Vail Resorts Acquires Kirkwood Mountain

Posted By: The Ski Channel on February 22, 2012 2:07 pm

Vail Resorts Logo

Tahoe just became irresistible this morning when Vail Resorts announced an exciting new agreement with Kirkwood Mountain, California that will give skiers and snowboards access to some of the best high alpine advanced terrain in North America under the same pass.   

With an $18.0 million price tag, Vail is buying the resort and the undeveloped sites at the center of the base area, zoned for residential and commercial development. Kirkwood will retain a participation interest in the base area parcels and will continue to own the remainder for the real estate development sites.

With all three world-class resorts being operated under the leading resort operator in the United States, Lake Tahoe will now be offering even more world-class skiing and riding with just one pass.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort Skier

Kirkwood Logo

Kirkland, about 35 miles southwest of South Lake Tahoe, offers top-notch alpine skiing and riding.  It sits in a unique location atop the Sierra Crest and is surrounded by National Forrest reaching elevations of 7,800 to 9,800 feet.  There is an average of 473 inches of annual snowfall—the most in the Tahoe region–on the 2,300 acres of terrain and four terrain parks, including a Boarder X course.  There’s something for everyone from beginner to extreme. 

It all starts today.  Under the agreement, Heavenly and Northstar Epic Pass and Local Epic Pass holders will, effective immediately, have access to Kirkwood and vice versa.  Completely unrestricted access to the slopes. 

Some passes, however, will have small limitations.  Tahoe Value Pass holders can ski and ride every day aside for Saturdays.  Kirkwood skiers and snowboarders with the following passes will have access to the other two areas: Premium Pass holders and 7 Wood Pass holders will have unlimited, unrestricted access to Heavenly and Northstar, while 6 Wood Pass holders will have access to Heavenly and Northstar six days a week, Sunday-Friday, with no holiday restrictions. 5 Wood Pass holders will have access to Heavenly and Northstar five days a week, Monday-Friday. 

Vail intends to continue offering Kirkwood-only season passes and Kirkwood-only daily lift tickets for prices comparable to current costs.  For more information on how passes can be used, visit

“We are thrilled to welcome Kirkwood into our family as our seventh world-class mountain resort. Kirkwood offers some of the most extraordinary ski terrain found anywhere in North America with high alpine trails and the most annual average snowfall in Lake Tahoe. Kirkwood represents skiing and riding at its purest, something we intend to retain and protect long into the future,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “When combined with Heavenly and Northstar, we will be able to offer our guests and pass holders unparalleled value with the very best that Lake Tahoe has to offer. We are excited to be able to offer Kirkwood to our pass holders right away – it’s like opening day to a whole new season.”

Vail Resort’s subsidiaries also operate the resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  They are counting on closing on the acquisition of Kirkwood in the next 30 days.  Closing is subject to specific conditions and the transfer of the U.S. Forest Service Permit.