Welch Village, one of the Gopher State's oldest ski areas and a popular day-trip destination, recently announced one of the best early season pass sales I've seen around the Heartland.

A 2010-11 unlimited season pass is only $99 between now and April 1. The price for families of seven or more is $649.  The passes must be purchased by March 31 through Welch's online store. 

New season pass holders can use this pass to purchase $30 lift tickets the rest of this season.  Here's another consideration to purchase early. The ski area has announced that College Passes will be available next fall, but not at $99, as in the past.  This will be your only chance to purchase a season pass for next season at that price.  Welch is calling it the Olympic Pass in honor of this season's games.

Welch's front slopes are spread across two peaks with 35 named trails and slopes, eight chairlifts, and a surface tow. There's a good mix of difficulty levels with nice easy runs complimented by some of the region's best steep and headwalls. The new Backside Bowl, which opened last season, adds another 10 additional runs for advanced skiers and riders and a new quad chair.  Plans call for another new chairlift to be added next season.

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