If Holiday Valley skiers are not careful, always crowing about how great they’ve got it out there in way-Western New York, their beloved slopes might soon be overrun with Vermonters and Coloradans come to see what the fuss is about. On the other hand, maybe it’d be good for us all to see firsthand how much fun can be had on 750 feet of vertical. Size does matter to Holiday hardcores, and it’s not like they haven’t been around big mountains before.
They might not live in mountain country, but they know what it looks like, and they’re not going to blow smoke about the terrain or challenge. What they also know is a good time when they see it, and you can trust their assessment of the charms of Ellicottville and the overall good-people-having-good-times vibe of the place.
On the hill, readers acknowledge the lack of real mountains, but love what Holiday’s management does with what they’ve got, with a great lift system and overall family friendly vibe where the emphasis is on fun. Just goes to show, the quality of a ski experience can’t always be measured in vertical feet.
No. 6 in the East: Holiday Valley, N.Y.
Holiday Valley Mountain Stats
Holiday Valley Pass Info
Holiday Valley is not on any multi-resort passes. Season pass options are available here.
From lodging and and dining to off-slope activities and local tips, here are the SKI editors’ picks for what to do in Holiday Valley, N.Y.
Check out the burgeoning Buffalo brew scene—less than an hour away. Thin Man Brewery’s IPAs are beloved by the beer snobs.
Dina’s has the more sophisticated menu, but Ellicottville Brewing Company still wins the popularity contest. Its best beer: the Imperial IPA, Pantius Droppus.
Actually, Holiday is famous for its crock-pot tradition. They simmer in the lodge while their owners ski. Copy the locals and bring your own.
It might just be the craft beer talking, but skiers love the hearty pub food at John Harvard’s, too.
Crockpot lunches are a Holiday tradition, welcomed in the day lodges. Bring your own, or cozy up to someone who did.
One reader suggests nearby Allegany State Park, and we agree: “Premier cross-country trails, all in the woods, all skill levels.”
A spin through Mud, Sweat & Gears, one of the nation’s better managed and more soulful ski and bike shops.
Happy Glade, a low-angle stand of CCC-planted Norwegian spruces.