‘Travitude’ is a mood

Isn’t it finally time to get away? Your local oasis awaits!

We can all agree that it has been a tough year! We have been distanced from our loved ones, our routine lives, and we have lost opportunities to travel to our favorite vacation spots.

Have you ever heard of the term Travitude? No, well we have…, and we’d love to share what it means with you…

Travitude is ‘when you get grumpy and sassy due to of a lack of traveling’. (Don’t check that with Mr. Webster, he may not agree with us). This year, we feel pretty confident that many are suffering from a little bit of Travitude, if you will (insert wink here)!  So, if you are “chomping at the bit” to get out and about and make some travel plans, be sure to add the sweet hometown of Ellicottville, NY to your destination calendar! And, book your home away from home today!

  • Do you love hiking, biking, and all things outdoors? ✔️
  • Are you hoping for a much-needed get-away for you and your significant other? ✔️
  • Are you looking to decompress, window shop, and unplug from the everyday? ✔️
  • Are you hoping to create the most amazing memories that will make you want to come back year after year? ✔️💯

If yes, then read on, friends!

Elkdale Country Club

Nestled in the rolling hills of New York’s Southern Tier, Elkdale Country Club offers a challenging 18-hole golf course, beautiful scenery and complete restaurant and lounge facility. The front nine at Elkdale was built in 1927 and is cut through varied terrain and mature trees. The back nine was added in mid-1960’s and is a bit longer with larger greens. The 6132-yard par 70 layout is designed to provide an interesting challenge for players of all skill levels. Our modern tee-to-green watering system insures maximum playability through-out the season. The course includes a challenging 555-yard par 5 followed by a 215-yard par 3. The course men’s rating is 70.2 and the slope rating is 122.[1]

Holiday Valley

Fill your days at the Sky High Adventure Park: 13 courses (largest in NYS and 3rd largest in US), 142 platforms, 170 elements, 43 ziplines, tallest platform is 68 feet & the longest zip line is 350 feet![2] If that doesn’t get your heart racing, I’m not sure what will! If that seems a little too extreme, check out the biking options and journey on one of the several trails via mountain bike or rent an e-bike for the afternoon! Finish your day with a challenging game of golf. The course is a pleasing blend of a mountain and flat terrain.

Rock City Park

A piece of history and a local hidden gem, Rock City Park is the perfect opportunity to take the family for a day of hiking through giant rock formations and trails that descend into crevices. There are spectacular views of the area to enjoy, and events planned all throughout the summer!

Griffis Sculpture Park

450 acres located eight miles outside of Ellicottville, Griffis Sculpture Park is not only a tremendous regional attraction, but holds the distinction of being one of America’s largest and oldest sculpture parks. The park features over 250 large scale sculptures dispersed through miles of hiking trails. Each sculpture was placed with the natural setting in mind, creating a truly unique experience between art and nature.[3]

Holimont

Now if you have heard anything about Holimont, you might think if there is no snow, there is nothing happening there. Let’s talk about biking and trails in this gorgeous area! Access to a fun and flowy, 1 mile trail from the top of our Greer slope to the main chalet area. Recently added is a trail that connects the top of Sunset to the top of Greer. This trail can be found by climbing up the HoliMont multi-purpose trail or from the 30+ miles of single track in the McCarthy Forest. HoliMont has direct access to some of the best trails in Western New York. Whether you like to hike or bike, the single-track trails in McCarthy State Forest has something for everyone. There are over 40 miles of IMBA Epic trails to ride in EVL and surrounding area.


After exploring the area, you are going to be ready to pamper yourself with a fun night out. Vacation calories do not count, right? So, while you are here, make sure you visit one of the 23 eateries or pubs in town. Just to mention a few favorites:

  1. Dina’s Restaurant, rated #1 by TripAdvisor and a fan favorite in I LOVE NY’s Restaurant Challenge. For a more refined palate, check out their extensive wine list and pair it to their filet mignon or their lobster ravioli.
  2. Ellicottville Brewing Company, ranked one of the best bars and brew pubs in NY State. They also serve a mean menu; tasty dishes range from ‘loaded brewer tots’ to Persia Salmon and NY Strip Steak.
  3. The Gin Mill, a house favorite of Bills running back #34, Thurman Thomas. He and his wife say they have, “the best fries around”[4].
  4. Katy’s Café, lighter fare and a morning option for early risers. Come enjoy the local artwork while sipping on a made to order espresso, grab a breakfast bagel or sit and enjoy some homemade French toast. If you get a hankering for something sweet after perusing the town all day, head back here for ice cream or a milkshake.
  5. Villagios, another favorite of Thurman Thomas, Bills running back #34!  Fine, Italian cuisine working with local growers, farmers, and businesses. Winner of 2016’s Taste of Buffalo: Pat Sardina Memorial Award for Best Comfort Food — Meatball.

Enjoy your adventure, you deserve it!


[1] Elkdale Country Club | Salamanca, NY – The Course (elkdalecc.com)

[2] Holiday Valley: New York Canopy Ziplines Aerial Adventure Park

[3] Griffis Sculpture Park » Griffis Sculpture Park (griffispark.org)

[4] Bills Legend Thurman Thomas’s Guide to Buffalo and Greater Niagara (iloveny.com)

ERA Team VP and DFT sponsor OFN Run/Walk/Swim

ERA Team VP and DFT sponsor OFN Run/Walk/Swim

The Old First Night Run/Walk/Swim is a timeless tradition that has recently been given an upgrade.

This year was the first time advance registration for the race was made available online. And in an embrace of the many ways social media can connect Chautauquans — regardless of where one is physically located on Aug. 3 — there will be a new dimension to the Run/Walk/Swim: an Around the World Race.

Those who register for the Around the World Race will be able to participate in the race remotely and share their experience, photos and videos on Chautauqua Institution’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.

It is DFT Communications, Partners in Technology which has generously sponsored the Around the World Race, expanding the OFN tradition to the virtual world.

Ellen Ditonto, director of sales and business development at DFT Communications, said the company “is thrilled to be a sponsor for the first ‘virtual’ Old First Night race on Aug. 3.”

“What better way for us to showcase our technology solutions company to the Chautauqua Institution community than to help bring together runners from all over the world who want to be part of the Old First Night tradition?” Ditonto said. “We know that Chautauquans can be found worldwide, and with technology, barriers like time and distance can be dissolved so that the community can experience greater camaraderie. We felt it was a perfect match for DFT Communications to expand our partnership with Chautauqua.”

Of course, in keeping with an already well-established partnership with the Institution, ERA Team VP, formerly Vacation Properties Group, will continue to sponsor the traditional OFN race taking place on the grounds.

Bill Soffel, owner and broker of ERA Team VP, is excited for the company to continue its commitment to Chautauqua.

“While our company has grown throughout Chautauqua County and beyond, we started in Chautauqua,” Soffel said, “and supporting the Institution is still a major and important part of our business. We continue to be very involved with real estate sales, vacation rentals and property management on the grounds. We think it’s important to give back to Chautauqua and to support everything that the Institution stands for.”

The OFN Run/Walk/Swim is a tradition ERA Team VP would like to continue to support.

“We’ve enjoyed a nice partnership with Chautauqua over the years, and we look forward to continuing our great relationship into the future,” Soffel said.

ERA Team VP Real Estate Agent Awards

ERA Team VP Real Estate of western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania recently presented awards for 2012 production at their annual Agent Awards Luncheon held in Ellicottville, New York.  Sales associates were recognized from all office locations, which include Chautauqua, Lakewood, Bemus Point, Fredonia, Ellicottville and Cuba in New York and Warren and Bradford in Pennsylvania.

Sales Associates received awards for their 2012 sales production and total number of closed transactions in comparison to their ERA Team VP Real Estate colleagues.  The following sales associates were recognized for their achievements.

Karen Goodell was #1 in sales production and tied for #3 in closed transactions in the Chautauqua Office, while she ranked #2 in sales production for the entire firm, which includes all office locations.  Jane Grice was #2 in both sales production and closed transactions for the Chautauqua Office, while she ranked #3 in sales production and #4 in closed transactions for the entire firm.  Dale Sandberg was #1 in closed transactions and #3 in sales production in the Chautauqua Office, while he ranked #2 in closed transactions and #5 in sales production for the entire firm.  Wayne Weaver tied for #3 in closed transactions for the Chautauqua Office.

Stacy Stalter was #1 in both sales production and closed transactions for the Fredonia Office.  William and Judy Anderson were #2 in sales production and #3 in closed transactions for the Fredonia Office.  Heidi Seddon was #3 in sales production and #2 in closed transactions for the Fredonia Office.

Cathy Pritchard was #1 in sales production and #3 in closed transactions in the Ellicottville Office, while she ranked #1 in sales production and #5 in closed transactions for the entire firm, which includes all office locations.  Tina Dillon was #1 in closed transactions and #2 in sales production in the Ellicottville Office, while she ranked #1 in closed transactions and #4 in sales production for the entire firm.  Ciji Riley was #2 in closed transactions in the Ellicottville Office, while she ranked #3 in closed transactions for the entire firm.  Melanie Pritchard was #3 in sales production in the Ellicottville Office.

Paul Conklin was #1 in both sales production and closed transactions for the Cuba Office.  Linda Simons was #2 in sales production and #3 in closed transactions for the Cuba Office.  Bill Shuler was #3 in sales production and #2 in closed transactions for the Cuba Office.

Joe Whipp was #1 in both sales production and closed transactions for the Warren, Pennsylvania Office.  Stephanie Mathyer was #2 in sales production for the Warren Office.  John McGarry was #3 in sales production and #2 in closed transactions for the Warren Office.  Lori Nuhfer was #3 in closed transactions for the Warren Office.

Jim Anderson was #1 in both sales production and closed transactions for the Bradford Office.  Tammy Bizzak was #2 in sales production for the Bradford Office.  Fred Pysher was #3 in sales production and #2 in closed transactions for the Bradford Office.  Mark Goebl was #3 in closed transactions for the Bradford Office.

The ERA Team VP Real Estate Rookie of the Year Award was received by Debbie Rowe, the highest producing agent new to ERA Team VP Real Estate in 2012.  Dale Sandberg and Ciji Riley were also recognized as the ERA Team VP Most Improved Agents for 2012.  Dale’s 2012 sales production was a 127% increase over his 2011 sales production.  Ciji’s 2012 sales production was a 292% increase over her 2011 sales production.

“Through their dedication, these professionals lead our local real estate market by providing each client the most comprehensive products and services,” remarked Bill Soffel, Broker/CEO of ERA Team VP Real Estate. “Our top producers truly embody the ERA core values of innovation, collaboration and superior service and exemplify ERA Team VP’s commitment to hard work and customer satisfaction.”

Since joining ERA in 2004, ERA Team VP has seen significant growth, both as a result of the agents’ use of ERA systems and tools, and through a series of mergers/acquisitions.

For more information about ERA Team VP Real Estate and the real estate market in the Southern Tier of Western New York visit www.erateamvp.com or call one of the main Western New York office locations: (716) 789-2600 Chautauqua; (716) 672-7990 Fredonia; (716) 699-4800 Ellicottville; (585) 968-2113 Cuba.

Enchanting Retreats Fit for a Royal Couple (in Chautauqua & Ellicottville)

In honor of the Royal Wedding (occurring in just 1 week) all of us at Team VP – Vacation Properties have compiled a list of great get-a-way ideas fit for Royalty!  Are you within driving distance of Chautauqua Lake, New York or Ellicottville, New York?  If you are looking for a nice weekend retreat, a week long get-a-way or a month long vacation, we are very easy to find!

Ellicottville, NY: 1 hour South of Buffalo, NY; 3.5 hours from Pittsburgh, PA; 3 hours from Cleveland, OH; 2.5 hours from Toronto, Canada
Chautauqua Lake, NY: 1.5 hours South of Buffalo, NY; 2.5-3 hours from Pittsburgh, PA; 3 hours from Cleveland, OH; 3 hours from Toronto, Canada

85 Stoessel, Chautauqua Institution – 4 BR + loft, 4.5 BA – sleeps 10

2932 sq. ft. home at the North end of Chautauqua Institution – This home offers an open floor plan with lots of living space in 3 levels. Full kitchen, large dining area open to living area with gas fireplace all on main level. Nice porches, central A/C , washer/dryer & 3 parking spaces. **Rents SAT-SAT** Click here for more info, or to book online!

Willowtree Point #9 – 3 BR, 2 BA – sleeps 8

Located just 1 mile from the Chautauqua Institution, on Route 394. RENTS YEAR ROUND! Terrific ground floor lakefront condo with 3 bedrooms/2 baths, central a/c, washer/dryer, deck/patio with a gas grill, cable tv/vcr/dvd (with movies!) Sleeps 8 max BD#1-King with bath, BD#2-2 twins, BD#3-2 TW bunks. HEATED swimming pool at the complex. No dock space included. Arrangements for boat dockage can be made next doorfor an additional fee. facebook is down **Rents SAT-SAT** Click here for more info, or to book online!

Ellicottville Escape – 4 BR, 2 BA – sleeps 10

Enrich yourself while nestled in the charming setting of the Ellicottville Escape. Whether it’s healing your inner spirit or challenging your outer soul, this place is it!! Discover the enchanting care free charm of a special place where stress and worry have no lodging. This once upon a time barn, has been cleverly converted to a luscious rustic escape with all the cozy modern amenities to quench anyone’s comfort needs. Encircling this escape, are the breathtaking views of nature’s spectacular frontier. Whether it’s the summer fragrances …or the intense vivid fall foliage …or maybe the inner warmth that you feel, snuggled next to a glowing fire… Your visit here is definitely time will spent. Click here for more info, or to book online!