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Topic ClosedGood morning! Kirkwood is now a Vail Property!

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Good morning! Kirkwood is now a Vail Property!
    Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 5:08am
The whole world is comin' to an end, Mal...







BROOMFIELD, Colo.—Feb. 22, 2012—Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Kirkwood Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe, Calif., recognized by skiers and snowboarders as offering some of the best high alpine advanced terrain in North America. Vail Resorts is purchasing the ski resort as well as the undeveloped sites at the center 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 today, Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass holders 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. For more information on how to use your pass at Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood, visit www.bestoftahoe.com.

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. 

About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, and Heavenly and Northstar in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction 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 iswww.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com

###
Investor Relations: Hayley Wolff, (303) 404-1827, hwolff@vailresorts.com 
Media Relations: Kelly Ladyga, (303) 404-1862, kladyga@vailresorts.com

 

-zakk

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 5:11am
damn.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 5:12am
This is pretty crazy.  Not sure if I like what the changes at the base of Kirkwood are going to become.  Think Disney Land.  Lift infrastructure should get better.  Also, if the Epic Pass continues to offer all of their resorts this could be an amazing buy for California and Colorado shredders.  You get great local hills, and have your lift tickets taken care of for a trip out of State to another killer area.  That is not a bad deal. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 5:13am
damn thats great. to be able to get 1 pass and ski 3 resorts. l really hope canada has something similar, rather than buy 2+ seperate passes
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 5:14am
Originally posted by ktown

damn thats great. to be able to get 1 pass and ski 3 resorts. l really hope canada has something similar, rather than buy 2+ seperate passes

the Epic pass works at 7 mountains across 2.5 states.  
-zakk

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 5:15am
Epic Passes has immediate access to Kirkwood as of now.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 5:35am
college triple threat now works any of the following for the rest of the season:

Homewood
Kirkwood
Alpine Meadows
Northstar
Heavenly 

not bad for a $255 pass LOL
-zakk

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 5:45am
This is the second season in a row that I purchased a Heavenly season pass and afterwards a new resort was added.  Thank you Vail for the gifts that keep on giving!  Kirkwood is necessary to add steeps to Vail's portfolio in Tahoe.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:03am
My thoughts exactly, will be happy to use my epic pass at the wood later this season.  I suspect a lot of the locals down there are not going to be pleased about the purchase (and resulting changes to the mountain) but that place has been run poorly for a while and a major purchaser has been a long tme coming. 
 
I didn't know it was going to be Vail, though . . . .
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:04am
$255 for all 5? way better than any college deal in CO
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:05am
Originally posted by | | | bryman | | |

My thoughts exactly, will be happy to use my epic pass at the wood later this season.  I suspect a lot of the locals down there are not going to be pleased about the purchase (and resulting changes to the mountain) but that place has been run poorly for a while and a major purchaser has been a long tme coming. 
 
I didn't know it was going to be Vail, though . . . .
 
-b

With the continuing energy problems, antique fixed chairs, etc.  Vail Corp is going to have their work cut out for them.  I agree that the average Kirkwood local is pissed about Vail coming in, but in about 5 years their property value would have increased so much they won't care nearly as much then.  
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:20am
Originally posted by zakk

Originally posted by ktown

damn thats great. to be able to get 1 pass and ski 3 resorts. l really hope canada has something similar, rather than buy 2+ seperate passes

the Epic pass works at 7 mountains across 2.5 states.  
lol thats even better, they need to bring it to canada. why would vail just buy our mountains?!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:29am
Dang all these big players are scooping up the little guys.  Tahoe is turning into a Vail vs. KSL battleground, where it's a look-what-I-just-did mentality.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:32am
KUDOS zakk! NBK reference FTW!!! Love love love that movie!


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:32am
Originally posted by robnezz23

Dang all these big players are scooping up the little guys.  Tahoe is turning into a Vail vs. KSL battleground, where it's a look-what-I-just-did mentality.

It makes you wonder if Sierra at Tahoe is now in play to give KSL a south shore property with Kirkwood and Heavenly being Vail now.  

Should be another interesting summer.  
-zakk

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:33am
damn I wish I would have gotten the Triple Threat pass this year... oh well! I am excited for Kirkwood and to see what happens over the summer, that resort really needed a face lift. It makes me wonder which resort will be bought up next though? I would hate for Vail and Squaw to have a monopoly on all of Tahoe's big resorts. I can see the pass prices skyrocketing because of the lack of competition.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:36am
Originally posted by kalynn505

I would hate for Vail and Squaw to have a monopoly on all of Tahoe's big resorts. I can see the pass prices skyrocketing because of the lack of competition.
 
Right.  This is exactly my fear too.  They will think they can justifiably raise rates because you now have access to 3 resorts instead of just 1.  But it's not like I can be at all 3 at the same time.  I would much rather have them all independently owned and fighting for our business to keep prices low.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:37am
Originally posted by kalynn505

damn I wish I would have gotten the Triple Threat pass this year... oh well! I am excited for Kirkwood and to see what happens over the summer, that resort really needed a face lift. It makes me wonder which resort will be bought up next though? I would hate for Vail and Squaw to have a monopoly on all of Tahoe's big resorts. I can see the pass prices skyrocketing because of the lack of competition.

Well, it's just about happening now.  Homewood might go KSL as they have tied to Alpine for a while and have their master plan approved, 

Sierra at Tahoe, Sugar Bowl is about all that is left.  Mt. Rose is too far out there, Diamond Peak is a hill, Donner is ???, Boreal is a park mountain, maybe interesting to KSL??


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:43am
Ahhhh Love it!

From last year to this year, I've noticed a lot of small changes at Northstar since Vail took over, and I am digging it.

I've been to Kirkwood only twice, but will head out a lot more now since my pass will work there... like others said, I'm looking forward to whatever improvements Vail makes there...

As a fan of Northstar and not so much Heavenly... love this other option to go boarding at!!!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:49am
eh, i still think it's far enough out of the way that it won't get super crowded.  i'm hoping they put in more high speed quads (especially to replace 4).

it will be nice to be able to hit up heavenly on a dump day if the roads are closed to kwood, though.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:55am
Originally posted by zakk

Well, it's just about happening now.  Homewood might go KSL as they have tied to Alpine for a while and have their master plan approved, 

Sierra at Tahoe, Sugar Bowl is about all that is left.  Mt. Rose is too far out there, Diamond Peak is a hill, Donner is ???, Boreal is a park mountain, maybe interesting to KSL??




I really hope Sierra and Sugarbowl can hold their own in the next few years. Both of them are great resorts just the way they are and I would hate for them to get caught up in this. Maybe we will see them join together next season with a Double Whammy type pass? They are both very close to the Bay area as far as Tahoe resorts go and are pretty well known. It would be interesting if KSL would show an interest in Boreal? They have Woodward now so that would be a huge plus, even if it is a small mountain.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:56am
Here is a quote from a different article that should be of concern to Kirkwood locals.

"Vail Resorts is purchasing the ski resort as well as the undeveloped sites at the center of the base area which are zoned for residential and commercial development for a purchase price of approximately $18.0 million."


http://www.benzinga.com/news/12/02/2362782/vail-resorts-to-acquire-kirkwood-mountain-resort-for-18m
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 7:01am
This is completely surprising.  It really makes me want to go at least once, but Heavenly and Northstar are soo much closer.  It's about an hour and a half from North Lake and if I'm headed tat way I may as well just stop at Heavenly.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 7:05am
Crap that means non locals won't be able to find deals on lift tickets anymore.  Good if you have epic pass I guess, but bad if you want to ride there for a day.  I'm not paying the ridiculous amount they charge non pass holders for a 1 day ticket. 


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 7:09am
ah man, my pass just keeps getting better. $500 for....8 mountains now.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 7:11am
All I can say is... Cry
 
I'll edit this to expand my thoughts & feelings on this when I get thru the initial grief.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 7:22am
Originally posted by zakk

Originally posted by | | | bryman | | |

My thoughts exactly, will be happy to use my epic pass at the wood later this season.  I suspect a lot of the locals down there are not going to be pleased about the purchase (and resulting changes to the mountain) but that place has been run poorly for a while and a major purchaser has been a long tme coming. 
 
I didn't know it was going to be Vail, though . . . .
 
-b

With the continuing energy problems, antique fixed chairs, etc.  Vail Corp is going to have their work cut out for them.  I agree that the average Kirkwood local is pissed about Vail coming in, but in about 5 years their property value would have increased so much they won't care nearly as much then.  
 
P.S.  They're clearly aware of the challenges based on the sale price.  Shit, we probably could have scraped $18MM with all of the trust-funders lurking on this site
 
-b
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 7:32am
Originally posted by | | | bryman | | |

Originally posted by zakk

Originally posted by | | | bryman | | |

My thoughts exactly, will be happy to use my epic pass at the wood later this season.  I suspect a lot of the locals down there are not going to be pleased about the purchase (and resulting changes to the mountain) but that place has been run poorly for a while and a major purchaser has been a long tme coming. 
 
I didn't know it was going to be Vail, though . . . .
 
-b

With the continuing energy problems, antique fixed chairs, etc.  Vail Corp is going to have their work cut out for them.  I agree that the average Kirkwood local is pissed about Vail coming in, but in about 5 years their property value would have increased so much they won't care nearly as much then.  
 
P.S.  They're clearly aware of the challenges based on the sale price.  Shit, we probably could have scraped $18MM with all of the trust-funders lurking on this site
 
-b

Seriously, 18mil for Kirkwood and the surrounding terrain doesn't seem like much. It's so far out there that it will be interesting to see how they develop it, probably a lot of stay and ski packages and condo sales. Too bad I don't have a Heavenly pass this year to be able to ride the Wood again.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 7:34am
at the same time, what are they buying?  A bunch of fixed lifts, rights to a permit (that has to be paid for) and an energy system that can't power both the mountain ops and the employee housing at the same time? 

$18mm USD might way too much!
-zakk

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 7:44am
Originally posted by zakk

at the same time, what are they buying?  A bunch of fixed lifts, rights to a permit (that has to be paid for) and an energy system that can't power both the mountain ops and the employee housing at the same time? 

$18mm USD might way too much!
 
Don't forget the goodwill of the kirkwood name.  And the wood is a sick mountain.  Once they get reliable energy in there the rest of the issues will probably solve themselves. 
 
-b
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 7:47am
Originally posted by zakk

at the same time, what are they buying?  A bunch of fixed lifts, rights to a permit (that has to be paid for) and an energy system that can't power both the mountain ops and the employee housing at the same time? 

$18mm USD might way too much!

Vail Resorts has earned a net $46mil in Q1 of 2012. I think 18mil is not a concern.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 8:02am
Originally posted by robnezz23

Originally posted by kalynn505

I would hate for Vail and Squaw to have a monopoly on all of Tahoe's big resorts. I can see the pass prices skyrocketing because of the lack of competition.
 
Right.  This is exactly my fear too.  They will think they can justifiably raise rates because you now have access to 3 resorts instead of just 1.  But it's not like I can be at all 3 at the same time.  I would much rather have them all independently owned and fighting for our business to keep prices low.


Not how Vail resorts thinks or works exactly. If it was, they would have done it already with 5 mountains in CO. The "lower" season price passes are designed to guarantee revenue for a year with the expectations that people will be visiting and spending money on lodging, food, shops, lessons, etc.
With that said, the trend for VR has been for season passes to increase $50 year to year. Eventually the pass will reach a substantially higher price than now and you will have to decide if doing single day tickets vs. a seasons pass is worth it. For me the value of a pass is high, so even if a season pass reached $2000 (just for argument sakes) and ride 150 days that is about $13/day. Where as most people will ride less than 10 days a year than that is about $200+/day. It really comes down to the value of days vs. cost of pass

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 8:05am
I'm a little surprised at the acquisition. Kirkwood's not really a destination resort nor is it particularly close to civilization. If you're there, you're there to ride. I'd also head rumblings about the energy situation.

I'm cautiously optimistic. For me, this basically covers all my bases. I have Kirkwood for steeps and ungroomed, Northstar/Heavenly for everything else.

That said, after hearing about some of the changes KLS has made at Squaw, kicking out long-term tenants and taking over village space, I'm a little wary. Hoping at least the burgeoning KLS/Vail battle lowers lift ticket prices, but I'm not hopeful on that front.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 8:52am
wow that sounds cool. $255 for so many resorts. and damn i didn't know snow resorts make so much! $46M Q1 2012 is nuts!

i'm here hoping my local mtn gets permits to connect both resorts. probably will happen after i die. haha.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 8:57am
Originally posted by kalynn505

Originally posted by zakk

Well, it's just about happening now.  Homewood might go KSL as they have tied to Alpine for a while and have their master plan approved, 

Sierra at Tahoe, Sugar Bowl is about all that is left.  Mt. Rose is too far out there, Diamond Peak is a hill, Donner is ???, Boreal is a park mountain, maybe interesting to KSL??




I really hope Sierra and Sugarbowl can hold their own in the next few years. Both of them are great resorts just the way they are and I would hate for them to get caught up in this. Maybe we will see them join together next season with a Double Whammy type pass? They are both very close to the Bay area as far as Tahoe resorts go and are pretty well known. It would be interesting if KSL would show an interest in Boreal? They have Woodward now so that would be a huge plus, even if it is a small mountain.


+1 on this.  I've been riding Sierra pretty much exclusively for the last 6ish years, and I REALLY don't want anything to change.  I'm also worried about the Vail monopoly and skyrocketing season pass prices that someone else mentioned ^^ I believe people were pretty upset with the Heavenly/N* pass this year (from the Tahoe side) because you couldn't get a tahoe-only pass that worked 7 days a week without buying a pass to a bunch of CO mountains nobody wants to fly out and go ride (err, can't afford to fly out there and ride).  And now K-wood?  jesus...


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 9:00am

The Epic Tahoe Value Pass just got a lot better Clap Now, we just need some fresh snow...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 9:17am
How much do they cost right now?  I've heard that Utah's season pass rates are far higher than CO's?  I pay about a 1,000 for 2 season passes and that's with a college discount.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 9:32am
I'm sure they realize that kirkwood loses money and there is little prospects for it as energy costs continue to rise.  They must have some inside info on connecting Kirkwood to the grid. 

As a 13 year season pass holder at kirkwood I have to say this seems like bad news.  I go to kirkwood because it's got cheap season passes and it has the fewest people and the most snow.  It's also great that it wasn't corporate in anway.  shtook I'm feeling sad now.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 11:28am
that's crazy, kirkwood prices bout to go up next season, and with vail, it might not feel like a locals resort anymore. kirk was never really crowded.... hope it stays that way.   
the only good thing bout this is i got a triple whammy pass again... Oooo Yea!
 
i think sierra and sugarbowl can hold their own competing with vail resorts in tahoe. i feel like i cheated on sierra this season. i'm gonna get the sierra pass next season again.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 12:09pm
Too funny, I was there on Sunday and was thinking how it just seemed so dated when compared to Heavenly (which is where I rode on Saturday).  It didn't used to be such a discrepancy, but in recent years, Kirkwood has really fallen off in technology and customer service.  I joked with my wife that Vail should just buy it and fix it up.  I should be in Business Development.

Lib Tech Skate Banana 159 (2007/2008) w/ Burton CO2 bindings (2007/2008) ; Sierra Reverse Crew 162 (2010) w/ Rome 390 Boss bindings (2010/2011)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 12:24pm
from their press release it looks like they intend to still offer a kirkwood only pass next season... i REALLY hope so. N* and heavenly don't interest me too much and the low price and out of the way vibe at the 'wood is a big draw for me and a lot of people.

can't say i'm surprised though. I know they've been struggling now since the real estate tumble.

always trying to look on the bright side though, i'm hoping we get some reliable power at kirkwood.
http://kirkwoodnetworkpass.blogspot.com/
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 12:49pm
What a pleasant surprise to find this email from kirkwood this morning. I thought I was dreaming! I am so stoked! Kirkwood and Northstar are my two favorite resorts and I get to ride them both on my pass! WINNING!!!!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 12:55pm
Short term, this seems great. I have a Kwood pass this season and it's nice to have some other options.
 
Long term, I'm not so sure. A bud owns a cabin there and he's a bit nervous about upcoming increased expenses. Time will tell.
No Sig... I'm just not that witty or creative
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 12:57pm
Not sure I like this. Probably won't ever ride Kirkwood but I'm sure the price of my pass for Epic Pass will go up. I raised $30 this year, I'm sure it will raise another $30 next year for resorts I won't ride.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 2:45pm
Wow that's great value for season pass holders.
Hopefully with an additional resort in the tahoe area the season pass prices stays the same.
I might have to pick one up next season.
Thank god I didn't pull the trigger this season, seeing how bad the conditions are.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:08pm
Originally posted by letourneau41

Not sure I like this. Probably won't ever ride Kirkwood but I'm sure the price of my pass for Epic Pass will go up. I raised $30 this year, I'm sure it will raise another $30 next year for resorts I won't ride.


Good christ. Epic passes have raised $30-50 each year since their inception, not just because they acquired a new resort. I mean you really want to bitch about a pass that is $600 that is good for 5 mountains within 15-80 minutes of each other. You can't be ignorant enough to believe the pass was always going to be so cheap either. Even at a $1000 the pass is still a great deal if you make it worth it.
I'm just here to look cool...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 6:46pm
most japanese resorts (sorry to butt in here) have their season passes equivalent to about 15-20 days riding.
Niseko's season pass is about $1500 on the other hand ;)

theyre all fighting for your business, only prices kinda go UP rather than down. 
m00m
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 7:10pm
18 million is so chump change to these people.  I bet they didn't even want kirkwood but then found out they could have some of the best terrain in the world for the change in their couch.  Not a whole lot to lose.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 7:32pm
thats the trick though, making a pass worth it. making a pass worth 8-10 trips is pretty fair. And you get the choice of multiple mountains. Im just glad were not in the japanese range for passes like ippy mentioned. the general fear seems to be that kirkwood will lose it's local feel.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2012 at 10:21pm
that kinda sucks...i liked kirkwood as it was, a low price alternative with good pow compared to heavenly and northstar...sigh
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