[R490R, Welch Village], a popular Twin Cities ski area located in the Cannon River Valley near Red Wing, will be opening its much anticipated back bowl this season.  It will be complete with a new quad chairlift.  This has been in the works for a number of years, and skiers and riders have been eagerly anticipating the opening of the new bowl.  It's a bit of unusual terrain for this area of Minnesota. 

The terrain includes two large bowls; several sharply pitched advanced runs, and a long connecting valley with an interesting fall line. It's unusual to find bowls at a Midwest ski area.  Most are pretty straight forward, and what you see is what you get; no hidden bowls.  

Welch owner Leigh Nelson promises some interesting terrain with the new expansion.  "It will add terrain features substantially different from the present 50 runs we've had open for a number of years.  We'll have to watch the level of skiers and riders that we allow to access the new area.  It isn't suitable for beginners, and they won't be allowed back there." 

The target date for the opening of the new runs is Dec. 26, 2008.  Only season pass members allowed in for the first month thereafter.  It will be open to all qualified guests the remainder of the season.