[R178R, Holiday Valley] in Western New York State gets its 2009-10 season under way with excellent snowmaking weather and a new condominium hotel.

The first guests stay in the Tamarack Club condominium-hotel last week, as the resort completed the $40 million, 166,000-square-foot building for this season. The facility is at the entrance to Holiday Valley, and contains 138 condominiums and hotel rooms, a 3,200-square-foot spa, a 138-seat restaurant and bar, conference rooms, an indoor-outdoor, heated, year-round pool, and two outdoor hot tubs. The project increases the bed base of Holiday Valley and the fractional ownership aspect will encourage visitors to the Ellicottville area on a year-round basis, says GM Dennis Eshbaugh. The Tamarack Club will employ up to 170 people.

Holiday Valley has made many other improvements for the upcoming season including a new Mountain Top Warming Hut, snowmaking improvements, a new grooming machine and new swimming pools for summer visitors.

Eshbaugh says Holiday Valley's snowguns have been firing 24 hours a day since early December, when the weather turned crispy, and the area opened with three quads and 10 slopes, and more opening every day since.

He says snowmaking will continue as weather permits until all 56 slopes and 13 lifts are up and running by Christmas vacation, or before.