Vail Resorts, Inc. announced today the purchase of Kirkwood Mountain Resort for approximately $18 million. Located 35 miles southwest of Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood joins Heavenly and Northstar as the third resort in the Lake Tahoe region to be acquired by Vail Resorts. The purchase price also includes a selection of real estate in the base area.

"We are thrilled to welcome Kirkwood into our family as our seventh world-class mountain resort." Vail Resorts Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz said in a press release issued this morning. "Kirkwood offers some of the most extraordinary ski terrain found anywhere in North America with high alpine trails and the most annual average snowfall in Lake Tahoe. Kirkwood represents skiing and riding at its purest, something we intend to retain and protect long into the future."

Sweetening the deal is the announcement that all current Vail Resort pass holders can now explore Kirkwood for the remainder of the season, and all Kirkwood pass holders can do the same and explore Heavenly and Northstar.

Kirkwood is widely known as one of Tahoe's premiere destinations for high alpine skiing and over 450 inches of annual snowfall. The resort features over 2,300 acres of terrain, terrain parks and a Boarder X course.

 "When combined with Heavenly and Northstar, we will be able to offer our guests and pass holders unparalleled value with the very best that Lake Tahoe has to offer. We are excited to be able to offer Kirkwood to our pass holders right away - it's like opening day to a whole new season." Katz said.