Holiday Valley looks toward four-season improvement plan - The Buffalo News

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Holiday Valley looks toward four-season improvement plan

ELLICOTTVILLE – Holiday Valley plans to spend $3.4 million to complete a list of 200 improvements, including a road realignment, according to a presentation made to the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency on Tuesday.

The resort is seeing sale/leaseback arrangements with sales tax abatements.

Dennis Eshbaugh, president of the resort, and David Trathen, vice president for finance, laid out the plan.

One of the major components, which may not take place until 2015, is realigning Holiday Valley Road to improve access to the resort and safety.

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

The road realignment is still in the design and engineering phase. Wiktor said an application for funding will be in the next round of state awards through the regional development council. The current application asks for roughly $75,000 for engineering and design.

Additions for snow operations include 54 automated snow guns and the extension of a snowmaking pipeline so that the system will be a truly automated operation, Eshbaugh said.

“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 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 would be replaced with a wood frame structure to better match the facilities. Several technological upgrades also will be completed, 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.

A four-page list of projects and renovations – ranging from guest rooms to slope improvements – was included in the application from Win Sum Corp. to the board of the IDA.

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