By Alicia Dziak

Hooray for holiday weekends! Having Monday off is the perfect excuse to explore Ellicottville and all that it’s known for this time of year. Whether you prefer your winter fun indoors or out, you’re sure to pack a whole lot of memories into three days!

Long weekends mean more time on the slopes. As of press time, Holiday Valley had 12 lifts spinning, giving guests access to 57 trails.

On Monday, HoliMont will also be open to the public. It’s the perfect opportunity to check out the private ski area!

January is also National Learn a Snowsport Month, and Holiday Valley will be offering some great deals for adults all month long. Learn to Ski or Ride packages (which include a rental, beginner lift ticket and lesson) are half off. The Bring a Friend deal will give your friend half off the Learn to Ski or Ride package and you get a voucher for half off your lift ticket on your next visit.

Night skiing anyone? Nine of HV’s lifts run after dark, which means plenty of terrain to cover once the sun goes to sleep for the night. What better time to experience it than over the long weekend?

For even more downhill thrills and chills, check out Holiday Valley Tubing Company. Located just four miles from the resort on Route 242 in Ellicottville, the tubing park offers hours of downhill thrills. All the fun of tubing without any of the work, Holiday Valley Tubing Company has up to 22 lanes, each 900 feet long with a drop of 100 feet. Some lanes are single width, while others are wider group lanes to allow for linking up with friends.

A special Little Tubers area is also available, weather permitting, for younger children. A cozy warming hut is at the base of the hill with a snack bar, fireplace and restrooms. Or you can warm up and rest outside at the giant bonfire pit.

Regular hours are as follows:

Thursdays and Fridays, 4:30 to 9 p.m.; Saturdays, 11a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In addition, the tubing park is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 15 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Holiday Valley Tubing Company is located on the corner of Route 242 and Bryant Hill Road on the north side of Ellicottville. A free shuttle service to and from Holiday Valley is available every two hours during operating hours, with pickup at the Resort Services Center.

For more info, including rates, visit

Visit the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster near the Tannenbaum Lodge and get ready for a thrilling ride down through the snowy woods! The Mountain Coaster is similar to a roller coaster but it is low to the ground and follows the contours of the terrain. You ride alone or with a friend in a “car” attached to rails that pulls you up the hill, then it follows a zig zagging spiraling path down the mountain. You can control the speed of your car with levers on the sides of the car. Children must be at least 3 years old and over 38 inches tall (without shoes) to ride with an adult, or 8 years and 54 inches tall to ride alone. The driver of a 2 person car must be at least 16 years old. Riders must be able to perform certain physical tasks to participate.

The Coaster operates during the winter season from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and also on Monday, Jan. 15.

If you prefer not to brave the elements and stay indoors instead, head to the Village where restaurants and gift shops galore await. Warm up at Katy’s outdoor fire pit, sample some wine at the Winery of Ellicottville, catch some live music at the Gin Mill and Balloons, or even get in some bowling at EVL Bowling.

With so many ways to enjoy the long weekend right here in Ellicottville, there’s no reason to leave!

Martin Luther King Jr. Day This weekend, we remember Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Nov. 3, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill marking the third Monday of every January, as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The holiday was officially observed starting in 1986.

According to the National Archives, “Martin Luther King, Jr. became the predominant leader in the Civil Rights Movement to end racial segregation and discrimination in America during the 1950s and 1960s and a leading spokesperson for nonviolent methods of achieving social change. His eloquence as a speaker and his personal charisma, combined with a deeply rooted determination to establish equality among all races despite personal risk won him a world-wide following. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 1964 and was selected by Time magazine as its Man of the Year. His “I Have a Dream” speech, which is now considered to be among the great speeches of American history, is frequently quoted. His success in galvanizing the drive for civil rights, however, made him the target of conservative segregationists who believed firmly in the superiority of the white race and feared social change. He was arrested over 20 times and his home was bombed. Ultimately, he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, on the balcony of a motel where he was staying in Memphis. A monument to Dr. King was unveiled in the national capital in 2012.”