Better than Whiteface, Killington, and Jay? Lots of Holiday regulars would admit coveting any of those for a home hill, but what’s wrong with a little Eastern Great Lakes pride? And if you haven’t been to Ellicottville (well, have you?) you won’t understand its charms. Sure, there’s an apples-and- oranges quality to Holiday’s rankings. With 750 vert and 58 trails, Holiday is a mid-sized resort at best. But No. 1 in Lifts? Holiday has three high-speeds; Stratton has more than that, but it only ranks fourth. And Holiday’s No. 5 for Access? Well, sure, if you live in Buffalo. But service is service, and you can’t shrug off Holiday’s No. 1 there. It might be “more hill than mountain,” but it “captures the essence of skiing despite limited vert,” has a “fun, quaint little town,” and is “only three hours from Cleveland.” OK, we get it.
Family Experience >> What kids love: night skiing, tubing, mountain coasters, swimming pools. Check, check, check, and check.
On-Hill Lunch >> John Harvard’s, with more than 20 craft beers and good hearty food, is still the best, but Mountainside grill in the new base lodge might give it a run with stone-hearth pizza.
What’s New >> Hard to believe the 50-year- old Clubhouse Chalet is gone. in its place is the new Holiday Valley Lodge: 66,000 square feet, big windows, and high ceilings.