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.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Whoops we did it again!

I can't believe I just referenced a Brittany Spears song in my blog....please forgive me.

Yes, it's not a typo.  We are selling  2017/18 season passes now for a great price.  I don't like to use this blog to sell stuff.  I started this blog a few years ago now in an attempt to give you more glimpses through my eyes and offer a fresh perspective from me the GM and our talented team here at Welch Village.  So...let's look at the decision to sell passes for these prices....

A lot of you will remember the $99 season pass sale from 6 years ago.  The reasons we had to do that 6 years ago are very similar to the reasons we made this decision again.

We want to stoke the fire.  We want to get your attention.  We want to remind you that there isn't anything better in the winter than skiing & snowboarding.  We want these season pass prices to force you to put skiing & snowboarding BACK into the conversation.  You are bombarded many times daily with ways to spend your hard-earned money and TIME.  We want skiing and snowboarding to become part of your life.  Skiing and snowboarding is life changing.

This time around, we have teamed up with two local ski shop partners: Valley Bike and Ski in Apple Valley and Tyrol Ski Shop in Rochester.  We are hoping that you will not only buy a season pass, but you will buy some new gear as well!

We have issued an FAQ document that will answer a lot of the specifics of this season pass sale.  We are only going to sell a certain amount of season passes at these prices.  Sorry, only myself and a couple other key people at Welch know this number.  Don't worry, I think you have a little time to decide.  But don't take too much time.

Again, we are not selling season passes.  We are selling Joy.  According to my grandfather Leigh, "Joy...is Deeper than Fun. "  And rumor has it, things may get a little deep around here later this week!

Yes, we still have snow. Skiing was great today.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

We are fine, trust me

By now I'm sure you have heard that 60 degrees is in the forecast for this weekend starting tomorrow. I took this picture of Lookout this morning.  Rest assured, it's going to take many 60 degrees to affect our deep snow base.  Our snow is still great and our grooming crew is the best in the Midwest.  Join us this weekend for some spring skiing.  And guess what, the forecast for next weekend looks more like winter.