The Ski Resort
Holiday Valley Resort is located in the hills of Ellicottville, NY, only one hour south of Buffalo, NY. It's not your average ski resort: It spreads over four faces and 113 hectares, offering 56 slopes that are waiting to be explored! Holiday Valley is widely known for its variety in length and difficulty. Whether beginner or expert, child or adult you will certainly love this resort! Their team of experienced instructors also offer group and private lessons to skiers and riders of all ages and skill levels.
There is also much room for snowboarders and freeriders, as they can choose from 4 terrain parks including a beginner park, an advanced park, and a park that features rails only, plus a half pipe. There are competitions in boardercross, half pipe, slopestyle and rails on a regular basis that you shouldn´t miss, either as a participiant or a spectator. Cross-country skiers will also find 15 km of trails, 10km of which are of easy difficulty, and another 5km of more difficult and ungroomed trails. Even showshoers can get in on the fun on the lower courses and golf course areas.
Eleven quad lifts, three of which are high speed quads, along with two single person tows will get riders back to the top of the slopes quickly for their next run. Holiday Valley's impressive snow making equipment and team make sure the slopes are ready even when the weather isn't, making everyday a perfect day to go skiing!
A tubing park is not missing at Holiday Valley! It is located four miles away and there is a free shuttle service available between the resort and the tubing park. Grab your family and friends and enjoy one of twelve available chutes. A handle-tow will conveniently pull you back up the hill for your next run.
- Offering 289 acres of slopes and terrain, Holiday Valley Resort is among the 3 largest Ski Resorts in New York.
- Holiday Valley Resort is among the 5 best rated Ski Resorts in New York.
- It is among the 10 most family-friendly ski Resorts in New York.
- Average snow depth during the season is 30 " at summit elevation and 7 " at base elevation. Snow coverage is usually best during March, offering an average snow depth of 51 " at summit elevation and 12 " at the base. Therefore Holiday Valley Resort is among the 10 ski Resorts with best snow conditions in New York.
- Holiday Valley Resort features 21 sunny days on average per season. The average for all ski Resorts in the USA is 31 sunny days. February is the sunniest month with an average of 9 sunny days.
Snow Safety & Snowmaking
On Mountain Dining
Located on the bottom floor of the Tamarack Club, John Harvard's Brew House is the perfect casual family dining option on the slopes. Their menu is full of favorites such as hearty burgers and stone hearth baked pizza, as well as more adventurous dishes to meet even the most unique tastebuds. Top if off with any of a dozen award-winning brews and a savory dessert to complete the meal!
The Main Chalet houses McCarty's Cafe on the ground floor facing the lifts. This cafe offers Starbucks coffee and rejuvenating teas, as well as mouth-watering baked goods and deli sandwiches for the wholesome skier on the go.
All three of Holiday Valley's main lodges offer cafeterias stocked with snacks and meals for hungry skiers and boarders; The Mountainside Grill in the Main Chalet, Marketplace Cafe in Yodeler Lodge, and Seven Headwalls Cafe in the Tannenbaum Lodge . These quick and easy options are perfect for those looking for a quick bite before heading back out to the slopes, offering hot soups, fresh baked pizza, and favorites from the grill.
Nestled between the base of Mardi Gras and Cindy's Run lifts, a cozy waffle hut tantalizes skiers with the smell of sweet and delicious waffles. Get one covered in chocolate for a sweet treat as you ride up the chairlift!
With such a wide variety of slopes, everyone can find what they're looking for at Holiday Valley. Their classic slope, Mardi Gras, is home to skiers and snowboarders of all ages and skill levels.
For the skiers looking for an easier, scenic path through the hills, Tannenbaum is the way to go. Located on the back side of the resort, this slope combines a wide and gentle slope with beautiful trees and scenery, and even offers narrower side-slopes that wind though tall pine trees and hide cozy firepits for more advanced scenic riders. The high-speed quad Tannenbaum lift meets skiers at the bottom to quickly carry them to the top again.
Morning Star, tucked away parallel to Mardi Gras, is a great escape for snowboarders and skiers looking for a slope ideal for carving. The extra wide slope offers an intermediate slope perfect for gaining speed to carve your way down the mountain. If riders catch the slope later in the season, there are often groomed moguls built into one side of the hill, a challenge for skiers of all ages. The new Morning Star high speed quad takes riders back to the top, and also offers easy access to the more difficult slope home to Holiday Valley's boardercross competition, and an intermediate rail park.
At the bottom of Morning Star, skiers can find the Eagle chairlift. This lift serves steeper, more difficult trails that are often hailed as the "local's favorites". However these slopes are only open during daylight hours, preserving the fresh surfaces and becoming the place to be on powder days.
A marvel for advanced and expert skiers, Holiday Valley's most difficult course is The Wall. The steepest pitch in the resort, The Wall has upwards of 80% slope, or nearly 40 degrees. This course isn't groomed daily and does not have snowmaking capabilities, making it a gem for experts when they find it open!
One of the best kept secrets among the slopes is Sunrise, located at the doorstep of the Holiday Valley Inn. Often glossed over in favor of other "more popular" slopes and lifts, Sunrise maintains great conditions throughout the day and will almost always be less busy than other slopes, giving skiers and riders alike more room to enjoy the snow. The lift services easier and intermediate slopes, and also provides access to The Wall.
Winter activites at the resort don't end at skiing! Aside from the slopes and terrain parks, Holiday Valley offers the fifth largest tubing park in the US, located only a few miles away. The tubing park is suitable for all ages, and the atmosphere proves enjoyable to families and friends alike. With up to 22 available chutes and two handle tows to whisk riders back to the top, it's effortless fun! The chutes are 900 feet long with a 100 ft vertical drop. There's even a Little Tubers area for guests under 7 years of age. Warm up in the warming hut at the bottom with a cup of hot chocolate in front of the fireplace before heading out for more runs!
Back at the resort, cross country skiers will find 15 km of prepared trails along the ridgeline of the resort and around the golf course. Of these trails, 10 km are considered easier for cross country skiers while the other 5 km are more difficult. More experienced cross country skiers can also make use of the abundant mountain bike trails throughout the mountains, though these trails are not groomed. Intermediate skill is recommended when taking on these trails. To access the trails at the top of the slopes, skiers can purchase a two-lift ticket to get them to the top of the mountain.
The cross country trails located on the lower slopes and on the golf course are also open to snowshoers. These courses are open during daylight hours and nighttime hours via the use of solar lights. Both cross country skiers and showshoers can find rental equipment in the High Performance Shop located in the Main Chalet.
At the base of the Tannenbaum lodge, a unique experience awaits. The Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster is a thrilling ride through the snowy trees that depends on gravity to make it's way down the track. Riders are in control of the speed as their car races around curves, spirals, and hills. The overall course is more than 4800 feet long with a vertical drop of 283 feet.
Holiday Valley also offers races through Nature Valley's NASTAR on Foxfire Run Wednesdays-Sundays from 12:30pm to 4:00pm. Registration is required to keep track of your times, and racers can register at the Foxfire start ramp. Races are open to skiers of all ages and skill levels, and are a fun way for friendly competition between intermediate skiers or for more experienced racers to practice. Those interested in racing can also participate in other race events held at Holiday Valley, such as the Northwind Super-G or the Cleveland Metro Ski Council pre-season race camp.
Throughout the season there are also dozens of other events drawing crowds from all over the area, including the Penguin Paddle, Board 4 Breast Cancer, US Army Day at the Tubing Park, New Year's Eve celebration, and many more!
Après-Ski and Nightlife
Ellicottville nightlife keeps the party going when the ski slopes close for the evening! Start your night with dinner and a locally brewed beer at any of the village's three brew houses or a glass of wine at one of their fine dining options. From there, skiers have multiple bars to choose from.
The local's favorite, The Gin Mill, invites multiple local bands for live music every week. The atmosphere is relaxed and laid back, perfect for some good laughs and good drinks. With a large dance floor and 26 beers on tap, it's no wonder this is a favorite!
Madigans is a two-story bar ideal for younger crowds. While the establishment does occasionally have live music, most nights the bar has a DJ spinning top tracks and an elevated dance floor on the second story for patrons to enjoy. The bar also features an outdoor patio bar that's fully stocked and open in good weather. No matter what, it's always a party at Madigans!
Another favorite is Balloons, a nightclub with three distinct areas that can each offer a unique atmosphere within the same night. With live music every weekend, two dancefloors, two fully stocked bars and a patio, this place has it all. Between the world-class music and light system and the 20 beers on tap, visitors will want to come back over and over again!
Dining and Restaurants
The Village of Ellicottville offers a wide range of restaurants and diners to fit any craving.
For lunches and quick meals to go, there are several options. Katy's Cafe offers fresh sandwiches, Bike and Bean serves the best burritos in town, and Monroe St Brick and Brewbakes brick-oven pizza with a side of locally brewed beer. A short drive from downtown finds Tim and Bonnies, a pizza shop with plenty of other options to please the whole family.
Family friendly eat-in dining can be found across town. Close to the resort finds Slopeside BBQ, across the street from the Inn at Holiday Valley, and The Depot, located across the street from the resort. A local favorite in the heart of the village, The Gin Mill serves the best burgers in town.
For an upscale atmosphere, skiers can check out Dina's Restaurant and Tips Up Cafe, both on main street in Ellicottville or newly opened italian eatery Villagio, located on Monroe St. All three offer a fine dining atmosphere and grand wine collection.
If none of these options sound right, however, Ellicottville Brewing Company (or EBC, as the locals refer to it) on Monroe St. is sure to please any type of group. The menu is varied, the beer is cold, and the atmosphere is fun while keeping a fine dining edge!
Holiday Valley is found just one mile south of the Village of Ellicottville, which is located at the intersection of Route 219 and Route 242. Guests from Erie, PA or Jamestown, NY should travel east on Route 86, while those near Corning should travel west on Route 86. The closest exit to Ellicottville will be onto Route 219 in Salamanca, and there are signs directing drivers to Ellicottville from there.
Skiers north of the village, coming from Buffalo or across the boarder in Ontario, should make their way to Route 219 and travel south until they reach Ellicottville. The four lane highway ends in Springville and continues for an easy, scenic drive through the countryside around the village. Guests traveling from the south, near Bradford, PA, should keep to Route 219 north until they reach the village.
The closest major airport to Ellicottville is the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Buffalo, NY. There is no public transportation between the airport and the resort. The only public transportation located around Ellicottville is Holiday Valley's shuttle service between the resort and the tubing park, and a taxi service available by phone call.