By Indrek Kongats

The ski slopes of HoliMont overlook the main drag to Ellicottville and have been doing so for a very long time, ever since 1962. What many people don’t realize is that HoliMont is open to the public during weekdays, just like Holiday Valley.

Although HoliMont is the largest and longest running private ski club in North America, it welcomes non-members throughout the season, Monday to Friday. Not only does it have some of the best groomed slopes in the east— they are meticulously maintained— but it offers a range of terrain that is welcoming for the novice to expert.

Along with great slopes, the Slopeside Shops at HoliMont offers another alternative to the shoppers that flock to Ellicottville each year looking for the latest trends and fashions found only in the finest ski towns across the country. Ellicottville has so many great shops it’s almost like being at an outdoor mall.

As the name implies, the Slopeside Shops at HoliMont are right on their slopes and offer items and services that are totally unique to them.

Greg Culver is the manager of Slopeside and Gear Up. Culver explains that although the shops carry all of the usual products lines associated with any top ski shop, their bread and butter items are their very exclusive and sought after HoliMont logo apparel, gear and gifts. Visitors and members alike like the fact that they can purchase souvenirs and clothing unique to this one-of-a-kind ski area.

In addition, Slopeside stocks a full line of Helly Hansen and Burton ski and snowboard clothing, a great selection of Smith goggles, a large assortment of Auclair ski and snowboarding gloves, mitts and liners, all backed up and complemented with products from POC, Hestra, Coal, Anon and more.

Don’t expect to purchase hard goods since they don’t sell any, but Gear Up Mountain Rentals has all of the latest demos in skis and boards for you to try before you buy from one of the ski shops in town. Usually there is a demo voucher that you can present to the shop in town to get a discount on your purchase.

 Culver prides himself and his well-trained staff in their specialty in fitting adults and children with the best goggle and helmet combinations, best suited to their individual head and face shape. After shopping at Slopeside, many skiers and snowboarders find that their helmets and goggles fit so well that it’s almost like they don’t even know they have them on.

Besides having everything the shopper wants, needs or has forgotten on their ski adventure to HoliMont, the rental shop also has everything you need to slide or hike on snow, cross country, alpine, telemark skis, snowboards and snowshoes. Gear Up features rental skis and demos from Rossignol and Burton.

Culver further adds that their top-notch tuning shop has just upgraded their state- of-the-art Wintersteiger base machine with a new stone, bearings, drive motor and dressing diamond to provide the perfect tune for your skis this season. The waxing machine was also been updated with a new brush and waxing wheel. Shop hours are from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week.

The most important message that Culver wants skiers and boarders to know about the Slopeside Shops at HoliMont and his mission as a retailer? “Buy local and support those who support you,” he said. “There is no face or personality at the end of an online sale. Service is as important as the products we sell.”

Enjoy your experience this season at HoliMont both on the slopes and in the shops and make sure you tell all of your friends that everyone is welcome during the week!