More people visiting Kirkwood |

More people visiting Kirkwood

Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune/ The self proclaimed "Geezer Skiers," from left, Bob Breedlove, 73, Don Gundred, 68, David Dolder, 67, and Don Dircksen, 62, head to the slopes at Kirkwood Ski Resort. The geezers have been skiing at Kirkwood for the past 25 years.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort had a record 375,000 visitors last year during an abnormally long season which ran from October to April.

The 804 inches of total snowfall last winter season increased Kirkwood’s visibility as the resort is seeing an increase in season-pass sales and visits from the Jackson side of Highway 88.

General Manager and President Tim Cohee said the number of visitors so far this season is 1 percent below last year’s record number.

In addition, Cohee said 13,000 season passes were sold this year, 5,000 more than last year.

A commissioned study on where vehicle traffic is coming from revealed an increase in the percentage coming from the Jackson side of Highway 88.

Last year it was 70 percent coming from the South Lake Tahoe side of Highway 88. This year it’s 65 percent, Cohee said.

“I believe everybody figures out everything that is good,” Cohee said.

Partnerships with the discount-giant Costco, outdoor store REI and car company Subaru has fueled single ticket sales.

Elana Miller, 23, purchased a $45 lift ticket at a Costco for her Wednesday jaunt to Kirkwood from the Bay Area.

Miller said the ticket is cheaper than the $62 all-day ticket sold to adults at the resort.

It also allows her to buy a ticket the day before a trip, thus avoiding lines.

People like Miller who live in the Bay Area of other “high-octane places” search for resorts with smaller crowds on the mountain that they can get to on less-crowded roads, Cohee said.

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