Kirkwood Mountain Resort changes opening day from Wednesday to Saturday | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Kirkwood Mountain Resort changes opening day from Wednesday to Saturday

Kirkwood's Chair 5 saw the most interest from skiers and riders on the 2015-18 opening day Saturday.
Adam Jensen / Lake Tahoe Action |

With a series of winter storms in the forecast for the latter half of this week, Kirkwood Mountain Resort is shifting its tentative opening date to Saturday, Nov. 24.

The resort had initially hoped to open Wednesday, Nov. 21, in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. However, warm temperatures and zero precipitation helped delay the planned opening.

The region is currently preparing for the first winter storm of the season. According to the National Weather Service in Reno, lake level could see 4 inches of snow by Thanksgiving morning, while 6-12 inches could accumulate above 8,000 feet.

Rain, snow in forecast for Lake Tahoe; expect Thanksgiving travel delays in northern Sierra

“While unseasonably warm weather has not made it optimal for recent snowmaking operations, upcoming forecasts over the next 10 days have shifted in our favor, predicting new snowfall and cool nights,” Tom Fortune, Kirkwood Mountain’s general manager, said in a press release. “Our expert snowmaking team is ready to make snow at every opportunity that weather permits and get the season kicked off right.”

Kirkwood plans to open the Outlaw Run on chair 5 for intermediate skiing and riding only, according to the resort. Rope Tow 8, which is for beginners, may also open. The resort will add lifts and terrain as conditions allow.

If the current forecast holds true, Kirkwood would be the second South Shore resort to open for the 2018-19 season. Heavenly Mountain Resort, which like Kirkwood is owned by Vail Resorts, opened for the season Nov. 16.

What’s new for the 2018-19 ski season at Lake Tahoe’s downhill resorts

Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows and Northstar California on the North Shore also opened Nov. 16.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, which fired up the lifts back in October, was the first Lake Tahoe resort to open for the season. It opened more terrain on Nov. 16.

Kirkwood’s opening day will feature snack, ski and ride gear giveaways throughout the day. There also will be live music in Kirkwood Village, where shops and restaurants will be open.

Passholders will be treated to free breakfast sandwiches starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. The deadline to purchase a 2018-19 season pass for the Best of Tahoe Resorts has been extended to Sunday, Dec. 2.