Welcome to our Chautauqua Lake blog. We want to provide you with informed information on Chautauqua Lake and Chautauqua Institution living and real estate. We will regularly post up to date comments and information on the activities and real estate market on and around Lake Chautauqua and Chautauqua County NY.
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The lake effect snow machine is working hard, blanketing Chautauqua County with a carpet of white. The slopes, terrain parks and tubing area are open at Peek'n Peak Resort and Spa in Findley Lake. Some snowmobile club trails have also opened. Rriders should check the trail conditions hotline for the latest status of the trails before heading out. Call 1-800-242-4569, press 2, then 5.
Sleigh Rides at Chautauqua
Take a nostalgic ride on a horse-drawn sleigh through thru the historic grounds of Chautauqua Institution. Truly a "step back in time" as you listen to the soft plod of beautiful draft horses stepping in the snow and their bells ringing. Dress warmly for this approx. 45 minute ride along the lake and thru the Victorian village. Rides are offered Saturdays and Sundays through the end of February and depart every half hour from 1-3 pm. Tickets are available at the Chautauqua Bookstore.
Kellie Pickler, Live in Concert
January 23, 2014
See country music star Kellie Pickler live in concert in Jamestown, NY. The Jamestown Savings Bank Arena will host the Dancing with the Stars Champion and American Idol Star on Thursday, January 23rd at 7:30 pm. Since her appearance on American Idol, Pickler has won three CMT music awards and sold over a million records. Tickets start at $25 and are available at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena or 716-484-2624.
After the Holidays in Lake Erie Wine Country
Bare the Barrels, January 17-19, 2014
Join the wineries in Lake Erie Wine Country while they clear their tanks and barrels to prepare for 2013 releases. Take advantage of the end of season specials and stock up on your favorite wines over three days, January 17-19, 2014.
Doors Open Jamestown
January 18, 2014
Jamestown's Museums invite you to treat yourself, your family and your friends to the 8th Annual Doors Open Jamestown, a free day at your local museums and attractions. History, art, nature and comedy - all are open for you. Local restaurants and retail shops will also be offering discounts. Spend Saturday, January 18, 2014 discovering Jamestown. Doors Open takes place from 10 am to 4:30 pm.
Currier & Ives Sleigh Rally
January 19, 2014
The Chautauqua Institution will host the Chautauqua County Horseman's Association Currier & Ives Sleigh Rally; Sunday, January 19, 2014 from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm. Horsemen bring their historic sleighs for a competition of skills and attire. Spectators come for the splendid sights of horses and sleighs moving along the historic streets lined with beautiful Victorian homes in New York's Snow Belt region. For information, call 716-962-3412.
Some people like resolutions, others hate them. And according to one recent survey, as many as 80% of people who set them fail at them.
But I’ve found that many people – maybe even most people – love a challenge. Getting your home sold is one of those experiences that ranks as a complex business challenge and a series of emotional, logistics and financial challenges all rolled up into one.
If you plan to sell your home in 2014, you might be inventorying your action items or drafting your action plan as we speak. (If not, you should be – here, we’ll give you a kickstart.)
Beyond the basics tasks and actions involved in pricing, preparing, marketing and selling your home, there are a number of umbrella approaches and perspectives you can choose whether or not to take – each of which has the power to make or break your deal and make or break the angst or awe with which you experience the year ahead. If you’re not the resolution-setting type, or you are and you’re open to new approaches, consider challenging yourself to start and finish your home selling process with these next-level resolutions:
1. Resolve to do your own due diligence – cutting no corners. Here’s the thing no one tells you about selling your home: it’s exhausting. You have to:
spend hours interviewing agents
review all the neighborhood sales and try to figure out where your home fits among them
nitpick everything that’s wrong about your home
figure out what you can afford to fix and what makes sense not to
source contractors or gear up to DIY
have a bunch of little projects – and maybe a few big ones done
deal with staging and decor projects
then clean your home to within an inch of its life every single day, in some markets, sometimes for weeks or months on end.
And that’s all before you get offers.
Knowing that other sellers find this list daunting, too, helps. You are definitely not alone. But the sheer scale of this list causes some sellers to take shortcuts at some or all points along the path. They don’t meet with more than one agent, or they don’t check references, and end up with an agent they less than love. They don’t pay attention to the detailed questions the disclosure forms ask them and end up omitting some crucial detail that comes back to bite them later, in the form of a lawsuit. They fail to tidy up before showings and buyers report back that the place smelled funny or was so cluttered during the viewings that they were too distracted to seriously “try on” the home in their mind’s eye.
Make it your resolution not to be that shortcut-taking seller. Decide up front that if you’re going to do this, you’re going to do it right and pass your home onto the next buyers with pride. That might seem silly, but I can assure you that the sellers I’ve known who took exactly that stance almost always received the reward of a fast sale at top dollar. Buyers can sense the pride you take in your home and your disclosures. It’s a good look.
2. Resolve to keep your eye on the prize – and the priorities. What is your mission for moving? What is the vision you’re trying to create? When you decided you wanted to sell, you were in some state that motivated you to make a change – your home had grown too small, too large, too costly, too old, too new, too fancy or not luxurious enough for your life, or because the location no longer worked for you. But that’s only one side of the vision equation. On the other end, there’s an ‘after’ picture: some state you want to be in. Maybe it’s another neighborhood or a new-and-improved set of amenities or a totally different look of a home. Maybe it’s a totally different school district, city or state, or a chic condo when your last home was a sprawling ranch house.
Whatever it is, get very clear on the ‘before’ and ‘after’ of your vision for this life change you’re trying to create by selling your home, and resolve to stay that way until escrow has closed. Focusing on your vision will force you to focus on your priorities. In turn, that will help you resist the urge to overprice your home, underprepare it or bicker with the buyer over silly small issues and amounts. It becomes much easier to let things that would normally irritate you roll right off your back when you realize that doing so will serve your own personal priorities of getting your home sold quickly for a great price, so that you can move on to the next exciting stage of your life.
3. Resolve to think things through from the other side of the table. By definition, a first-time buyer has never been in the seller’s shoes. But as the seller, chances are good that you have been in the buyer’s position before. It is to your strong advantage to hearken back to those days when you were desperately seeking a home of your own. That perspective shift is the closest you’ll be able to get to momentarily detaching emotionally; you can walk through your home, view it’s marketing and even think about how it is priced from the perspective of the very buyers you want to attract.
Remind yourself of how you felt when it seemed like you’d never wade through all the mortgage paperwork, when you felt like the lender wanted to know your mother’s shoe size, when you were frustrated with what you saw on the market in your price range or when you couldn’t access the information or get into the property you wanted to, at a time that was convenient for you. Don’t let your home be the listing that causes these frustrations for your target buyers. Instead, from the time you start looking at comps to price your home to the time you start reviewing offers and buyer’s requests for repairs, try to think things through from your perspective and then to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.
Even if you don’t slash the price or give them everything they ask for, chances are good that you’ll end up creating more win-win situations if you take the other side’s wants and needs into account.
4. Resolve to keep your head out of the sand. The truth hurts, the saying goes. I think that’s misleading, in the context of selling your home and in life. You see, sometimes the truth does hurt, the way a shot of penicillin or getting a tooth filled hurts. But even when it does hurt a bit, the truth never harms you. On the contrary, avoiding the truth about what your home is worth or the truth of buyers’ and agents’ feedback about it is akin to avoiding a shot if you need it, or avoiding the dentist if you have a cavity. It causes something much worse than hurt: real harm.
Confronting the truth that the comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for lower than you’d hoped to get might hurt, but once the sting is gone that knowledge empowers you to make an appropriate pricing decision, stage your home to the nines or even decide to stay put for awhile longer.
Facing the truth that your home needs a lot of repairs and upgrades compared to the nearby Open Houses you’ve toured might hurt. But after the hurt, you’re in the power position, with the knowledge about either what to do to your home or to its price to get the leg up on the competition.
Acknowledging the truth that you have borrowed so much against your home that you won’t be netting as much cash on the sale as you’d hoped to definitely hurts. But after the pain passes, you have the power to make wise decisions about how much to put down on your next home and to avoid overleveraging it the next time around.
In all of these cases, avoiding the truth poses the potential for real harm: the harm that you’ll overprice your home, underinvest in its preparation for the market or commit the same financial errors with your next home. Make it your resolution to keep your eyes wide open, head above the sand and boldly face the truth throughout the course of your home’s sale, no matter what might happen.
ALL: What are your real estate-related New Year’s Resolutions?
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Trulia's In-House Demystifyer of All Things Real Estate
By SEAN McCRACKEN, Erie Times-News email@example.com
FINDLEY LAKE, N.Y. -- Nick Scott Sr. knows that snow is one of the most important ingredients for a successful season at Peek'n Peak Resort and Spa.
So with plenty on the ground for the opening of the skiing and snowboarding season on Friday, he's hopeful the winter of 2013-14 could be the best since Erie-based Scott Enterprises bought the resort out of bankruptcy in 2011.
"This is a sigh of relief," said Scott, the company's president. "It's great to be able to get a jump-start."
Early forecasts project this upcoming winter as a consistently snowy one. If that holds true, it would be in stark contrast to the winter of 2011-12, which was so mild that the company was forced to shut the slopes down early, and the winter of 2012-13, when heavy snows didn't start until the end of December.
Additional snowfall doesn't just keep the slopes open, Scott said. It also has the benefit of getting more people thinking about skiing and buying season passes.
"We looked at the 20-year averages (of snowfall) before buying the resort," Scott said. "And each of the last two years has been below average. We'll do well with an average year, and we expect more than that."
Even with help from the weather, Scott said the resort was making snow Friday in hopes of laying a solid base to last the season.
Eleven of the resort's slopes were open Friday. Scott said he expected all 27 to be ready in the next couple of weeks.
Scott said this season should also be boosted by several improvements at the resort, including new features at the snowboard park, new furnishings at the ski lodge and a new computerized system that keeps track of returning customers' sizes for equipment rentals.
Time off for the Thanksgiving holiday and seemingly perfect skiing weather -- 24 degrees and sunny -- inspired hundreds to come out Friday, and Scott said he expected thousands more today and Sunday.
Brett Christy, of Fredonia, N.Y., and his family were among those drawn to the resort Friday. He said his family normally comes to Peek'n Peak more than a dozen times in a given year, but this is the first year they bought season passes. He said he is impressed with the changes made since 2011.
"Things seem more well-organized than a couple years ago," Christy said.
Christy said his family doesn't make it a point to come out on the first day each year, but the conditions seemed just right Friday.
Self-described avid skier John Reed was also among those drawn to the slopes Friday by the snow. While waiting in the ski lodge with his 3-year-old daughter, Gabby, Reed said he makes a point of driving from his home in Cleveland to the resort at least a couple of times each year.
"It's the best skiing that is this close," Reed said.
SEAN McCRACKEN can be reached at 870-1714 or by e-mail. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNmccracken.
ELLICOTTVILLE, N.Y. – Holiday Valley, the popular western New York ski resort, will open Friday, with at least 11 trails open and six lifts operating.
Recent cold temperatures that have allowed for nonstop snowmaking, combined with 6 inches of natural snow since Saturday, have given the resort's slopes a snow depth of up to 10 to 25 inches, according to the resort.
Friday's hours will be 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Reduced lift ticket prices, available all weekend, are $53 for ages 12 and up, and $42 for ages 7-11 (6 and under ski free).
The resort is also offering a "2 Ski Free" promotion at the Inn at Holiday Valley, where each night booked includes two lift tickets (though Dec. 24). For more information: holidayvalley.com.
10 Reasons to Visit Chautauqua County and Western New York This Winter
Chautauqua, NY (PRWEB) November 12, 2013
Chautauqua County in western New York sits directly in the path of lake effect snow storms that gather strength over Lake Erie and drop more than 200 inches of snow annually. More often than not, the holidays are welcomed with a carpet of white and the winter season becomes a frozen crystal wonderland. This pocket of precipitation is precisely why winter is a perfect time to plan a visit.
With annual snowfall that rivals Colorado ski towns, western New York offers plenty of opportunity for downhill snow sports. Near Findley Lake, the Peek’n Peak Resort and Spa provides an excellent backdrop for true beginners all the way to expert level skiers and snowboarders with 27 slopes, eight chairlifts, three progression terrain parks and a half pipe. There is a tubing area and trails for cross country skiing. The instructors at Peek’n Peak’s Snow Sports School are professionally trained and the lodges, dining rooms, pool and spa are welcome amenities after a day on the slopes.
Chautauqua's numerous trails and open spaces provide access for cross country skiing and snow shoeing. Long Point State Park, Lake Erie State Park, Chautauqua Institution, and the Jamestown Audubon Center offer picturesque landscapes, trails, and potential for wildlife viewing. A local retailer, Evergreen Outfitters, schedules regular guided snowshoe hikes, including one during the full moon.
More than 400 miles of trails groomed by five local snowmobile clubs provide an ideal setting for sledding over old railroad beds, former trolley lines, open farm fields, heavily wooded areas, and seasonal roads. Trails officially open a week or so before Christmas, weather permitting. New York requires that all sleds be registered and advanced preparation is recommended. Information on how to register and where to find trail conditions is available at http://www.tourchautauqua.com/snowmobiling.aspx.
Winter is a great time to visit the wineries in Lake Erie Wine Country. Tasting rooms are less crowded than during the peak summer and fall tourist seasons, the experience is more educational and intimate, and many new vintages are released. Also winter and Ice Wine, a specialty wine unique to the northern climate, naturally go together. During the annual Wine and Chocolate Weekend, February 14-16, 2014, each of the participating wineries will pair a luscious chocolate creation with a wine accompaniment.
Brewery tours are popular at Southern Tier Brewing Company throughout the year. The Empty Pint Brewery Pub offers a selection of 14 draught beers, including some guest taps, Thursday through Saturday, evenings, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Hickory smoked pulled pork, meatloaf, and cheese sandwiches, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are also on the menu. Guided tours of the brewery are offered on Saturdays at 12:15, 1:00, 1:45, 2:30, 3:15 and 4 pm. The 45-minute tours are available on a first come basis and often sell out by mid-afternoon. Visitors should prepare for touring a working production facility that may be hot, cold, wet and noisy.
The annual Currier & Ives Sleigh Rally takes place at Chautauqua Institution, Sunday, January 19, 2014. While the rally participants are horsemen and their sleighs, spectators can watch the Victorian style sleighs and costumed drivers as they parade through the historic grounds with sleigh bells jingling at approximately 12 noon.
Sleigh rides are offered on Saturdays and Sundays throughout January and February through the historic grounds of Chautauqua Institution. Rides run every half hour from 1 pm to 3 pm and tickets are available at the Chautauqua Bookstore on Bestor Plaza. This is a lot of fun for couples or as an outing for the whole family.
President’s Day Weekend brings with it the annual Winter Festival in Mayville, February 14-16, 2014 featuring events, activities, and contests for all ages including fireworks, a flare parade, bonfire and horse drawn wagon rides. If the weather cooperates, visitors might see ice and snow sculptures, or even a castle made from blocks of ice harvested in the traditional way from Chautauqua Lake.
Holiday memories await at the Fenton History Center in Jamestown. Held November 29, 2013 to January 18, 2014, the Center’s annual holiday exhibit, “Signs of the Season”, fills four floors of the elegant 1863 Fenton Mansion and includes a dozen decorated Christmas trees. Visitors will learn about Jamestown's holiday traditions while listening to old time Christmas carols. New for 2013, costumed museum guides will offer candlelight tours of the mansion on Saturday evenings from 7-8 pm.
Bed and breakfasts, vacation homes, resorts and inns are available for lodging during the winter months, providing getaway time by the hearth, with some hot chocolate, a bottle of local wine or some Southern Tier beer.
For more ideas on visiting Chautauqua County any time of year, visit http://www.tourchautauqua.com or call 1-866-908-4569.
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/11/prweb11304771.htm
For a full list of events in Chautauqua County throughout the year, see the online calendar.
Harvest Wine Weekends
November 1-3 and 8-10, 2013
Celebrate the end of the grape harvest in America's Grape Country with Lake Erie Wine Country's annual Harvest Wine Weekends. There are still tickets available for the second weekend of the event, November 8-10. Guests will savor delicious foods paired with select wines at each of 24 wineries. While there, be sure to stop at the new Grape Discovery Center in Westfield, and plan to return February 14-16, 2014 and bring your Valentine for the luscious Wine & Chocolate Weekend.
Continuing Colors of Chautauqua
A seasonal learning festival
The season long Colors of Chautauqua Learning Festival continues through November with scrapbooking and mosaic workshops along with a history of Lake Erie Shipwrecks, poetry and culinary classes, an Amish tour and an introduction to Bridge. For more information and a schedule, visit www.tourchautauqua.com/chqcolors/index.aspx.
Annual Exhibit and Candlelight tours
For 34 years, the Annual Holiday Exhibit at the Fenton History Center in Jamestown has been a favorite local tradition. Stop by between November 29, 2013 and January 18, 2014 and enter into American holiday traditions of past and present in the grand 1863 mansion of New York State Governor Reuben E. Fenton (1865-1868). The elegant Mansion will celebrate "Signs of the Season: Why we celebrate the holidays like we do" along with fresh greenery, holiday decorations, and an upside down Christmas tree. New for 2013, costumed guides will give candlelight tours of the mansion and exhibit on Saturdays from 7-8 pm.
A Holiday Parade
December 6, 2013
The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation announces the 2013 Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration theme: "Jamestown's Snowball Express," connecting the story of The Polar Express with Jamestown's refurbished Gateway Train Station and traditional downtown holiday imagery. The 2013 parade will be held on Friday, December 6, 2013, in downtown Jamestown. Additional holiday activities and events in the Jamestown area, on December 6 and throughout the holiday season, can be found on the events calendar at www.jamestownupclose.com.
A Spectacular Skating and Gymnastics Event
December 14, 2013
The Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular returns to the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena on December 14th. Sold-out in 2012, the show features Olympic, world, and national champions from two of the most popular Olympic sports: figure skating and gymnastics. Olympic figure skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi, three-time US figure skating champion Michael Weiss, and Olympic gymnastics champions Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner will host the event.
ELLICOTTVILLE – Once again, Ellicottville is preparing for another year of the annual Fall Fest tradition.
This year’s event, encompassing the same area as in years past, acts as a bit of a preview of the coming ski season, as friends from Canada as well as those from various parts of the United States start to converge on this little village in the middle of Cattaraugus County.
With about 250 vendors, ranging from food and crafts to items for the ski slopes, the streets of Ellicottville will be packed throughout the weekend. Festivities will begin Friday.
The Sky High Adventure Park at the Tannenbaum Lodge at Holiday Valley will open at 9 a.m. Friday.
At 11 a.m., the mountain coaster will start runs for those brave enough to cruise the mountainside. Both parks will close at 6 p.m.
From noon until 7 p.m., the Mountain Shop Tent Sale will be going on, offering those items for the slopes, at the Resort Service Plaza Deck. At 4 p.m., the Ski Swap Sale and Check In will be going on until 8 p.m. at the Creekside Lodge.
The food court will kick off the festival for a 6 p.m. opening, serving early birds on Jefferson Street until 10 p.m.
Saturday, the Jefferson Street food court will open at 10 a.m. On Washington Street, visitors will be able to browse artists’ work, take a look at some crafts and look through T shirts. All items will be available for sale. The Visitor Center and Monroe Street will be alive with a curb sale. At 11 a.m., Washington Square will open its children’s rides.
On the hill at Holiday Valley, from 9 a.m. until noon, at Creekside, Ski Swap check in continues. The aerial park at Sky High will also open at that time. From 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., the Junior Ski Team and snowboard swap will take place at Creekside Lodge.
While that is happening, the Mountain Shop/High Performance swap will take place at the Resort Services Plaza Deck.
After an 8 a.m. registration, a 5K race is expected to begin at 10 a.m. at the Main Lodge. At noon, lift rides on the Mardi Gras Xpress, with a $2 charge, will take riders to a mountaintop cookout until 4 p.m.
During that period, “The Tommy Z Band” will perform at the top of Mardi Gras. Down below, at 3:30, “Strangers” will play at the Cabana Bar until 7:30.
Sunday’s schedule is the same as Saturday’s, except for the third annual Ellicottville Star competition, sponsored by Ed Shults Auto Group. The competition will take place at the Village Gazebo. The competition, patterned on the hit television show of a similar name, will go from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
At Holiday Valley, the day looks about the same with the replacement of a mountain bike race starting from the Mountain Sports Center at 10 a.m. The lift will take visitors to the top of Mardi Gras once again, but this time, “10 Delaware” will perform on top of the mountain and “Bleeding Hearts” will be at the Cabana Bar.
On Monday, the Columbus Day holiday, events will start to wind down as businesses start to switch to full winter season. There will be chair lift rides for $5 on the Spruce Lake lift.
During the entire weekend a $3 shuttle service will take people from the village to the Inn at Holiday Valley and Resort Services.
The shuttle will run from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
A taxi service is also available at 375-TAXI.