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Holiday Valley - Lake Effect Card and other Q's

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Except for my wife, my family is new to skiing (myself and 4 kids 8 to 13).   We went out a number of days last year including a trip to holiday valley at ellicottville.  We really liked it there compared to some smaller locations we went to in southern ontario (not collingwood).

 

Anyway, i have to admit that i find the holiday valley web site re lodging and pricing info to be somewhat opaque.    I am trying to figure out the most economical way to take a mini holiday there.   Weekends are out, but that is okay as my working hours are reasonably flexible.

 

Is anyone familiar with the Lake effect card?  Are the cards practical. how much are lift tickets if you use the card?

 

Any tips on how to do holiday valley on a budget would be much appreciated.

 

Ian

post #2 of 13

I have zero advice for you. But whoa nostalgia.

 

I grew up skiing HV in the 80s/90s and haven't been back in 15+ years. All I know is I could stil fill in a trail map (except for any expansions) and tell you that there is some pizza joint in town that is always playing ski flicks. Warren miller when I was there. I once ate pizza off the parking lot that was a whole pie because someone had dropped it. I was a hungry little kid. 

 

Its also the only place a celebrity ever cooked me dinner. Al Pacino makes good spaghetti. 

post #3 of 13
Youre not going to find much in the way of discounts lift ticket wise other than whats on this page.http://www.holidayvalley.com/explore-our-mountain/ski-ride-lift-tickets-special-ticket-promotions#.VEcK4cvD_qB

If youre planning on going more than just one trip this year, white cards might be up your alley.

Where are you going from... Toronto (east or west of the city), niagara, hamilton?

If you dont need a fancy village, bristol mt might be better... Its a way taller mountain and is just a bit further. If youre going for 3 days or more, i always try to get people to whiteface or gore mt, but some arent up for the 6 hour drive... What you get in return are some serious mountains and there arw better deals.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

We are coming from the west end of toronto.  Driving is not a big deal (we do a nova scotia road trip every summer so six hours is very doable for us.

 

Will have to do some research on whiteface/gore mt don't really know anything about them.

 

i liked HV because there was a good variety (i thought) of fairly easy but reasonably long runs which works well for this beginner crew.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

what is a white card?

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by raff View Post
 

We are coming from the west end of toronto.  Driving is not a big deal (we do a nova scotia road trip every summer so six hours is very doable for us.

 

Will have to do some research on whiteface/gore mt don't really know anything about them.

 

i liked HV because there was a good variety (i thought) of fairly easy but reasonably long runs which works well for this beginner crew.


Haven't been to HV or Bristol, but if they are 1-2 hours closer then may make more sense to spent this season there and save Gore or Whiteface for the future.  Not too much terrain for beginners at Whiteface.  There is a beginner-only area but the lift is sloooow.  Your kids are old enough that they will get bored there quickly.  If they get good enough and want to ski the main mountain, keeping track of 4 of them could get complicated.  I like Gore.  The layout is somewhat spread out.  Good for those who are skiing mostly blues.

 

I found that when my daughter was an intermediate and her friends were tween beginners, it was a lot easier for everyone to have fun at a smaller mountain.

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


Haven't been to HV or Bristol, but if they are 1-2 hours closer then may make more sense to spent this season there and save Gore or Whiteface for the future.  Not too much terrain for beginners at Whiteface.  There is a beginner-only area but the lift is sloooow.  Your kids are old enough that they will get bored there quickly.  If they get good enough and want to ski the main mountain, keeping track of 4 of them could get complicated.  I like Gore.  The layout is somewhat spread out.  Good for those who are skiing mostly blues.

 

I found that when my daughter was an intermediate and her friends were tween beginners, it was a lot easier for everyone to have fun at a smaller mountain.

 

The entire Facelift lift will give them as much beginner/low intermediate terrain as at Holiday Valley.  It'd be way easier to get lost at Holiday Valley than at Whiteface... its so spread out with so many remote pods.  Most of the blues at Ellicottville are much steeper but shorter than the Facelift runs.  The exception would be Mardi Gras... and the runs off Facelift ski like Mardi Gras, except way longer. 

 

If they really liked Holiday Valley compared to the other resorts north of Toronto, it sounds like they're ready to appreciate the even bigger mountains.

 

My son who was 6 was blown away when I took him to Whiteface last year.  Now he's "too good" for Ellicottville.  He also loved skating on the Olympic Speed Skating Oval, checking out the bobsled runs, and the Olympic Arenas.  

 

If my 6 year old could do them, I'm sure your family could do the Excelsior run off the gondola in no time (it has an average pitch of a typical Holiday Valley blue).  Ditto for the blue runs from the summit... though if conditions aren't great, they could be icy.  This winter, his 5 year old sister (and mom).  She'll be crushing Excelsior before we're done!

 

There are better deals to be had at Whiteface too- most of the hotels have really good midweek deals since its a ghost town during the week.  There are also good ticket deals off liftopia.com.  Also, Wednesdays, you can get a $35 lift ticket if you bring a coke with you.  There are many other good deals.. I've stayed at a cabin outside of town where the owner will give you free lift tix for a day, and discounts on the others... I can give you the link for that.

post #8 of 13

Aah, didn't realize that HV blues are that steep.  I agree that Lake Placid has lots of lodging options as well as non-skiing fun.  The toboggan slide onto Mirror Lake is great fun for a family with kids of any age.  Apparently Whiteface has renovated the lodge over on the beginner area.

post #9 of 13

HV is a nice little ski area which in comparison has the height of Blue Mountain, runs are less demanding.  The Black at HV runs are similar to the more difficult blue runs at Blue.  Over all the Hill is similar skiing to Glen Eden, Hockley and Snow Valley but with longer runs, less skiers, nuts with shorter lift lines.  For advanced skier there is enough steep to keep you amused.

 

From a driving distance from Toronto (West End) it is about 2-1/2 to 3 hours assuming the border crossing is 10 mins  (been longer these last few months for some strange reason).

 

As a family ski area most definitely, and at the ski show I spoke with them again to get information on the Cabin Fever deals (check out their website),  I've also been told that the town accepts Canadian at par to attract the Canadian crowd.

 

Its a shame that you missed the Ski Show this last weekend as it was at the International Center near the Airport.

 

BTW First time I skied it was in the early 90's and the second time was during March Break this Spring (Cabin Fever Day),  it's on the list as a definite ski day this season as well.

post #10 of 13

There are some useful comments about Whiteface and Gore in this 2011 thread in the Family Skiing section (under Mountain/Resort Related Forums):

http://www.epicski.com/t/105795/advice-wanted-our-first-family-ski-trip-northeast/30

 

Does seem like many people think Whiteface is a good place for beginners.  The question for the OP is whether the extra driving time is worth it for a family of six this season.  Once they get a taste of a big mountain . . . they will want to go back.  Could be a good thing, could be tough on the budget. ;) 

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmeb View Post

I have zero advice for you. But whoa nostalgia.

I grew up skiing HV in the 80s/90s and haven't been back in 15+ years. All I know is I could stil fill in a trail map (except for any expansions) and tell you that there is some pizza joint in town that is always playing ski flicks. Warren miller when I was there. I once ate pizza off the parking lot that was a whole pie because someone had dropped it. I was a hungry little kid. 

Its also the only place a celebrity ever cooked me dinner. Al Pacino makes good spaghetti. 

The Al Pacino spaghetti story, I used to work with a guy who's family had a home at HV on Upper Road. Anyway this guy told me Beverly Deangelo the actress 's parents owned the place next door and he had actually met her. I recall years later reading somewhere that she was dating Al Pacino, big difference vs Clark Griswald !

So I am connecting Al Pacino being at HV with that.

I grew up skiing at HV and still love the place but don't get back anymore since my mother moved.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post


The Al Pacino spaghetti story, I used to work with a guy who's family had a home at HV on Upper Road. Anyway this guy told me Beverly Deangelo the actress 's parents owned the place next door and he had actually met her. I recall years later reading somewhere that she was dating Al Pacino, big difference vs Clark Griswald !

So I am connecting Al Pacino being at HV with that.

I grew up skiing at HV and still love the place but don't get back anymore since my mother moved.

 

Ding! Ding! Ding!

 

It was a house on Upper. My mom worked for/with the father--one plus of which was some time in the house when it wasn't in use. One time they got snowed in an extra day so we ended up crossing paths. Fond memories of that house -- classic ski home, huge grand piano, antler-based lighting. The basement was setup like a dorm to hold tons of people and had 3! TVs in a row. 

 

My ski abode is a bit different now. When not coming back to Denver I usually end up in the back of my Astro van on a big foam mattress piled high with blankets. 

post #13 of 13
I love holiday valley so much! It's a great ski area for families, and as I expert, I still find my fill. The instructors are really really great as well! In terms of looking for discounts, booking at the inn very far in advance is your best bet, and try calling them! Sometimes you can get a better price.

Happy skiing and ill see your on the mountain!
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