Vails Resorts announces targeted opening dates for Tahoe ski areas

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Vail Resorts has opening dates targeted for their Lake Tahoe ski areas.

Heavenly Mountain Resort and Northstar California plan to open Friday, Nov. 18, with Kirkwood Mountain Resort targeting Friday, Dec. 2.

This upcoming winter is the 50th anniversary of operations at Northstar and Kirkwood. Heavenly and Northstar will be debuting upgraded chairlifts. Heavenly is upgrading its North Bowl lift to a high-speed four-person chair – a previously fixed grip three-person lift. This upgrade will increase uphill capacity by more than 40%, reduce the combined ride time of the Boulder and North Bowl lifts, and we expect this to reduce wait times at the Stagecoach and Olympic lifts, as well. 

Northstar is upgrading its Comstock Express lift from a four-person chair to a high-speed six-person lift, which is designed to reduce wait times at one of the mountain’s most popular lifts and will increase uphill capacity by nearly 50%. These upgrades are both well underway and are on-schedule to open for the upcoming winter season. 

“Our teams can’t wait to welcome guests back to our mountains for the upcoming winter season,” said Tom Fortune, vice president and chief operating officer for Heavenly and the Tahoe Region. “We wait with great anticipation every year for the start of ski + ride season, and I know this will be another amazing winter for all of our resorts across the Tahoe region. Most importantly, our Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Northstar teams are working incredibly hard in preparation, and their amazing dedication and focus will no doubt allow us to deliver another excellent season for our guests.”   

Heavenly and Northstar, depending on the weather, plans to close at the end of day Sunday, April 16, and Kirkwood plans to stay open through Sunday, April 30.

There are currently no requirements for face coverings, vaccines, or dining/lift reservations this coming season. Vail Resorts will continue to monitor the changing dynamics of the pandemic. Employees will continue to complete daily health screenings and resorts will still apply enhanced cleaning practices.   

A snowboarder rides at Kirkwood in December 2018.
Provided / Justine Dhollande

Guests planning to visit this winter are encouraged to purchase their lift access in advance – whether it is a lift ticket, Epic Day Pass or season pass. Lift tickets will be limited every day, across every resort, during the 2022/23 season in order to preserve the guest experience. The availability of lift tickets will be visible on resort websites in the coming weeks. If tickets are sold out online, guests will not be able to purchase them at ticket windows. Passes, including Epic Day Passes, and Pass Holder benefit tickets will not be limited. 

There is also no impact to guests who enroll in ski and ride school lessons that include lift access, or to employee and dependent pass access. Skiers and riders have until Labor Day (Sept. 5) to lock in the best price on their Epic Pass. Pass products, including regional passes and day passes, are available now on the Epic Pass website. 

For more information, visit or call 775-586-7000.

For more information about Northstar, visit or call 530-466-6784.

For more information about Kirkwood, visit or call 209-258-6000.

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