By Jann Wiswall

Second Quarter Review 

If you haven’t been in Ellicottville in awhile, you might be seeing and hearing about some changes that have been in the works. Some changes relate to area infrastructure, others relate to your favorite resorts and businesses.

Transportation Improvements

Getting here will be getting easier with two major highway construction projects that are underway. The first is the long-awaited road improvements along the Southern Tier Expressway (I-86) between Salamanca and Steamburg. This stretch of roadway has been the source of public consternation and front-end alignments for several years.

Pothole work, bridge repair and overpass improvements have already begun. Be prepared for some temporary lane closures. Most work is scheduled to be completed this year.

The second project, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), is the replacement of the 219 bridge over Cattaraugus Creek in Concord and Ashford, near Springville. This bridge, a critical link for businesses and residents in both Erie and Cattaraugus Counties, was closed for several months in winter 2013 due to structural concerns. The project currently is in design stages. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2015.

NY DOT Approves E’ville  Improvements

At long last, sidewalks will be installed along Rte. 242 from HoliMont into the Village of Ellicottville by the NYS DOT. Originally proposed as far back as 2006, the sidewalk project, which includes drainage improvements, is one of three projects the DOT recently agreed to complete for Ellicottville.

The second project is improvement of the Elizabeth/Fillmore/Route 219 intersection. The third is rebuilding the handicap ramps and curbs at five intersections in the village along Washington Street. All three projects, scheduled for completion by summer 2014, will improve safety throughout for vehicle and pedestrian traffic alike.

Westmont Ridge Breaks Ground

The heavy equipment is in place at HoliMont’s WestMont Ridge development, where contractors have completed tree removal and are now grading roads. In addition, work is underway to bring water and sewer lines into the area.

WestMont Ridge, the first phase of HoliMont’s $22 million expansion project, will include 94 ski in/ski out residential properties and 72 condominiums near the Sunset slopes. Twenty of the first 31 lots being readied for development have already been sold.

Holiday Valley Summer Projects

This summer, Holiday Valley has been characteristically busy finishing some landscaping and exterior appointments around the new main lodge and has purchased new grooming and snowmaking equipment. They’ve also torn down the old Day Care Center and replaced it with a new plaza. Plus, Sky High Adventure Park now has 13 aerial adventure courses and a new Climbing Forest which is like a 3-D climbing wall that consists of 10 trees fitted with handholds going up some 45 feet. The Inn at Holiday Valley has gotten a facelift, as well.

Ellicottville Brewing Company’s Expansion

Construction is 99 percent complete on the gorgeous expansion of everyone’s favorite brewery that now takes up nearly half of its block on Monroe Street. Renovations include a new, straight-from-Germany brew house that is in full operation, a state-of-the art kitchen, new dining and bar space, and a lovely new beer garden.

Renovations at Old Extension Service Building

The Town of Ellicottville has taken ownership of the Extension Service Building at Fillmore Dr. and Parkside Rd. The building is being partially renovated to enable the Ellicottville Courts to hold trials and conduct other business there. Renovations also will improve a large auditorium that will be available for private parties, weddings, meetings and events with direct access to the gorgeous, 8-acre Nannen Arboretum.

Broad Support for Rec Trail

Momentum is building for the proposed Ellicottville-Great Valley Recreational Trail, a traffic-free route ultimately running from the eastern village border into the Town of Great Valley. To date, some $27,000 has been raised to fund development of a Master Plan for the trail. The trail committee, composed of interested parties from all over Cattaraugus County, will be launching a major fundraising effort in the near future to fund the first leg of the multi-million dollar, multi-year project to be constructed in phases.

Tim Horton’s Under Construction

A new Tim Horton’s Café and Bakery is under construction at the intersection of Routes 219/242. The café will welcome southbound travelers into the village and may serve as northern trailhead for the proposed recreational trail.

Ellicottville Central Schools Renovations

Residents in the Ellicottville Central School District voted in March to fund a capital renovation project of the school building. Renovations will address maintenance and health and safety/security issues, including partial roof replacement, electrical, masonry, ventilation improvements, accessibility concerns, security improvements and more. In addition, plans call for reconfiguring and adding a 100-foot-by-50-foot addition to the back of the existing gymnasium to create a multi-purpose athletic and performance space. Construction will begin in summer 2014.

Ellicottville Relay for Life

Thirteen teams and some 125 participants raised nearly $33,000 (and still counting) over the months leading into and including the Relay for Life event held at Ellicottville Central School on June 1. There is still time to donate to the 2013 cause. Visit