ELLICOTTVILLE N.Y. (WIVB) — Canadians are getting a warm welcome back in Ellicottville. The area is hoping for a boom in business from the border reopening to Canadians for non-essential travel.
“Sigh of relief and we’re excited to have them come back,” said Jane EshBaugh. who’s the marketing director at Holiday Valley. “They’re kind of just trickling in but every body is so happy to see them. Friends that we haven’t seen in 20 months and it’s great to have them back.”
For ski resorts like Holiday Valley and HoliMont Ski Club, a portion of their members come from across the border.
“Fifty percent of our members are from Canada. So it’s been a long year without having our Canadian membership here at the club,” said HoliMont general manager Ed Youmans.
To help bring Canadian tourists back to Ellicottville, the folks at HoliMont are offering free PCR and rapid COVID-19 testing and they plan on offering this throughout the winter season.
“That will of course depend on whether or not the testing requirement stays in place and everyone is hopeful that it won’t stay in place through the whole winter,” Youmans said. “This is really going to get a hold lot more people to come down here and enjoy everything we have in Ellicottville that provides.”
Canadian resident Jimmy Durante tells News 4 he drove to Ellicottville with his wife because of the free testing.
“This is awesome for Canadians right? We’ve never been down here, so this is a first for us and now you have someone that’s like hey, we’re thinking about coming down here for New Years Eve,” he said. “So you automatically have customers that could then spend money in Ellicottville.”
“We took a giant step here to make it easier for Canadian members to get here and for Canadians in general to come and visit Ellicottville, because this town thrives on Canadian tourism,” Youmans said.