ELLICOTTVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — Friday was opening day at Holiday Valley where ski and snowboard enthusiasts are lining up for all that downhill excitement. And ski resort employees say it is worth all the long hours to make this magic happen.

It was a busy day on the slopes at Holiday Valley as winter sports fans of all ages headed up the ski lift. For many, it was a long wait for there to be enough snow to shred on.

“It’s refreshing, it’s satisfying it’s everything I was looking for today,” said snowboarder Zach Morrisey. “I got the opening day marked on my calendar. Some years they push it back. This year they got lucky with all the snow. It’s pretty good.”

Holiday Valley’s snow-making team has fired up the snowguns this past week to open nine runs. Dash Hegeman is the director of marketing for Holiday Valley.

“Our snow-making team still is required to do a lot of work out on the resort making snow, so we’ve got really good conditions to open up with and they just knocked it out of the park,” said Hegeman. “The stoke level is just high. People are excited we’re open a day after Thanksgiving, that doesn’t always happen around here.”

Even though Ellicottville did get some rain, that didn’t turn many people away.

“You got the regulars and the people who come in from out of town and even out of the country,” skier Jack Barrett said. So, it’s really cool when you ride a chairlift up with someone you meet all kinds of characters from all around.”

Thirty minutes away, Kissing Bridge decided to postpone its opening day because of the warmer temperature.

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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.