Welch Village, the popular day-trip area located in the Cannon River valley near Red Wing, has contracted with Doppelmayr to design a new eco-Drive quad chairlift that will be installed next summer. The new lift will replace the old double chair on Lookout, which is the main slope directly in front of the central day lodge, according to marketing person Stephanie Prink.
The new chair will really be appreciated on busy weekends. The new quad will get snowsports enthusiasts up into the ski area much faster than the tired old double, which was installed nearly 40 years ago. Not only will it haul more skiers and riders up the 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 Prink. "It has chairs and a drive similar to high-speed quads and loads and unloads in a similar fashion. It's very smooth."
It joins the quad chair installed in the new Back Bowl area last season, which has proven to a big hit with customers, according to Leigh Nelson, longtime Welch owner. "Customer response to the new back bowl and quad chairlift has been overwhelmingly positive; even exceeding our expectations. It's encouraged us to continue upgrading the experience at Welch Village."
Plans are in the works to add a second chairlift on the eastside of the Back Bowl and a day chalet on the new slopes facing the three river valleys, which surround the scenic ski area. Belle Creek, the Cannon and Mississippi River valleys merge in this area.