Welch Village, the popular day-trip area located about an hour from the Twin Cities in the Cannon River valley near Red Wing, has been busy over the summer making several improvements.

A new Doppelmayr eco-Drive quad chairlift was installed on Welch's front face. The new lift replaced the old double chair on Lookout, which is the main slope directly in front of the central day lodge.

The new chair will really be appreciated on busy weekends.  The new quad will get skiers and snowboarders up the hill much faster than the tired old double, which was installed nearly 40 years ago.  Not only will it haul more people up hill, it will do so much more smoothly and faster.  The new quad eco-Drive chair will be the second at Welch and just the fifth in the world for the newly designed chair, said longtime owner Leigh Nelson.

"It has chairs and a drive similar to high-speed quads and loads and unloads in a similar fashion," he told OnTheSnow. "It's very smooth."

It joins the quad chair installed in the new Back Bowl area for last season.  A new run was cleared in the Bowl this past summer.

Welch's Night Club Pass, which allows you to ski/ride after 4 p.m. every day, is currently $119. After the first 500 passes are sold the price increases to $129. The same goes for the College Pass - for full-time, on-campus students ages 18-27 - that's currently $109. After the first 500 sell, the price jumps to $119, and it's only available until Dec. 15.

The ski area's Fall Festival is Oct. 29-30.  It's a ski, snowboard and winter gear sale. Get a look at the latest equipment and apparel for the 2010-11 season.

More information