Impressions of a Coloradan at Welch Village

February 04, 2022

 

 

(Photo credit Welch Village)

            When I moved from Colorado to Minnesota this past summer, everyone was quick to point out “It’s going to be colder, and there aren’t any mountains!” which of course, is true. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to hit the slopes to have some fun, and in many ways, it is a lot easier to do here than in Colorado. I know that sounds insane, but after my first trip to Welch Village I was left with some very positive takeaways:

1) Price

The cost of an adult day pass at Welch is $69.00, which is by no means cheap. However, consider Vail Resort in Colorado where a same day adult lift ticket runs $229.00. Yikes! Breckenridge comes in at $219.00, Aspen Snowmass $199.00. Even Loveland Ski Area, which is one of the cheaper options, is still $94.00. Plus, these lift tickets are only good from 9AM-4PM because…

2) Night Skiing

Most ski resorts in Colorado do not offer any night skiing. Why? Because it isn’t possible to illuminate all of the terrain on a mountain that big. Even the resorts which do offer night skiing (such as Steamboat Springs) offer very limited terrain, and require night time ticket purchase. At Welch I was thrilled to be able to keep on skiing well into the night at one cheap price, with better options available for only night skiing.

3) Lack of Traffic (on mountain and off)

The drive from Rochester to Welch was only about 45 minutes with quick easy parking. Denver to Summit County resorts such as Breck and Copper takes an hour and thirty minutes…without traffic, which never happens. Plus, that is at least an hour on I-70 up through the Rockies, which can be very hazardous driving. When you get to the mountain, you often have to pay to park and ride a shuttle to the base of the mountain. Then, while on mountain, this traffic continues in the way of lift lines, which in Colorado can reach cartoonish lengths (especially in Covid times). The number of lifts Welch had to service their terrain meant we were never left waiting more than a few minutes.

So, while the terrain wasn’t nearly as challenging (and the views a little less majestic) I was left with a lot of positives from my first ski trip in the Central Time Zone. Thanks Welch, can’t wait to get back!

 By Eric Lyons

(Jacket and Pants $50 total at Janky Gear!)