Power problems were behind Kirkwood closure | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Power problems were behind Kirkwood closure

Problems with two diesel generators providing electricity to Kirkwood Mountain Resort contributed to the resort’s closure Sunday and limited chairlift operations throughout the early part of this week.

Kirkwood’s admission of the power problems comes after the resort initially indicated the closure was the result of bad weather.

The new information has angered some passholders.

“The main reason I was upset was I felt like I called asking directly about their power situation. They told my there was no issue with the power, and I went out there and there were power issues,” said South Lake Tahoe resident and season passholder Dave Goodall. “I still love the resort; I just don’t appreciate the way they handled the situation.”

The resort has since apologized.

“The resort apologizes for any confusion created by snow phone messages, online reporting or live local updates in regard to road closures or lift operations,” Kirkwood spokesman Daniel Pisterosi said in an e-mail.

At about 3 p.m. Saturday, a newly purchased diesel-powered generator at Mountain Utilities, Kirkwood’s electricity provider, experienced a problem with a fuel injector, according to an e-mail from David Likens, CEO for Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

Power was out at the resort for around 45 minutes during this incident, according to the e-mail.

This outage was followed by the mechanical failure of a second recently purchased generator at about 4 a.m. Sunday.

Although the spare part necessary to fix the second generator was expected to arrive from Reno by 9 a.m. Sunday, heavy snow caused Carson Pass to close until nearly 3 p.m.

This outage, combined with the inability to get the necessary parts and personnel to fix the generator the resort, ultimately caused the resort to close completely that day.

The complete closure was followed by an incomplete opening the following day. Mountain Utilities requested only a partial opening with four chairlifts to ensure it could provide power to residential customers.

Kirkwood was able to fully open by about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to an e-mail from Pisterosi.

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