HV-LodgeBy Jann Wiswall

After spending some $13 million on the resort in 2012 building the fabulous new main lodge, some might think Holiday Valley could have taken a year off from making even more improvements. But the Valley never misses an opportunity to wow its guests with smart, creative investments to continually improve its facilities, and this year is no exception.

“It’s just part of our culture,” said Marketing Director Jane Eshbaugh. “Part of the reason people come here year after year is that there’s always something new to do.”

This year, Holiday Valley has put another $3.1 million into the resort, adding features and amenities for year-round enjoyment.

Summer Fun

Sky High Adventure Park, which opened in 2011, is an Aerial Park with 11 elevated courses made of platforms, bridges and zip lines built into a four-acre wooded area near Holiday Valley’s Tannenbaum Lodge. The Aerial Park has two new courses this year: “Snap Dragon,” a yellow (easiest) course, and “Fern Gulley,” a green (next level up) course.

Also new at Sky High this year is the one-of-a-kind “Climbing Forest” — a 3-D version of a climbing wall that features closely spaced trees with handholds where climbers can choose their route up as far as 45 feet. The Climbing Forest has been a huge hit with beginning climbers and experts alike.

Sky High has been full to capacity on many weekends this year, so reservations are suggested. It is open daily through Labor Day and then on weekends through November, weather permitting. Call 1-716-699-HIGH.

All of the guest rooms at the Inn at Holiday Valley have had a facelift this summer. There’s new bedding, bath fixtures and pool furniture already, and black-and-white vintage photos of Holiday Valley over the years will replace the old artwork.

The old Day Care Center between the new lodge and the Tamarack Club was removed this year and replaced with the Overlook Terrace, an outdoor plaza with seating and a fireplace and a truly grand view of the golf course and ski slopes. The Overlook has been a popular gathering place all summer for pool goers and is available for weddings and other social gatherings year round.

Adjacent to the three-pool complex and Golf Shop, Holiday Valley is working on renovating the old Cabana Bar with a new timber beam roof system that will have open sides in the summer and can be enclosed with glass panels for cold weather use. The new Cabana Bar will be completed in time for the 2013-14 winter season.

Winter Thrills

A new feature is being added to the Holiday Valley Tubing Park on Bryant Hill Drive — an ice skating rink! More details will be available soon, but the rink will be a simple affair that will operate weather permitting and will add yet another outdoor activity to keep visitors and residents active all winter long.

In addition to all of these new features, Holiday Valley has made two major investments in snowmaking and grooming infrastructure that will improve the skiing/riding experience for all winter guests. The first is the installation of 70 new HKD SV-10 automated snow guns on the Edelweiss, Sunrise, Cindy’s and Foxfire slopes. The resort has been upgrading to automated snowmaking on six other slopes over the past several years with impressive results. The addition of the new automated snow guns brings more efficiency and energy savings to the vast majority of the mountain, while providing the best possible manmade snow. Operators are able to turn on and off the guns all at once during even the briefest periods of cold, rather than having to manually start each gun one at a time.

The resort also has purchased a Pisten Bully 600 Active Boom Winch Cat grooming machine, which offers the latest technology for grooming steeper trails. The hydraulic boom allows the groomer to push and groom snow both uphill and downhill, off the centerline of the winch cable anchor point, resulting in better coverage in hard to reach spots.

For the Kids

In addition, Holiday Valley’s crews have spent a good part of the summer clearing glades and wood lots for the many skiers/riders who prefer making their own trails through the woods. And, in cooperation with snowsports company Burton, the Valley is creating a “Riglet Park” near the “Outpost” with gentle terrain and slight mounds for teaching the littlest riders and skiers to learn their new sports.

Oh, and speaking of the little ones, Holiday Valley this year is giving families a big break by offering free passes to kids ages 6 and under, rather than 5 and under.

“This is part of our continuing commitment to improving the overall experience for families,” Eshbaugh explained.

For more resort information, go to www.holidayvalley.com.