By Elizabeth Riggs

Looking for luxury in the heart of ski country? Search no further than Ellicottvillas, luxury townhouses for sale and vacation rental, in the heart of Ellicottville.

Located at 6349 Route 242 East, Ellicottvillas first broke ground on its townhouse units in 2008, at which time the original owners built out four of the original 18 units constructed. The project was reacquired in 2014 by new owner Jim Cornell, who has a track record of more than 30 years of successful development. Cornell also serves as Managing Partner of the Larkinville Chamber of Commerce in the Larkinville neighborhood of Buffalo, in which he has been one of the catalysts in the current redevelopment.

Under Cornell’s leadership, the project is gaining new momentum, with more Villas being sold and more new Villa owners deciding to do build outs. The investment, ranging from $550,000 to $650,000 for three- or four-bedroom and two-and- a-half bathroom plans, allows owners to be involved in Villa design from start to finish.

“With our build outs, each owner has their own sense of taste, style and aesthetic.  The first step in the build out process is having our design team get a feel for what the Villa owner gravitates to in terms of style and individual need,” said Marketing and Business Development Manager Joe Wright. “That is what also makes it fun on our end in knowing that each build out will be different than the last in terms of finish.”

And while there are differences in each Villa, there are a few common threads from one unit to the next that give each one that luxurious finish.

“The fieldstone you see on the exterior of the building is a common interior finish on our first and second levels accenting the fireplaces, most of which are double sided and can be enjoyed from the exterior first and second level patios as well,” said Wright. “Custom Amish cabinetry in the kitchens and bathrooms and furniture, which are unique in each unit, are a common choice for our Villa owners. Granite and marble counters are the norm as well.”

But the Villas aren’t only for buyers to enjoy – they also appeal to visitors to the Ellicottville area, as they are perfectly suited as vacation rentals. Available villas can be rented directly through Ellicottvillas, or through the private Villas owners themselves.

“Not all of our owners rent out their villas.  Some prefer not to rent out their units at all and keep it to themselves,” said Wright. “Some like to strike a balance of using it as much as much as time permits, while renting it out where they can. Others only use the unit a couple times a year and want to take advantage of Ellicottville’s attractive rental market and see a return on their investment.”

And while one may assume that the Villas are most popular during Ellicottville’s beautiful white winters, according to Wright, they have appeal throughout all four seasons.

“I continue to be amazed how well the non-ski season rental business continues to grow for us and Ellicottville,” said Wright. “It’s March and we’re already seeing a steady inflow of summer rental inquiries as well as bookings for golf stays in July and August as well as wedding parties in September.”

“Brian McFadden with the Chamber of Commerce recently told me that Ellicottville hosted 93 weddings in 2016. That’s a clear indicator that Ellicottville continues to become more of a 12-month destination and not just branded as a ski town. I really enjoy the summer and fall months here with all the events the Chamber puts on.”

According to Wright, the growing seasonality of Ellicottville, combined with the flexibility of the build outs, is a winning and appealing combination for renters.

“Most of our rental business continues to be larger groups — families, corporate retreats, couples’ weekends, wedding parties and golf stay-and-play groups,” said Wright. “But our build outs are now also utilizing the lower master bedrooms as a separate, one bedroom rental that can accommodate 2-4 people complete with bathroom, patio with hot tub, and kitchenette should the entire 3,300 Sq. Ft. not be necessary for smaller groups. Many of our Villas owners are also turning the garage into rec rooms, making the Villas even more marketable to Ellicottville’s rental market.”

Since Wright’s involvement with the project for the past two years, the community has embraced the unique living and vacation experience Ellicottvillas offers both its owners and visitors.

“I’ve witnessed that everyone in the business community, and residents, are passionate about what Ellicottville is about and work collaboratively to make it a great destination for guests or a community in which to call home,” said Wright. “We provide a unique destination for our owners and guests. Our location is a great feature, too, in that it strikes a nice balance of quiet and tranquility, while also only being an eight-minute walk to the Gin Mill. I’ve timed it.”

For more information on Ellicottvillas, visit their website: www.ellicottvillas.com.