Recent Storms Allow Heavenly and Northstar to Kick-Off Ski Season Six Days Ahead of Projected Opening Day

09 November 2015
·        El Niño strikes again, dumping more new snow at Heavenly and Northstar
·        Earliest resort openings since 2012
·        Get the most value out of your season pass by purchasing a Tahoe Local or Tahoe Value pass through Sunday, Nov.22, 2015
The wait to enjoy the best ski and snowboard resorts at Lake Tahoe is over. With El Niño serving up a healthy dose of new snow at Lake Tahoe over the weekend, and with forecasts calling for another storm to hit the region Monday night, Heavenly and Northstar have announced the resorts will open six days early, kicking-off winter 2015-16 on Saturday, Nov. 14.
 
“We’ve already received about three feet of snow overall this season which, combined with around-the-clock operation from the West Coast’s two largest snowmaking systems, has created a great early-season base and the best snow surface conditions at Lake Tahoe,” said Pete Sonntag, Tahoe region vice president and chief operating officer. “Opening early creates even more value for Tahoe Local pass holders, who are already getting the best pass deal in Tahoe.”
 
This is the earliest the resorts have opened since 2012, and the first time opening six days ahead of schedule since at least 2009. Heavenly plans to operate the Gondola, Tamarack Express and Dipper Express, accessing upper California Trail and Orion’s, which, at over a mile long, will be the longest run available in the Tahoe basin. Northstar will open top-to-bottom, spinning the Big Springs Gondola, Vista Express, Arrow Express and Comstock Express accessing West Ridge, Luggi’s, Skid, Pinball, Lumberjack and Lower Main Street. Northstar will also operate a surface lift near the Big Easy Chair to offer children’s ski and snowboard lessons.
 
Kirkwood received 18 inches of new snow overnight at its summit. Resort officials have yet to determine if they will open Kirkwood prior to its Nov. 21 opening day.
 
Early openings as well as all the new snow in Tahoe is further incentive for guests to secure the best option in season passes by the cutoff date – Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015.
 
Guests can choose from the following Epic Passes, offering the best variety and value for any type of skier or snowboarder:  
  • The Tahoe Local Pass is the best way to access Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood seven days a week. It includes Saturday access at all three Tahoe resorts with limited holiday restrictions, all for $519. Pass holder tickets are available for purchase for 50 percent off during blackout dates at Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood. The Tahoe Local Pass pays for itself in fewer than four days. New for the 2015-16 season, the Tahoe Local Pass now includes five days of non-holiday skiing and riding at Utah’s Park City, combined with Canyons Resort to now become the largest ski resort in the U.S., and Colorado’s Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin. A child pass is $249 (age’s five to 12).
  • The Tahoe Value Pass™ is best for people who can handle a few restrictions. Ski or ride seven days a week at Heavenly and six days a week at Northstar and Kirkwood. The pass is available for $469, and pays for itself in just over three days. The Tahoe Value Pass has holiday restrictions at Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood with Saturdays excluded at Northstar and Kirkwood. Pass holders can purchase lift tickets valid at Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood Resorts on restricted days for 50 percent off per day.
  • Epic Local Pass™: Perfect for people who can navigate a pass with restrictions. For $619, get unlimited, unrestricted skiing or riding at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin with limited restrictions at Park City, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood. Also includes a total of 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek with holiday restrictions. The Epic Local Pass pays for itself in less than four days. A child pass (ages five to 12) is $319.
  • The Epic Pass™: Ski as much as you want, whenever you want for $809. The Epic Pass pays for itself in less than five days of skiing or riding. With more than 32,000 acres of skiing and snowboarding terrain, this pass can’t be beat. It features unlimited, unrestricted access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Perisher in Australia for the 2016 season there; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and up to five free consecutive days when staying at in-resort accommodations at Verbier, Switzerland. No restricted dates. A child pass (ages five to 12) is $419.
Positions are still available to join the Best of Tahoe Resort teams, Please Click Here to view career opportunities.
 
About Best of Tahoe Resorts
Collectively, Heavenly Mountain Resort, Northstar California Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort offer guests unmatched variety, the highest standard of guest service, the most terrain with 10,270 skiable acres, and access to the region’s finest snow surface conditions through state-of-the-art snowmaking and acclaimed natural snow depth. The Best of Tahoe resorts, subsidiaries of Vail Resorts, Inc., represent the essence of Lake Tahoe’s most famed characteristics – including Heavenly’s unrelenting, high-energy party atmosphere, Northstar’s renown for laid-back California luxury and Kirkwood’s prized bounty of authentic, big-mountain terrain and prodigious snow depth. Each resort’s unique characteristics complement one another and combine to offer skiers and riders the Best of Tahoe experience. 

About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN)
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. The Company’s subsidiaries operate nine world-class mountain resorts and two urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Perisher in Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. The Company owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.

 

Contact(s)

Kevin Cooper

Communications/PR Manager
Email: kcooper1@vailresorts.com
Phone: (209) 258-7215
Marcie Bradley, 530.562.3866, mhbradley@vailresorts.com 
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