By Alicia Dziak

The snow is here and the ski resorts are calling! Whether you prefer your downhill runs on skis, a snowboard or in a tube, Ellicottville has you covered.

Head to Holiday Valley this Saturday, Dec. 16 for Demo Day. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ellicottville’s own specialty ski and snowboard shops will be present, loaning out free demos so you can try before you buy.

Demo Day is brought to you by  The City Garage, The Boardroom, Mud Sweat ‘n Gears and Dekdebruns. Knowledgeable ski and snowboard technicians from these shops will be on-site, slopeside of the Holiday Valley Lodge to pair you with the latest equipment, geared to match your specific riding style and preference.

Choose from a variety of brands, including Burton, Salomon Snowboards, Salomon Skis, Mervin Manufacturing, Atomic, Armada, Head, K2, Line, Liberty, Volkl, Apex Ski Boots, Rossignol, Dynastar, Nordica, Fischer and more. Telemark skis will also be available, just bring your own boots.

A credit card is required for deposit and a parent signature if you’re under the age of 18. Don’t get stuck with equipment that doesn’t meet your needs or expectations. Get to know local shop owners and brand representatives, all with years of experience to help you find the gear that’s built for you.

Be sure to stop by the Southern Tier Brewing tent from 1 to 3 p.m. for free beer tastings. For more information on Demo Day and other upcoming events, visit www.holidayvalley.com.

Holiday Valley Tubing Company Opens Dec. 21

Looking for a guaranteed fun outdoor experience this winter? 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 (which, according to Snow Tubing Source, is the fifth largest of its kind in the country!) 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.

Head out of the ticket center, grab a tube and line up. When you get to the front of the line, just sit down in your tube and catch a ride up on one of two handle tows (the dismount from the tow is also pretty cool!) Choose your lane, wait for the attendant to give you the go-ahead, then ready, set, go! Race your friends and other tubers to the bottom and see who gets the farthest on the track. Screaming optional, but highly recommended. Once you stop, get out, drag your tube to the tow and do it all over again!

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.

The tubing park is scheduled to open (weather permitting) on Thursday, Dec. 21. 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 daily during the Christmas break and the February President’s week break and on Monday, Jan. 15 for Martin Luther King 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 www.holidayvalley.com/winter/tubing.