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Skiers find their way to Ellicottville

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Mike Desmond/WBFO
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Hundreds of area skiers and snow boarders had their first runs of the season yesterday, as Holiday Valley opened some of its slopes.

For a segment of the population, this persistently warm weather has been a real downer. Their skis were ready and the racks were on the cars and there wasn't any place to go. There may not be for much of this week, with the forecast for another warmer spell. It's likely to be the weekend before it's cold enough for real snow or the stuff ski areas make. That makes it hard for skiers or stores.

"Business has been a little sluggish," Dekdebruns Snow Sports G-M Kylie Dekdebrun.

"Luckily, everyone is still excited about skiing. People are still coming down to visit Ellicottville. There's a lot of great festivals and things that have occurred. And, there's an optimistic feeling that winter's going to come eventually. It's just a little bit late this year."

Dekdebrun says her workers were allowed to shift their schedules around yesterday so the skiers in the group could head to Holiday and get some runs in.

Holiday Marketing Director Jane Eshbaugh says the green slopes are affecting restaurant and hotel business.
  
"Normally, Christmas week sells out quite early," Eshbaugh said.

"If we don't have enough lifts open, we allow people to change their reservations. So, yeah we do notice that there's a difference. We talk to the village quite a bit. We're all in this together. So, just making the best of it that we can."

Eshbaugh says everyone is looking forward, hoping for cold weather to allow snow or snow-making.