Wednesday, May 10, 2017

MTB Park Construction in Full Swing

Trail Source began trail construction just 2 days ago and already it's starting to look like a Mountain Bike destination at Welch Village.  Right now, work is being concentrated on the first green trail.  This green trail will also feed the first two blue trails.  Even though this trail is just getting "roughed in" right now, it looks just awesome already and I want to start riding it.  This trail will be really fun for all ages and all abilities with it's rollers, berms, wide single track design, and optional jumps.  For those of you who are familiar with Welch Village, these trails begin in the Leapin Liz area.   Again, this first phase this will take a couple of months to complete.  Still targeting July to open things up! Be ready for a steady diet of updates as our new MTB park project comes to life...

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mountain Bike Park Construction begins next week!

Today we had the final walk through of the first downhill mountain bike trails that will be built this spring.  We are hoping that construction will start next week.  Today's group included Tim and Warren from Trail Source along with Perry, Nate, Johnny O, and myself from Welch Village.  It was a really exciting morning to say the least.  We followed the ribbons left behind from the concept designer Scott Linneburger who tied all the ribbons to the trees back in November.  In the photos, ribbons tied to trees DOES NOT mean these trees will be cut down.  It just means that this is the general line of the trail itself.

The first green trail we construct will be unlike any other mountain bike trail in the Midwest.  It will cater to beginners and experts of all ages and weave and turn a significant portion of our property.  There will be berms, rollers, optional jumps, and other features with beautiful views of multiple valleys and bluffs in the Cannon and Belle Creek Valleys.  We also walked some of the blue trails today which will feature the ability to generate more speed if that's what you want and larger jumps and features.

In the coming days and weeks we will be sharing the actual trail maps with all of you which will include our plans to phase in the overall Welch Village Mountain Bike park conceptual plan over the next few years.  By mid-July this summer, we hope to open operations with four downhill, gravity-fed, flow trails (1 green, 2 blue, 1 black) and an uphill switch back trail for those of you who desire the workout of climbing the hill without the aid of the chairlift.

Work will also begin very soon in construction of wooden platforms at the bottom and top of the Lookout Chairlift.  The chairlift bike carriers themselves have also been ordered!  Click Here to see a video that shows the vendor we chose to transport your bikes safely to the top of the hill.  Our staff will help you load the bikes if you need them to and we will have staff unload your bikes before you get off the lift yourself.  The lift will run slower than in the winter to enable bikes to be loaded and for guests to walk off the lift at the top.

We are also fine tuning our MTB rental and retail plans with Valley Bike and Ski as well as the food and beverage options.  Just like the winter, you will be able to enjoy your favorite craft beer, a burger, or even some ice cream after a day of mountain biking.

Here are some pictures of our final walk through hike this morning...stay tuned for many more updates coming soon!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Spring Hours

So here's the deal.  As much as I would love to spend the next 3 days arcing turns on the white corduroy at Welch Village, the fact of the matter is I would be doing it at basically an empty ski area.   Even with my own kids on spring break this week, we decided to shut down operations Tuesday-Thursday this week.   Why? A very good question and I will do my best to provide some answers.

Weekday attendance, especially evening attendance, has virtually come to stand still. It's been like that for weeks now.  It's a challenge for us (and every Midwest ski area) in March because can still offer great conditions however, most skiers just stop coming and their minds have clearly moved past winter and are waiting for spring.  Yesterday was one one of the best days of the season by far with fresh snow and blue sky all day.  Originally, we had decided to close Monday too this week. However, with the fresh snow...we decided to stay open on Monday.  Even on a day like yesterday, we had a very small crowd in the morning followed by literally a few people in the afternoon.

Thank you to the few of you who are still visiting us on weekdays and enjoying our snow and slopes. I completely understand your frustration when we close like this for just a couple days.  However, please know that these decisions are difficult to make and we make them with best intentions in mind. If we close for a few weekdays now, it might enable us to stretch out this season for another weekend or two.  Again, if enough people still want to come skiing and weather allows, we will stay open as long as it makes sense to stay open.

In years past, our loyal and long-time pass holders will tell you that we have rarely done this.  We are usually the ski area that stays open no matter what.  Other ski areas in are market this year have shut down their operations in recent weeks. Yet...we stayed open. Even when it's 20 below on a Tuesday in January, we are open.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.  We'll see you Friday.

Yesterday, I spent a few runs with grandpa during his 85th day on the snow this year.  He is looking forward to skiing his age (88) this weekend. If you see him Sunday, give him a high five on skiing his age for yet another season.

Friday, March 10, 2017

We are still open...for now

We will keep the ski area open as long the weather (and guests) allow.  By guests, I mean you.  People who like to ski and snowboard.  This is your last change to enjoy winter so make the most of it now. This will be your last chance for 7 months to enjoy our snow.  Snow that we have made for you.  The snow is fantastic right now everywhere. I recommend taking a couple of runs on Dud's Dream.  There are no bumps now, just groomed goodness.  It's really fun to arc some big turns on Dud's right now.

Every run is open.  Winter is still here.  We are 100% open.  Thank you to all of you who are still showing up to enjoy the slopes with us.

Pond Skip Saturday is tomorrow.  It's also 80's day at Jaxx. We will have two fire pits going and Jason our chef will have burgers and brats grilling outside (and Greek Gyros on the spit)!  It should be a great day and weekend.

P.S.  We are in a Winter Storm Watch on Sunday!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Still skiing - March 8th

Despite another streak of 60+degree days, severe thunderstorms, and a couple days of extreme wind, we are still skiing at Welch Village. In fact, at this point, we haven't had to close any runs! I took a few runs today, the snow conditions are still great. We still have tons of snow. The snow on Bakke and Lookout are the best. The east side slopes are exposed to more sun this time of year so the snow is a little softer over there.  How long will we stay open?  As long as we can.  Right now, staying open until March 18th appears to a lock.  Can we stay open past that...maybe...that's up to Mother Nature. At this point, we plan to be 100% open for this coming weekend, and that includes the Back Bowl.

Pond Skip:  Yes, we are still having it this Saturday at 1pm.  It won't be the first time we have had the pond skip with temps in the 20's.  We are not taking the risk that the weather will change so we are not moving the date.  We also have a great band scheduled that can't change the date. So..if you want to skip the pond (or watch), Saturday is your chance! See you then..

Proof that it's still winter at Welch Village:

Friday, March 3, 2017

March 3rd Snow Report

Skied for about an hour or so this morning which included few runs in the Back Bowl with Grandpa Leigh.  The snow conditions...again...are fantastic.  The foot of snow from a week ago and the 2 additional inches this week made a huge difference.  Everyone keeps asking me how long we will be open.  The short answer = ???.  That's up to mother nature and the weather.  I do know this...if you want to enjoy winter a few more times before it's over, you better be here this weekend.  We have mid-winter conditions right now and we will stretch out the season as long as we can.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Just south enough...

Welch Village is now the proud owner of a new foot of snow.  It snowed for most of the day and everyone here today had a blast. This was a real blessing for us.  We had a decent base on most of our runs but a foot of snow will really make a difference heading into March. Yes, we groomed a lot of the snow into the base overnight.  Why? Because it was heavy, wet, and wouldn't have been what you call "powder".  Plus, with the high winds, we wanted to keep as much snow as possible to stay open as long as possible.  We still left a lot of runs ungroomed and we plan to save some ungroomed stuff for tomorrow.  Pete's Pike, Dud's Dream, Sweeny, and portions of Chicken and the Back Bowl will not be touched by a snow cat tonight.  Join us this weekend.  Thanks to this storm, the snow conditions will be excellent everywhere.

Pics from today.  My 3 girls living the dream.  No school means going to "work" with Mom and Dad.