Kirkwood Mountain Resort is remote and has steep runs and lots of snow, making… (Kirkwood.com )
Vail Resorts Inc., one of the largest ski resort operators in North America, has agreed to spend $18 million to acquire Kirkwood Mountain Resort along with undeveloped land at the base of the mountain in Lake Tahoe.
The deal would give Vail ownership of three of the seven major resorts around Lake Tahoe: Heavenly, Northstar and now Kirkwood.
Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border is encircled by seven major ski resorts and several smaller ski and cross-country operations in the Sierra Nevada.
Vail Resorts, a publicly traded company, is considered among the largest resort owners in North America. Vail Resorts also operates the Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone resorts in Colorado.
Kirkwood is owned by a private equity group headed by Charles Cobb, ambassador to Iceland underPresident George H.W. Bush.
“The combination of Kirkwood’s natural ski assets and Vail’s best-in-class resort operating capabilities will make this the most coveted resort experience in the West,” Cobb said.
Although the deal won't be finalized for several weeks, the three Lake Tahoe resorts owned by Vail announced that they will allow annual pass holders from any of the resorts to ski the other two mountains.
Kirkwood has a reputation as a remote resort with steep runs and lots of snow, making it a favorite for advanced skiers. Heavenly, meanwhile, is easily accessible to Lake Tahoe's restaurants and night life. Northstar, on the north shore of the lake, is favored by snowboarders for its snow park and 420-foot superpipe.
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