Vail Resorts is purchasing the ski resort as well as the undeveloped sites at the centre of the base area which are zoned for residential and commercial development for a purchase price of approximately $18.0 million.
The seller will retain a participation interest in the base area parcels and will continue to own the remainder of the real estate development sites.
Following the acquisition, Vail Resorts will now operate three world-class mountain resorts in the Lake Tahoe region which between them offer the entire breadth of the skiing and riding experience, including Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe, Northstar California on the north shore and Kirkwood Mountain Resort.
Vail Resorts also announced that, effective immediately, Heavenly and Northstar pass holders will have access to Kirkwood and Kirkwood pass holders will be able to ski and ride Heavenly and Northstar.
"We are thrilled to welcome Kirkwood into our family as our seventh world-class mountain resort. 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," said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. "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."
As of now, holders of Vail Resorts' Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass will have unrestricted access to ski and ride Kirkwood.
Tahoe Value Pass holders can ski and ride there every day except on Saturdays.
Kirkwood pass holders with the following passes will have access to Heavenly and Northstar: Premium Pass holders and 7 Wood Pass holders will have unlimited, unrestricted access to Heavenly and Northstar, while 6 Wood Pass holders will have access to Heavenly and Northstar six days a week, Sunday-Friday, with no holiday restrictions. 5 Wood Pass holders will have access to Heavenly and Northstar five days a week, Monday-Friday. The Company also announced that it intends to retain a Kirkwood-only season pass and Kirkwood-only daily lift tickets, priced comparably to what's offered today.
Located about 35 miles southwest of South Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood Mountain Resort offers pure high alpine skiing and riding at its best. The ski resort's unique location, completely surrounded by National Forest atop the Sierra Crest combined with elevations ranging 7,800 to 9,800 feet, create a geographical predisposition to receive the lightest, driest and most plentiful snow in the Tahoe region with an average of 472 inches annually. Kirkwood offers 2,000 feet of vertical drop and more than 2,300 acres of terrain from groomed beginner runs to hair-raising cornices, cliffs and the most high-angle grooming around. The resort offers four terrain parks, from beginner to advanced, as well as a Boarder X course.
Vail Resorts expects to close on the acquisition of Kirkwood Mountain Resort within the next month. Further terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Closing is subject to certain conditions, including transfer of the U.S. Forest Service Permit.