Extended Cold Brings Ellicottville Increase In Winter Tourism

ELLICOTTVILLE – So many have complained about this winter’s grip on the region. So many have suffered the effects. One place has had a solid positive result from the season, claiming the second-best year in history in terms of tourism.

Brian McFadden, executive director of the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce, had unveiled his numbers on the winter as it wraps up in the resort town in the center of Cattaraugus County. Once again, he says, the numbers are on an uptick.

“Occupancy revenue was up almost 8 percent, to $4.3 million for the period, Dec. 1, 2013, to Feb. 28, 2014,” he said.

That $4.3 million represents about 78 percent of all lodging in Cattaraugus County for that time period. While the winter season in Ellicottville seems to be driven by the slopes of Holiday Valley and HoliMont, that is not the case, McFadden said. In fact, there are a variety of reasons for the traffic.

“Many visitors come in the winter months to enjoy our great shopping, entertainment and bars and restaurants, or just to curl up in front of a fire at one of our more than 1,000 rental condos, bed and breakfasts, and hotels.”

“We have an amazing variety of lodging choices,” McFadden continued.

In years past, the season would be drawing to a close and the village would be taking a turn into what is called “mud season” and into a sleepy, off-season ski town. That is no longer the case. The village has undergone serious development to make it a year-round resort location, he said.

“We can now look forward to our non-ski season months that see roughly the same lodging revenue as the ski season,” McFadden said.

Part of that success is the addition of about a dozen events and festivals throughout the village, wedding facilities, already scheduled to have about 70 this summer alone, and the August return of the World Bowhunting Championships this year.

“(With) the outdoor adventure options in Ellicottville, we are looking for a record year,” McFadden said.