Each season, local ski resorts make some changes. Some are visible to customers, while others are less obvious. This past weekend, I visited Welch Village to examine the obvious changes that have occurred lately.
Madd Jaxx, the tavern on the east end of the property, was busy as usual. The bar is now twice as long as it was before. At least that's what a representative of Welch Village told me; there were so many people sitting at it that I couldn't see much of the structure. This follows up on a change made for last season, which was to open up the food service area a bit. Given the small footprint of the building, that was a good move. By the way, if you're looking for something to warm up by, try the wild rice-and-chicken soup. At $3.50, it was the cheapest entre to be had--and it was hot.
The main lodge has seen more changes, though. The entry space now has some heat lamps, which should make it a more comfortable spot for getting into and out of your boots. Last season, Welch introduced the Black Diamond bar. It is a small space that is much quieter than Madd Jaxx, and the atmosphere is more "casual resort" than "party scene." Unfortunately, the Black Diamond is temporarily closed while the ownership installs some new equipment to satisfy county officials. The regulations concerning the distribution of alcohol are among the most arcane around, so I'm not surprised.
The ticketing area has been remodeled, and now it contains four distinct windows. Two are for buying tickets, and two are for "member services." What's the difference? Go to the member services windows for stuff that you used to go to the office window for--say, a season pass photo--by entering from the outside door. That door has been sealed shut. The remodeling should benefit customers, who no longer have to go outside to go from one kind of window to another.
The restrooms have been changed slightly from last season. Then, I praised the restrooms in the main lodge for their openness and cleanliness, but I the restrooms in the lower level of the rental building for being primitive and in need of repair. They still haven't been upgraded, but they now sport a "closed" sign. Since few customers use that part of the building, the closure won't make much of an impact on the public.