Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville, NY has invested $2.9 million in improvement projects for summer and the upcoming winter season. Holiday Valley’s President and General Manager, Dennis Eshbaugh stated, “Despite a shortened season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2019-20 winter was successful. We have a long range plan and are able to continue moving forward on resort projects. We are thinking positive about the future and plan to provide great skiing and riding for our customers while promoting cleanliness, safety and health of our guests and employees. We hope that by continuing to invest in this community, it will help stimulate the economy and instill confidence in others to follow suit."
The improvement highlights include the purchase of a new Pisten Bully 600 Grooming Tractor, improvements to the snowmaking system, phase II of the LED slope lighting project, expansion of the SNOWSat snow depth system, additional tree and glades work, purchase of new Snowsports uniforms and planning for two new lifts to be installed in the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
The new grooming tractor replaces an older machine to maintain Holiday Valley’s modern fleet of 6 groomers that are used to recondition the snow surface every night. The new machine is more fuel efficient and produces lower emissions than the one it replaces. Snowmaking is key to the successful operation of Holiday Valley.
This year’s snowmaking expansion adds 20 snowguns and automation to the Mistletoe area, allowing snowmakers to remotely start up and shut down the snowguns quickly in that area. The guns on lower Mardi Gras were replaced with the newest, most energy efficient HKD guns. Holiday Valley is able to make snow on 95% of its 300 acres of slopes, with approximately 50% of its 715 snowguns equipped with automation. The crews replaced 1500 feet of underground air and water pipes used in the snowmaking system. Holiday Valley is in the process of replacing metal halide night lighting throughout the resort with energy efficient LED lights.
This year they have replaced 100 fixtures on upper Cindy’s, Maple Leaf, Foxfire and Sunrise. SNOWSat is a GPS Mapping software product installed grooming machines that measures snow depth. It is used by the snowmaking crew to know where to make more snow and by the groomers to know where there is surplus snow and where there are thin spots in need of more base. The new groomer will be equipped with SNOWsat for a total of 4 machines equipped with the snow depth technology. Last year, Holiday Valley began improvements to its glades (tree runs) and that project has continued this summer. New uniforms from Marmot were purchased for the 200+ member Snowsports School and Coaches. The uniforms will be embroidered with a new Snowsports logo that represents the professional and fun aspects of the snowsports school.
Several additional projects, repairs and maintenance have taken place through the summer to increase guest comfort and convenience including golf course restroom updates, construction of a first-time visitor’s kiosk, furniture replacement in some areas of the lodges, several projects at the Inn at Holiday Valley and additional parking spaces and two lean to’s at the Holiday Valley Tubing Park.
Planning is underway for several major improvements that will be completed within the next few years including realignment and replacement of the Yodeler Quad chairlift with a four passenger high speed in 2021 and replacement of the Mardi Gras Quad with a new six passenger high speed in 2022.
The target date for opening of the 2020-21 season is Friday, November 27, weather permitting. There will be special precautions taken to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure including additional cleaning and sanitizing procedures, the presence of hand sanitizing stations, indicators for proper social distancing in restaurant seating and line up areas, partitions at points of sale and requiring face coverings to be worn by employees and guests.