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Holiday Valley opens for the season with COVID-19 restrictions in place

Posted at 10:27 PM, Dec 09, 2020

ELLICOTVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — Thursday is a big day for skiers and snowboarders in Western New York, Holiday Valley will open six trails. The experience on the slopes will be the same, elsewhere, because of COVID-19 restrictions, things will be different, like the chairlift.

“One person on one side and one person on the other side,” said Jane Eshbaugh, the marketing director of Holiday Valley.

Most rules will be for the lodge. Masks are to be worn at all times, except while eating.

“We’ll have monitors on busy days, so we'll be able to know how many people are inside the lodge and be able to maintain the 50% capacity,” added Eshbaugh.

Plans are to open at least 4 slopes, with terrain available for beginners, intermediates and advanced skiers and snowboarders.

“It kind of coincides with our reduced capacity, so it kind of works out a little bit. But, we'd rather have the Canadians coming,” said Eshbaugh. “It’s just really good for your head to get out and do something fun."

But, there's still a lot of excitement. Both Holiday Valley and Ellicottville are hopeful that people from around WNY will help bridge that gap.

They village has seen an increase n new customers over the summer and more visitors on the website.. So, if the weather is good, business owners are expecting a great opening weekend.

"We're expecting some more people to come in I don't think it would be a huge rush of people I think people are still laying low and are concerned but Ellicottville is really safe we've kept our numbers down cleaning like crazy we're definitely expecting to see some people this week," Beth Sheehy, Owner, Winery of Ellicottville.

Business owners say Holiday Valley does a good job of pushing people to the town. And it helps that the area is not currently affected by the yellow or orange zones.

There will be no night skiing on Thursday. Night skiing begins Friday.