Holiday Valley Plans $3.4M Worth Of Improvements

ELLICOTTVILLE – A $3.4 million plan is projected to bring nearly 200 improvements to Holiday Valley, including a road realignment, according to a recent presentation to the members of the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency asking for sale/leaseback arrangements with sales tax abatement.

Resort President Dennis Eshbaugh and David Trathen, vice president for finance, laid out the plan that they have to increase the services and offerings at the fourth-ranked ski resort in the East. One of the major projects in the plan, although it may not take place until 2015, will be the realignment of Holiday Valley Road, to improve access to the resort, safety and greater impact to the resort, Trathen said.

“We have already had more than a dozen versions of this plan,” Eshbaugh said. “The alignment will mostly take place at Deer Crossing, in the area of the Fox Ridge services.”

IDA Executive Director Corey Wiktor said the plan to realign the road will have a major impact all to itself.

“What a change that realignment will have to the look of the resort,” Wiktor said.

According to application information, the road realignment is still under design and engineering. The project will be entered into application for the next round of state awards through the regional development council, according to Wiktor. The current application asks for roughly $75,000 to aid in payment for engineering and design.

Additions for snow operations include the additions of 54 automated snow guns and the extension of a snowmaking pipeline. Snow operations are planned to take a solid move toward true automated operations, Eshbaugh said, pointing out that the system has solid benefits to not only operations, but to those on the slopes, as well.

“The process gives us a better quality snow,” he said. “We can immediately, more efficiently, adjust to the humidity and temperatures. This is the future of our industry. It will allow us to mitigate the greatest opponents, the weather.”

Other upgrades and betterments are expected to include the re-creation of a clock tower. The previous one on the resort property was taken down to make way for the new lodge, according to Eshbaugh. In the new lodge area, the cabana structure would be replaced with a wood-frame structure to better match the facilities. Several technological upgrades will also take place, including the replacement of point of sale machines.

“The machines we have now are at the end of their useful lives,” Trathen said. “They are so old that we cannot get support on them any longer.”

Other projects include, but are not limited to a third-floor expansion of the Mountain Sports Center, lobby and guestroom renovations, as well as laundry equipment and a pool and deck at The Inn, Window solar film, Golf Shop/Mountain Shop renovations, slope improvements, replacement of a backhoe and stream bank restoration. A full list of projects, four pages long, was included in the application from Win Sum Corporation to the board of the IDA, for sale/leaseback to aid in payment of the renovations.