Holiday Valley and HoliMont Celebrate National Learn a Snowsport and Safety Awareness Month

By Alicia Dziak

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions learning to become a better skier or rider? Or maybe you’ve never tried either and have decided it’s time to enjoy winter more? Or perhaps you’ve skied for years but want to give snowboarding a whirl?

Learn to Ski or Board

You’re in luck! January is National Learn a Snowsport month and what better place to learn than at one of Ellicottville’s famous ski resorts!

At Holiday Valley, ski and snowboard lessons are available for everyone — ages 3 and up, of all abilities. In honor of Learn a Snowsport month, Holiday Valley is offering 20 percent off their Learn to Ski or Ride package during the month of January with lessons are available daily on any day.

New this season is the Riglet Park, a special teaching area for children ages 3–5, which allows instructors to teach snowboarding to the younger set in a way that will ensure they love the experience. The program utilizes super flexible snowboards, specially designed for young children, and a “Riglet Reel,” a retractable leash that enables the coach to pull the child around the park and over the features. This allows kids to learn snowboarding skills by experience, without having to be taught. The park can be used for teaching skiing skills to children as well. The Riglet Park is located at the Outpost at the base of School Haus East, adjacent to the Creekside Lodge.

“Holiday Valley offers a full-service school for guaranteed success,” said Ron Kubicki, Holiday Valley’s ski school director. “First-timers are greeted by a staff member as soon as they enter the Learning Center located in the Creekside Lodge. They can register, get their equipment and meet their instructor all in one place. We aim to make the entire experience a very positive one.”

For more information on the various lesson packages available, visit www.holidayvalley.com.

HoliMont is offering their Learn to Ski or Snowboard package at a huge discount this month. The package, available on non-holiday Mondays-Fridays, includes a beginner group lesson, paired with the beginner area-only lift ticket and basic equipment rental, for only $30, a savings of $50 off the regular price. A private package is available for $65, almost half of the regular price of $120.

In addition, a group of three or more of the same ability may purchase a 90-minute group lesson for only $25 per person. Gather up some friends and take advantage of this great deal!

“HoliMont offers small class sizes with professional instructors, and the hills aren’t crowded during the week, so it’s a great time to come,” said Wendy Frank, HoliMont’s ski school director. “We offer numerous specials throughout the week and are happy to accommodate special requests for groups.”

For more information, call HoliMont at (716) 699-8159.

Safety First

Skiing, riding and safety go hand in hand. Since January is also Safety Awareness Month, it’s a good time to familiarize yourself with the practices needed to keep you and others safe on the slopes.

“Ski and ride with safety and common sense” are words to live by when enjoying winter sports.

A responsibility code, a set of guidelines to follow to help keep skiing and riding safer for you and others on the slopes, is posted on the websites for both resorts.

In addition, Smart Style, a terrain park safety initiative developed by the National Ski Area Association and Burton Snowboards, has been implemented at the terrain parks at Holiday Valley and HoliMont.

Detailed guidelines for personal safety, chairlift safety are listed as well, and it’s a good idea to review them all before you head out.

For instance, carry ID and a phone number to call in case of emergency. If you’re new to the resort, pick up a trail map. Keep your equipment in good condition, and tune your skis or board regularly.

Knowledge and common sense go a long way in keeping yourself and others safe this winter. Be sure to check out the safety information at www.holidayvalley.com/explore-our-mountain/ski-ride-safty-on-the-slopes and www.holimont.com/safety before you hit the slopes!