You are here
Holiday Valley Resort & Conference Center
By Brenda Perks
Ellicottville, New York has long been known as a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. And why wouldn’t it be? With its rolling topography and proximity to Lake Erie’s famous lake effect snow, the landscape offers every snow lover something exciting to do. These elements have helped make Holiday Valley the award winning resort that it is today. When the last chairlift shuts down for the season and winter succumbs to spring, it only means one thing for the folks at Holiday Valley … Golf Season!
While golf has been a priority at Holiday Valley for many years, recently the resort upped its game (so hopefully you can as well). Its redesigned 18-hole par 70 “Double Black Diamond” golf course is more challenging than ever yet playable by golfers of varying skills, and still offers some of the most premier scenery in Western New York.
Just how good is the Double Black Diamond course? In 2009 Golf Magazine nominated the course as one of the top redesigns in the country. Now, more than ever, Holiday Valley is a destination resort for golf enthusiasts and their families.
Still have your doubts that a ski resort can successfully double as a golf resort? Consider this: Between 2005 and 2008 nearly $2 million in renovations was completed. The front nine offers a nice selection of relatively flat terrain where a series of bunkers and ponds increase the complexity level on every hole.
And while the front nine plays a bit longer, it is at the back nine where you will find a challenging mix of narrow, well-manicured fairways all of which are strategically intertwined with the base of the mountain. All in all the 6,500-yard course plays like a much longer course due to the strategic mix of unique terrain and well-watered fairways. Between the complexity of the terrain and the scenic views, the Double Black Diamond course has something every golfer - no matter the ability level - can appreciate.
If you’re looking to enhance your ability level, lessons are available through Steve Carney (Master PGA Golf Professional – one of only 212 in the country), Tom Dirito (USGTS Instructor), and Kyle Benish (PGA Assistant). Holiday Valley also welcomes the return of the nationally recognized Phil Ritson-Mel Sole Golf School every year.
Holiday Valley isn’t a renowned resort based solely on its golf course though. The accommodation options that await you and your family after you are finished golfing are what really give Holiday Valley its flair. The Inn at Holiday Valley is located just to the side of the golf course and features an indoor/outdoor pool, hot tub, sauna, and fitness room. After a challenging day on the Double Black Diamond, you’ll appreciate the numerous options for relaxation.
If you are in the mood for a little more seclusion, Holiday Valley Rental Management represents over 240 condominiums, townhouses and village homes so you should be able to find lodging that fits your particular style.
Speaking of style, the new course-side Tamarack Club is a condominium/hotel that epitomizes style at Holiday Valley. Holiday Valley’s most recent crown jewel property offers an indoor/outdoor-heated pool, hot tubs, sauna, exercise room, valet/bell service, an on-site restaurant and full service spa.
John Harvard’s Brew House, the club’s award-winning, on-site restaurant, not only offers a variety of menu options, but boasts over 20 craft beers, including some from the local Ellicottville Brewing Company. The restaurant, open daily for lunch and dinner, prepares its meals from the freshest ingredients at affordable prices. Guests of the restaurant can enjoy take-out services, as well as summertime patio dining, poolside service and room service. Phone 716-699-5350.
For those seeking a little relaxation and stress relief, a visit to Falling Waters Spa is a must. The spa offers a variety of services, including Swedish, hot stone and deep tissue massages, couples massage, manicures, pedicures, and facials. Overlooking the mountain and golf course, Falling Waters Spa features a fireplace, lounge area, soothing music and a relaxed atmosphere to give its guests the most rejuvenating experience possible. The spa accepts online reservations, as well as some insurance plans. Phone 716-677-9700.
SKY HIGH ADVENTURE PARK
Holiday Valley’s newest adventure, Sky High, offers an Aerial Park and a Mountain Coaster in a natural setting on the Resort’s grounds. Visitors to the Aerial Park can explore the tree top courses - cross bridges, climb ladders, navigate obstacles and soar on zip lines. Jadedness won’t be of concern with eight different courses to choose from, each increasing in difficulty as they rise in height above the ground.
Sharing similarities to a roller coaster with cars that ride on a track, the Mountain Coaster invites riders to load a car and ride up the hill parallel to the ski lift. At the apex, the car begins its thrilling descent zigzagging and spiraling down through the woods. Riders can accelerate or decelerate using handles on the sides of the car. While the Aerial Park is open only during the summer months, the Mountain Coaster is open during the winter season as well.
Ellicottville, NY is synonymous with excitement and adventure. The Village is located just a mile north of Holiday Valley Resort on Route 219 (50 miles south of Buffalo, NY and less than 3 hours from Toronto.)With its eclectic shops, variety of restaurants, nightlife for all ages and a remarkable line-up of festivals throughout the year, Ellicottville has been named as one of the “Top Adventure Towns in America” by National Geographic. A unique historic village with nature at its doorstep, Ellicottville offers a plethora of outdoor adventure, including a spectacular system of mountain biking trails sanctioned by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA).
Ellicottville and Holiday Valley are truly a Mecca for the adventurous … it’s no wonder Canada’s National Post says “it’s like driving into a postcard.”
Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville can be found on the web at www.holidayvalley.com, phone 716-699-2345. The toll-free reservations number is 1-800-323-0020.
Visit the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce website at www.ellicottvilleny.com to see a complete listing of the many shops, restaurants, attractions and exciting events and festivals happening throughout the year.