

The clinic will begin at 8 a.m. with registration and breakfast. Pre-registration is advised as attendance is limited. Stop at or call the Snowsports School Desk, 699-2345 ext. 4422, or the Creekside Lodge Children’s Desk at 699-2345 ext. 4424.

The clinic includes two days of coaching, demo equipment, breakfast and lunch each day plus dinner on Thursday. Specially priced lift tickets will be available. Lodging special at the Inn at Holiday Valley for Wednesday and Thursday nights, Call 800-323-0020.

For even more downhill thrills and chills, check out Holiday Valley Tubing Company. Located just five minutes from downtown Ellicottville, the tubing park offers hours of downhill thrills.

All the fun of tubing without any of the work, Holiday Valley Tubing Company has up to 22 lanes, each 900 feet long with a drop of 100 feet. Some lanes are single width, while others are wider group lanes to allow for linking up with friends.

A special Little Tubers area is also available, weather permitting, for younger children. A cozy warming hut is at the base of the hill with a snack bar, fireplace and restrooms. Or you can warm up and rest outside at the giant bonfire pit.

In addition to regular hours Thursday through Sunday, the tubing park is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Holiday Valley Tubing Company is located on the corner of Route 242 and Bryant Hill Road on the north side of Ellicottville. A free shuttle service to and from Holiday Valley is available every two hours during operating hours, with pickup at the Resort Services Center.

For more info, including rates, visit www.holidayvalley.com/winter/tubing.

Visit the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster near the Tannenbaum Lodge and get ready for a thrilling ride down through the snowy woods.

The Mountain Coaster is similar to a roller coaster but it is low to the ground and follows the contours of the terrain. You ride alone or with a friend in a “car” attached to rails that pulls you up the hill, then it follows a zigzagging spiraling path down the mountain. You can control the speed of your car with levers on the sides of the car.

Children must be at least 3 years old and over 38 inches tall (without shoes) to ride with an adult, or 8 years and 54 inches tall to ride alone. The driver of a two-person car must be at least 16 years old. Riders must be able to perform specific physical tasks to participate.

The Coaster operates during the winter season from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and also on Monday, Jan. 21.

With so many ways to enjoy the first month of the new year outdoors, January 2019 will be one to remember.

People looking for a way to chase away the winter blues will find relief at some different local bars and restaurants in the village, including Madigan’s, Balloons, Villaggio and Gin Mill.

Along with friends and family, they can enjoy great live music being performed at least nine different bands, all for free.

Pump said the “Winter Blues Weekend” event was started in 2001 as a way to bring people to Ellicottville after the holiday season.

“If you’re a fan of the blues, looking for a good time or just want to get out of the house after a long, cold month, this is where you need to be,” she said.

The current Winter Blues lineup is as follows. More performers will be added as the date gets closer.

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