Holiday Valley Ski Getaways

ski getaways

Long established as the place to be in western New York, Holiday Valley has never been content to rest on its laurels.

It makes constant tweaks to the mountain to make sure that guests return year after year. Those guests come from Buffalo, Rochester, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Ontario for the most part, drawn by the mountain's terrain diversity, efficient lift system, amenities, and the charming town of Ellicottville. Recent tweaks include a high speed quad at Tannebaum to replace a triple, and a fixed-grip quad at School Haus to replace a double. Add to that expansions and upgrades to the snowmaking system, a new groomer, and improvements to the half pipe and NASTAR course, and you can see why the mountain has a reputation for staying a step ahead of guests' needs.

The trails are sprawled along a complex ridge with several mini-peaks which present a variety of pitches, aspects, and exposures. It's this diversity rather than the 750' of vertical available that people find so enticing.

Exploring all this is a snap, thanks to 13 lifts, eight of which are quads (two high speed). And it's possible to put together some long runs, too. Ride the Mardi Gras Xpress and take its namesake trail, or Northwind, Morning Star to Northwind, or Moon Shadow to Northwind for runs over 3/4 of a mile in length.

But Holiday Valley isn't about long runs. There are enough challenges for all ability levels, a powerful snowmaking system (and plenty of lake-effect snow), a big half pipe and terrain park on Foxfire, and 75% of the area is open for night operations. The resort's biggest draws are excellent lodging, including the award-winning The Inn at Holiday Valley, a first-rate snowsports school that encourages new skiers and riders of all ages, comfortable facilities and efficient service. Nice touches abound. For example, the Creekside Lodge is headquarters for the children's snowsports school and the adult beginners'center. But adults have a separate entrance, gathering, and prep area, which helps to ease any jitters.