Vail Resorts acquires Kirkwood

22nd February 2012, by Chris Gill

Kirkwood, California

Kirkwood, California

Kirkwood ski area in Tahoe California will be the latest acquisition in the Vail Resorts portfolio.

The sale of Kirkwood to Vail Resorts has been announced and means that the Colorado based group will now operate three major Tahoe ski areas – they also manage Heavenly and Northstar.

Local reports suggest that the takeover is worth $18 million and will give Vail Resorts ownership of the existing ski area, plus some undeveloped land at the base of the mountain. Although the deal will not be completely sealed for a few weeks, Heavenly and Northstar pass holders will get immediate access to Kirkwood, as will Kirkwood pass holders to the other two resorts.

Kirkwood has been owned by a private equity group headed by Charles Cobb, who will retain some share in the base area developments.

Chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, Rob Katz said, “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. As of today, Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass holders will have unrestricted access to ski and ride Kirkwood. Tahoe Value Pass holders can ski and ride there every day except on Saturdays. Kirkwood pass holders (of several listed variants) will have access to Heavenly and Northstar.”

Kirkwood has a reputation locally as a remote resort with steep runs and lots of snow, making it popular among expert skiers. It offers 2,000 feet of vertical and around 2,300 acres of terrain, plus four terrain parks. The resort was one of the first to open in the region this winter, with some of the deepest initial snowfall. Recent investment has upgraded various resort lodgings and dining options.

Heavenly is easily accessible to Lake Tahoe’s restaurants and night life. Northstar is on the north shore of the lake and developing rapidly following heavy investment in the resort.

Kirkwood mountain

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