TAHOE/TRUCKEE - Powerful early-season storms combined with the area's largest snowmaking operations will allow Vail Resorts' Lake Tahoe mountains - Heavenly Mountain Resort, Northstar California Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort - to open early, officials have announced.
Heavenly and Northstar will open on Wednesday, Nov. 14, Vail announced in a Monday press release, with a combined seven lifts and eight trails, totaling 51 acres. On Friday, Nov. 16, Kirkwood will open one lift and five trails, accessing another 40 acres; and Heavenly will open Dipper Express, adding another 20 acres, weather and conditions permitting.
By Friday, the three resorts plan to be open with nine lifts, 14 trails and 111 acres. Heavenly and Northstar had originally planned to open Nov. 16, with Kirkwood following on Nov. 21.
"No need to bring your 'rock skis' to our resorts," said Pete Sonntag, Heavenly's general manager. "Our resorts have a reputation for opening with quality in addition to quantity. The guest experience is always first and foremost at our mountains and providing the best skiing surfaces possible plays a huge part in that."
Northstar will open four lifts on Wednesday, including the Big Springs Express Gondola, Big Easy, Arrow Express and Vista Express chairs, giving access to Pinball, Main Street, Upper Main Street, Lumberjack, Woodcutter and Easy Street trails. One of the beginner carpet lifts will also run, opening up some terrain specifically for new skiers and riders.
"This last storm brought phenomenal snowfall and our snowmaking team has been hard at work to make ensure we have the extra coverage needed to provide a high quality experience," said Northstar COO Bill Rock. "Our guests expect the best and we're ready to provide that, so why wait?"
All three resorts can be accessed under the Tahoe Local Pass, which costs $459 this year. The pass "remains unmatched in value, price and experience with access to more than 263 trails, 14 terrain parks and 10,270 acres of some of the best terrain in the world..." according to the press release.
Once the resorts open this week, lift tickets will be available at early season pricing and can be applied toward the purchase of a season pass.