By Deb Everts
HoliMont Ski Resort has not wrapped up its ski season in Ellicottville just yet.
The slopes are closed this week, April 7–12, but Marketing Director Greg Culver said they will reopen this coming weekend, Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14 for members to have one last “hurrah.”
Culver said he’s guessing there will be 12 to 18 slopes open, but it depends on the weather. He said they had 38 runs open this past weekend and there is still tons of snow, but only the Expo (Exhibition) Lift will be running next weekend.
As of April 8, he said they still had snow on pretty much 90-percent of the slopes.
According to Culver, the length of this year’s ski season at HoliMont was about the same. They were at 115 days which, he said, is pretty close to last year.
“We had a small hiccup with our generation plant in the beginning of the season that put us a few days behind in making snow so, when we got the right weather, we really went at it and made a lot of snow,” he said. “We were done making snow between the last week of January to the first week of February.”
Culver said it’s hard for people who are passionate about skiing to give it up until next season.
“It’s so sad that we still have a really quality product out there, but there’s no demand for it at this point. People are over winter and they’ve moved on to the next thing. They’re working in their yards, riding their bikes and it seems like that’s been the way of doing things for maybe the last five to 10 years,” he said. “When I was younger, we skied until every last morsel of snow was gone and you couldn’t slide anymore.”
Culver said, if the weather cooperates, there could be one more snow event for the general public and ski diehards. He said they are hoping to do a little park feature event on Saturday, May 4.
“Basically, we will take some of the terrain park features and push them down towards the bottom of the hill. Then, we’ll just let people walk up and slide back down doing rails and other activities,” he said. “They’ll be allowed to basically go and have an impromptu rail jam for about four hours. It’ll be $10 and I think we’ll supply the participants with a hot dog and a drink.”
On Feb. 23, hardy souls set out to conquer the snow on their fat bikes at the “Frosty CX” held at the bottom of the resort’s Sunset area. The new non-skiing event was held for the first time this year.
Culver said the event was great and they had a great turnout. He was happy with the participants and even happier with the spectators.
“It really went well. We lucked out with the weather and the course held up pretty well. We’ll have the event again next year, for sure. Hopefully, we’ll have good snow again,” he said. “We’ll try to shoot for the same weekend and we plan to add more riders and vendors.”
In the meantime, work continues on the downhill trail built for bikes and the hope is to have it finished this summer. Culver said the new bike trail runs from the top of Greer slope down to the main base area.
“The plan is to hopefully have the trail done this summer, so we can start getting some bike traffic on it,” he said. “From there, we hope to build more trails on other parts of the hill over by Sunset and WestMont areas. We want to connect them, so people can enjoy HoliMont year-round.”