The region's skiers have reasons to be thankful this weekend: Holiday Valley has opened five slopes and two lifts today.
"We always target the day after Thanksgiving to open. Whether we make it or not depends on Mother Nature," said Jane Eshbaugh, marketing director for the Ellicottville resort. All departments work toward being ready on this date.
"Having opening day on our targeted opening day is great news."
With mild winters in recent years, Eshbaugh says opening day has been coming in early December. This year, courtesy of more seasonal weather, Holiday Valley is ready to go.
"We started a couple weeks ago when we had single digits (temperatures) and were able to make a lot of snow."
According to Eshbaugh, it's been a busy off-season with workers installing $3.4 million dollars worth of upgrades. Of that $750,000 was invested in the automated snow-making system.
When operating at full capacity, Holiday Valley uses 60 slopes and trails, along with 13 lifts. The resort bills itself as the most-visited ski destination in New York State.