Hit the slopes and play a quick nine at Holiday Valley this April

By Kellen M. Quigley

Nearly every year, there comes a short time frame when those who really take advantage of all Holiday Valley has to offer can enjoy both winter and summer activities in the same weekend. April marks not only the end of the ski season and the beginning of the golf season in Ellicottville.

When these two seasons collide, usually in the first half of April, there’s the chance to take that last run down the slopes along with that first swing off the tee box.

Thanks to winter lingering around just long enough, but warmer temperatures making their way through Western New York, that special time may have to wait another week as Holiday Valley plans to potentially add a bonus weekend to the skiing season.

“We plan to close the ski season on April 14,” said Jane Eshbaugh, marketing director at Holiday Valley. “We’re starting to slowly close a few areas down as the snow begins to recede, but there is still a lot of snow out there.”

Holiday Valley is advising those interested in skiing into mid-April to check the resort’s website or call up the snow phone at 699-2644 for updates throughout the week.

“Stay as far as week day operations during the second week of April,” Eshbaugh said. “But at this time, we do plan to stay open through the 14th.”

And what about golf?

Eshbaugh said a few holes are expected to open late this week with the driving range expected to open this week, weather permitting.

“We hope to have a modified 9 holes open by April 6,” she said. “You can definitely ski and golf on the same day this year, maybe quite a few days.”

Most skiers and snowboarders can agree that it’s been one heck of a season. While there were a couple thaws, for the most part, the snow stuck around and the spring skiing has been some of the best in recent years, even with golfers out there.

“Sometimes you’re golfing and you have a bit of snow on parts of the course,” Eshbaugh said. “Basically the front nine, except for the opening hole, should be playable.”

Holiday Valley visitors enjoyed $3.2 million in upgrades to the resort, including expanded automated snowmaking, a new groomer, a conveyor lift on Slippery Streets, slope work including several “tree trails” for kids and a new shuttle van and numerous additions to their automated snowmaking system, among others.

The 18-hole, par 70 Double Black Diamond golf course is challenging and well maintained with breathtaking scenery from every hole. Although many golfers might not see it, Eshbaugh said they will be modifying and upgrading parts of the course, such as better drainage, but nothing major is planned.