News Releases

Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood Set to Open for 2023/24 Winter Season

Lake Tahoe, CALIF. – November 20, 2023 – Three of Lake Tahoe’s premier resorts are gearing up for another unforgettable season as they begin spinning their lifts and welcoming guests back for the 2023/24 ski and ride season. After a slight delay due to warmer temperatures, Heavenly Mountain Resort will now open on Tuesday, November 21, with Northstar California to follow on Thursday, November 23. Kirkwood Mountain Resort is scheduled for December 1.

Limited early season terrain will be accessible, with more to follow as conditions permit. Lifts start spinning at 8:30am at Heavenly and Northstar and 9am at Kirkwood on opening day and include:

  • Heavenly: Tram, Patsy’s, Powderbowl
  • Northstar: Big Springs Gondola and Vista
  • Kirkwood: Chair 5

Guests visiting Heavenly for opening day on Tuesday can enjoy skiing and riding with an opening day footprint on the California side, along with sightseeing via the Gondola to take in the iconic Lake Tahoe views the resort is known for. Enjoy good eats and après at California Lodge, Umbrella Bar, Stein’s, and Tamarack Lodge. The resort will also have DJs on-mountain and at the base to bring the beats and celebrate the start of the season.

In addition to spinning lifts on Thursday, Northstar will be hosting a grand opening for VOUS, its new café in the Village, on Friday, November 24. After a day on the slopes, guests can enjoy a yummy meal at Wild Pine and opening day après with a drink from Rink Bar and s’mores by the fire. The ice-skating rink will also open Wednesday, November 22.

At Kirkwood, guests will be able to ski and ride early season terrain off of Chair 5. The Wall Bar and Monte Wolfe’s will also be open, along with K-Bar, located at the center of Kirkwood Village, to be open on December 1. Ski and Ride School has limited private lessons available for booking and will begin scheduling group lessons once terrain begins opening up beyond the early season footprint.

All three resorts will continue to make snow and monitor conditions to determine when to expand terrain and lift offerings following their official opening.

“We have been waiting in anticipation to pull out our skis and snowboards again, and the time is finally here,” said Tom Fortune, VP and COO of Heavenly and the Tahoe Region. “Our committed teams have been working in high gear as we ramp up operations, and I am so thankful for all their contributions as we inch closer to ski and ride season. We cannot wait to welcome all our guests back to our mountains to get back to doing what we all love."

Importantly, new this year, Heavenly and Northstar will be offering guests several choices for parking this season, with a combination of both free and paid parking options, including a new reservations-based paid parking program starting Mid-December on weekends (Saturday - Sunday) and peak periods at select parking lots – more details can be found on the “Getting Here & Parking” pages on the Heavenly and Northstar websites. As always, we highly encourage carpooling any time you visit our resorts.

If guests are planning to ski or ride this season, they have less than two weeks to lock in their Epic Pass. Epic Passes – including the Tahoe Local Pass and the Epic Day Pass (1-7 days), which provide significant savings compared to lift ticket prices – go off sale at 11:59 p.m. PT on Sunday, December 3. Lock in a pass now and guests can decide later when and where to ski and ride this season. Whether planning to hit the slopes one day or every day, by purchasing a pass now, guests will get the best value, plus flexibility and benefits not offered with traditional lift tickets. That includes 20% off on-mountain dining, group ski and ride lessons, lodging, rentals and more with Epic Mountain Rewards. Those who buy their pass now will also unlock access to discounted lodging rates through Vail Resorts' Pass Holder Exclusive Cyber Sale from Nov. 21 – 27. The Pass Holder Exclusive Cyber Sale will offer up to 20% off lodging rates this winter season, plus an additional 20% off with Epic Mountain Rewards. Pass Holders will have discounted lodging options across Vail Resorts' portfolio of hotels, condos and premier vacation residences.

Also new this season, the My Epic app with Mobile Pass and Mobile Lift Tickets is now available to download, allowing guests to use their phone as their ticket to the slopes. Mobile Pass and Mobile Lift Tickets is a hands-free option for skiers and riders to use at all 36 of Vail Resorts’ owned and operated U.S. resorts for the 2023/24 season, with availability at Whistler Blackcomb to follow in future seasons. It allows guests to buy their pass or lift ticket online, activate it in the new My Epic app, put their phone in their pocket, and get scanned, hands free in the lift line using Bluetooth® technology designed for low energy usage to minimize the impact on a phone’s battery life. This season, to ensure a smooth transition, the company will continue to provide physical cards for passes and lift tickets to all guests. For guests choosing to use Mobile Pass this season, watch this video for some tips. The My Epic app also offers a range of guest-favorite features, including interactive trail maps with GPS location tracking, and mountain and resort alerts, including operational information like grooming updates, terrain status, snow reports and conditions.

Follow Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood for daily updates and real-time information, along with other important news throughout the season on the new My Epic app (once in the app, look for the bell in the top right corner to see a feed of real-time guest alerts) or on our operational teams’ social channels:


Media Contacts:

  • Ashlee Lambert, Senior Communications Manager, Tahoe Region and Northstar California Resort
  • Cole Zimmerman, Communications Manager, Heavenly Mountain Resort
  • Stephen Seime, Senior Communications Specialist, Kirkwood Mountain Resort
News Alerts
Don't miss out on our updates. Enter your details below to keep up with our latest news.
* Required Fields
News Releases pg Resources Feature Box


If you are a member of the media and have an inquiry or information request, we encourage you to e-mail the Vail Resorts communications and media relations team.

News Archive

Press Kit