Saturday, July 22, 2017

Trails Closed Sunday too. Get ready for Grand Opening Weekend!

I just walked the trails and there are still too many places where it's too soft to ride.  These brand new trails are just taking a little too long to dry up right now. We are are going to stay closed Sunday and get ready for next weekend. Before making this decision I consulted with Trail Source our trail builders and talked to Adam project manager.  He walked the trails too and recommended staying off the trails for the weekend based up the amount rain we received.  They also stressed that these trails are in their most fragile state right now.  A year from now, things should dry up faster.  These are brand new trails...and....we received 4+ inches of rain Wednesday night and another downpour just yesterday.  Even though some of you maybe be disappointing, we will error on the side of caution and protect the trails.  We will spend next week repairing certain spots on the trails from this week's heavy rain and storms and get things in great shape for next weekend.  Remember, next weekend (July 28-30) we are open on Friday too from 3-7pm.

Trail Construction Update:  Even though we are closed this weekend, the good news is that trail construction is still happening at Welch Village this weekend! Trail Source is working all weekend on the next intermediate trail.  They are making great progress and hopefully with good weather next week, that trail could be ready for next weekend.  There are a couple photos below taken during construction of this next gravity flow trail.  It looks incredible! Please note, these pictures were taken just before all the rain on Wednesday.







Friday, July 14, 2017

Important Info for MTB Opening Weekend

Welch Village becomes a chairlift-served mountain bike park tomorrow and a new era begins.  If you are planning on being one of the first to try our new MTB Park out this weekend or in the weeks following we have a few things we would like to tell you.

  • First and foremost, this is the first time we have done this.  Therefore, we are going to try several new things this first year.  For example, this weekend we will offer a basic food menu. Don't be surprised if we change things quite often.  We are just getting to know the MTB crowd.
  • Please read the MTB rules,safety information, and orientation guide on our website before visiting. 
  • We only have 2 trails open right now.  Please know that the trails may be busy at times.  Hoping to have a third in about 2 weeks.  A fourth a few weeks after that. 
  • Please read the signs around the trails and park.  Caution and Slow signs are there for your safety. 
  • This is just year one.  We have a lot more planned in the future for the Welch MTB Park.  This is just the beginning.  
  • Lastly...Have a blast!  
We are ready for you....see you tomorrow.  






Wednesday, July 5, 2017

MTB Park Family Test and Chairlift testing

I took by wife and 3 daughters on our green downhill trail "Joy Ride" on the 4th of July.  I was hoping to do this a couple weeks ago but the trail was too soft and not enough of the trail was completed in order to provide a good experience for them.  I learned a lot from this little family outing.  Bottom line is this, our new MTB Park comes with a new sense of reality.   This is really important to understand and we at Welch Village want to be completely honest and transparent.

A green downhill MTB trail is not a "beginner" MTB trail.  A green downhill MTB trail is not the mountain bike version of a ski area's bunny hill.  My two youngest daughters (age 7 and almost 9) were able to ride about the first 1/3 of the trail.  That part of the trail is mostly flat with several rollers, decent, and berms throughout. They loved the sections they were able to ride.  My 10 year old and my wife were able to ride the entire Joy Ride trail but had to walk their bikes in a couple of sections where the berms/corners were a little too steep and tight for their current ability and comfort level.

Now...my family just started mountain biking last summer so they are still considered beginners. They can all ride Lebanon's green loop and my wife has ridden the blue loop as well as Memorial in Red Wing and Carver in Woodbury.  All three of the girls are ski racers so hills and speed doesn't bother them too much.  However, this family testing session validated the fact to me that in order to ride our MTB trails this summer, some cross-country MTB experience is highly recommended/required.

We are adding more and more information to our website in order to explain this to our guests including adding some rules, age minimums, proper MTB bike requirements etc.  We will offer some limited lesson sessions this year and whole lot more next summer.  We are also starting work on a small beginner skills park right in front of our main chalet.  In the future, we will continue to add progressive type skills parks and trails for ALL ability levels so a lot more novice MTB amenities are on the way next year and beyond. This is just the first year of MTB operations at Welch Village so all of the beginners out there will have to be patient for a little while.  Thank you for your understanding.

Also, a couple of us were able to ride the chairlift (our bikes too) today as we have started chairlift testing.  We have two trails done now from top-to-bottom and work on the third trail will begin Monday of next week.  Work on the Black trail will begin soon after.

Stay tuned...a lot more MTB information will be coming your way as we approach opening day (TBD still).















Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 21 construction update & MTB instruction

When it's not raining, Trail Source is making great progress on the trails.  "Air Bear" our Blue/Black jump trail is nearly complete. "Joy Ride" with its huge berms, rollers, and roll-able table tops is looking spectacular.  If the weather cooperates, we are still hoping for a mid-July opener.  If we get more thunderstorms and rain....we'll see.  Our lift operations crew has completed the building of the entire upper chairlift platform and have even moved the platform in two giant pieces to the top of Lookout.  Early next week, after the Spartan Race people leave, we plan to start building a small skills area in front of the main chalet.  Finally, today I was able to show our first MTB instructor Griff the trail progress and possible teaching areas.  With the help of people like Griff, we are planning to offer a limited amount of MTB lessons this summer and fall.  Next year, we plan to offer even more lessons.  Our goal is offer a diverse menu of lessons for all ability levels similar to what we offer with ski/snowboard lessons in the winter.  Stay tuned for more updates coming very soon on lessons and MTB park construction efforts.




Monday, June 12, 2017

Chairlift bike carriers arrive | MTB trip up north

Today our brand new Deason Built MTB carriers arrived and they are pictured below.  Click Here to see a youtube video of what these look like while in use.  Our setup will be slightly different but very similar to what you see here.  Also, Tony or Financial Controller and Nate our Mountain Ops. Manager accompanied me this past weekend on a quick 2-day trip where we rode both Spirit Mountain and Detroit Mountain Recreation Area.  If was really fun to ride with these guys and see the other chair-lift served MTB parks in the state.  Both of these operations do a fantastic job and I highly recommend visiting both of them at some point.  We can't wait to become part of the MN downhill bike park family very soon....









Wednesday, June 7, 2017

More Blue Trail Work; Planning the Black trail

Thanks to the great weather lately, work is progressing well on Air Bear the blue/blue+ jump trail. More berms and more jumps have been sculpted in the dirt and they get bigger as you progress down the trail!  The overall landscape in and around this trail is just beautiful inside the canopy of trees and big ferns.  We are blessed to be able to offer our guests another way to use this property  This trail should be nearly complete within a week or so.  Next week, work should continue on Joy Ride the green trail.  This morning we walked the flag line for our first black level trail.  For those of you familiar with Welch Village, this trail will start at the very top of our property and come downhill first through the woods on skier's left of Long Way Home and then at some point travel through the woods on below the #1 quad chair and along the right side of Jon Jon/Sweeny.

More updates coming again soon.  Also be on the lookout for an email from us soon detailing exciting season pass options for both summer and winter!







 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June 1st MTB Park update

It was a very wet week last week and not much progress was made on trail building efforts.  We received about 8 inches of rain in our area. However, this week has been great so far and the forecast ahead looks even better.  Work is progressing well on the blue jump trail which will be named, "Air Bear".  See our FB page for the name origin.  I rode the top of Air Bear today and it was awesome. It's a trail that you would see out west in the mountains.  Big berms, jumps...and then more berms and jumps.  Once open, I can see this trail becoming the favorite of avid mountain bikers.  Oh yeah, very little peddling and a chairlift waiting for you at the bottom.  The green trail is about 1/2 complete and that trail looks great too so far.  A few of us have been flow testing the first blue and the green as its being built which is really fun.  Stay tuned for more updates in the coming days on more building and....special MTB season pass announcements! Have a great weekend.