Soak up the Sun
Summer in Ellicottville rarely disappoints. It is one of the few places in the country where temperature, humidity and sunshine all co-exist to make for some pretty awesome and comfortable weather. There is much to do when summertime rolls around - the sheer number of activities are almost too much for one person to tackle (we’ve got full confidence in you, however.) Do-Op, a newcomer to Ellicottville’s retail scene, is one of the go-to spots for sunglasses and hats. You’re going to need them when you hit up the pools at Holiday Valley!
Even though Do-Op’s existence is still in its infancy, owner Bill Stoll opened the doors to provide town with another retail option for our visitors. Specializing in sunglasses, hats and other sporting goods accessories, Do-Op calls the space between Tip’s Up and Madigan’s home.
The story behind the store’s opening is rather intriguing. Stoll, who currently works in medical research development and has for the past 20-odd years, owns a patent for bio-sensors. “I’ve worked with a lot of different medical technology, but this one - bio-sensors - is something that’s really cool. They monitor your blood oxygen (among other things) using infrared technology. Companies like Google and Apple are leading the charge on this type of bio-tech and incorporating it into their wearable technologies.”
Stoll hopes to use his patent and incorporate this bio-sensor tech into a pair of fashionable, everyday sunglasses. He’s currently working on a prototype, but he’s not rushing anything - he wants to make sure the design and tech is perfect. Until that time comes, Stoll is catering to what the public wants. When the sun is out, you need to protect those eyes!
“We’re just starting to get the bulk of our inventory,” Stoll said. “There are tons of different styles and colors - we want to be able to offer something to everyone. One of our brands is called Dye, which got its start in the paintball world. The stuff is excellent, and so far has been selling very well.”
A big seller in our current market (especially in the winter) are sunglasses (goggles) with what’s called quick change lens tech. It is exactly what it sounds like - giving the consumer the ability to quickly change the lenses in their eyewear if they encounter different, variable conditions. Do-Op carries Switch, which is one such company that offers sunglasses with this tech. But Do-Op isn’t limited to just eyewear. Stoll also brought in the high-end Kask helmet brand out of Italy. Ordering a couple samples allows a customer to check it out and order one if they so choose.
“The idea behind the store was to provide a channel to market the glasses that we hope to make,” said Stoll. “As of right now, the design is pretty well solidified, and the first round of prototypes will be without electronics. When we get closer to production, we’ll start displaying prototypes of the finished Do-Op product.”
If you haven’t stopped into Do-Op yet, make sure you do so the next time you’re in town. Stoll is marketing the store as a sports activity destination - even if you don’t ski or snowboard, you can still come in and use stuff for hiking, biking, golfing, etc. “So far, people have been very receptive to it,” Stoll said. “We started as headgear-specific, but now, we’re taking on more of a ‘gear from the waist up’ so we can appeal to a wider range of people.”
Much more than your average resort, Holiday Valley’s summer offerings range from easy leisure to intense, physical activities. Dad can play 18 holes of golf while mom and the kids hang at the pool (or vice-versa!), then everyone can head up to Sky High Adventure Park for some heart-pounding, aerial thrills.
The pool complex, which was redone just a couple short years ago, provides plenty of seating, food service and offers summertime memberships. With three pools - a toddler pool, a lap pool and the big pool (with a slide and diving board!) - the complex boasts something for everyone in the family. Food service comes courtesy of John Harvard’s at the Tamarack Club, and Holiday Valley’s awesome servers hustle to make sure the kids aren’t hungry.
Adjacent to the pool complex lies the Cabana Bar, where one (of age) can get a drink to cool off. Not only does the Cabana Bar offer shade and drinks, but there are also games - cornhole, ping pong, etc. - to keep you occupied if you don’t want to get in the water.
Don’t forget about the Mudslide Obstacle Trail Run on June 14! You may have heard of those *other* intense races, where you get zapped, have to jump through fire and stay generally miserable. This is not one of those races! With 3.5 and 5.4-mile courses to choose from, the Mudslide is exactly what it sounds like - there are 11 obstacles, you will get muddy, and it is a blast. Multiple package options for this event are available, but register soon! Go to Active.com and search for Holiday Valley Mudslide.
If you’ve never been to Sky High Adventure Park, what are you waiting for? The aerial park, now in its 4th summer, boasts 13 different courses of varying difficulty. Get harnessed, go through a short safety briefing, and you’re ready to channel your inner Tarzan (or Jane!) New for this year comes the Black Widow, a black-diamond course where climbers will have to conquer two rope ladders (one looks like a pirate ladder, the other like a spider web) and exit the course via a thrilling “free fall” descender.
The Mountain Coaster takes you to the top of the hill in a sled, and the way down sees you dip and twirl - all of that, while you control the speed! And relatively new is the 3D Climbing Forest. Designed in Germany, the Climbing Forest takes the hand holds of a rock climbing wall and straps them periodically up a tree. After you’re harnessed, a safety monitor will strap you to a self-belay and off you go!
Whether you are searching for ample sunshine and lots of action or prefer to relax in the shade with a nice cold one, Holiday Valley will keep your summer hot! Click over to www.holidayvalley.com to learn about all the outdoor fun available at the resort.
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