Photo: Looking down at the base area at Holiday Valley
Holiday Valley is located in Western New York, USA, just one mile from the small ski town of Ellicottville and 50 miles south of Buffalo, NY. It is mostly a gentle resort with a lot of beginner and intermediate terrain, although it is the most visited resort in New York State.
With the chairlifts open every day and night until 10pm, one of the better aspects of working at Holiday Valley is the fact you can ski or ride opposite your shift every day.
Ellicottville is just four blocks in total, but is still quite lively and friendly. There are several gift shops, outdoor/casual clothing stores, four specialty ski/snowboard shops…and one store just for socks.
In terms of places to go out, Gin Mill, Madigans and Balloons have a lot of live music, while Tips Up, Dinas, Silver Fox are more upscale but still casual. Ellicottville Brewing Company is a very nice brewery and restaurant.
There are a lot of locals for lift operations and food and beverage, while for the Snowsport school, the people tend to come from the region (Ohio, Western New York and Western PA). Also, many of the students from St. Bonaventure University teach skiing/snowboarding or have other jobs at Holiday Valley.
Holiday Valley Resort has 58 slopes and 13 lifts and is one of the bigger and better resorts of the Eastern US. Of course, the terrain and snow out east are not as good as in the Rockies, but Holiday Valley compares well to other resorts in the area, even if the vertical drop of 750 feet does not qualify as a “big mountain”. The main target market at Holiday Valley is families.
There is woods skiing throughout, five terrain parks and nice teaching terrain. The lift network includes 3 high speed quads, 8 fixed grip quads and 2 surface tows.
Snowmaking covers 95 percent of the trails now through the HKD snowmaking system which is needed to boost the natural snow. The resort receives an average of 180 inches of natural snowfall per year.
Five terrain parks range from a Burton Riglet park for the smallest riders through the 42/78 park with the largest features.
Holiday Valley is a fairly small operation with small departments. Jobs are available in mountain operations, food and beverage, lift operations, snowmaking, grooming, ski and snowboard instruction for children and adults, customer service, central reservations, lodging and tubing, lift and vehicle maintenance, rental and repair shop.
Jobs are also available as parking attendants, cashiers, line cooks, kitchen staff, bartenders, chefs, servers, front desk lodging staff, housekeeping, building maintenance, laundry, retail staff, mountain coaster staff and tubing staff.
The best way to apply for a position is to attend the Job Fair held in late October each year. Applications can also be filled out on line at www.holidayvalley.com/about-us/Employment. You should apply for a job before October 31.
Minimum wage in New York State is $10.40 an hour. (Department of Labor).
Holiday Valley employees receive a season pass, a discount in the retail shop, a discount in the cafeterias and restaurant during working hours, free group ski or snowboard lessons, free Tubing on Thursday nights and a year-end party.
Holiday Valley employees also have reciprocals with other resorts in the Western New York area for half price lift tickets on weekdays.
Holiday Valley targets the Friday after Thanksgiving for opening, but opening day could be anytime from late November to mid-December depending on the weather. The resort is open through the beginning of April.
International applicants are unable to work at Holiday Valley.
Apartments and houses can be rented in the surrounding towns by checking the local papers. www.thevillagerny.com is Ellicottville's official local newspaper which may have classifieds for places for rent.
Winter season workers can ski or ride the mountain, enjoy the night life of Ellicottville and Buffalo (one hour north of the resort), or take on outdoor activities such as cross country skiing or snowshoeing and hiking.
There is also a small bowling alley in town. St. Bonaventure University and Jamestown Community College are ½ hour away in Olean, NY.