the new kirkwood (sucks)

back on feb 22, 2012, vail resorts bought kirkwood mountain resort. since then things have been downhill. twice the resort has had to close or seriously curtail operations for inbounds avalanches. their airbag came out of it’s restraints and blew across the base area derailing chair 6, an express quad, thus requiring an emergency evacuation. whilst these are extremely rare events, they are nowhere near as rare as the managerial screwups that closed out the season.

  • vail resorts announced that kirkwood would be open “until the snow is gone”. they are closed with a huge base by any other resorts standards. alpine (whose base is 1,000′ lower) is still open from the base.
  • for the first time ever midweek and 6-wood holders were denied access when their passes weren’t good on closing weekend despite the fact that kirkwood was closed all week when their passes would have been good.
  • vail resorts brought in security that went through backpacks and pulled passes on closing day. a typical vail move; atypical for kirkwood (and any other resort that cares).

i think the biggest thing that the future holds in our mind is that we preserve what it is today, and we don't make big changes to what makes kirkwood kirkwood

Well, for our pass holders it adds another dimension to what we offer. I think particularly for our pass holders, it adds a third unique mountain product to the mix. So Kirkwood has great steeps, a great pure alpine and big mountain experience. It's a really cool vibe with a small community feel and we're going to cherish and respect that. With all of our resorts, we like each one of them to have their own strong identity, and Kirkwood brings a whole different personality into the mix for us.

kirkwood used to be the locals resort. the only thing they’re giving locals now is the finger
kirkwood gives locals the finger

update, 5/10/12
hiked up kirkwood today to make sure i wasn’t wrong about them having enough snow. i hate being wrong though i do it frequently. it was not in this case here.
the top of 6. clearly plenty of snow
Kirkwood is closed with this much snow

the top of chair 10 still has tons of snow (literally)
Kirkwood is closed with this much snow

and the bottom of 10 and 11. no issues here
Kirkwood is closed with this much snow

bottom of chairs 5 and 6 ready to go
Kirkwood is closed with this much snow

so what’s up kirkwood. clearly the snow isn’t gone. clearly we can still ride.

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