I appreciate any input as this will be my first trip to Tahoe.
I stayed at Lake Tahoe Vacation resort last year and they had shuttles (for a fee) to Kirkwood. I can not speak to its convenience as we had a car but maybe you could latch on to one of those. I am not personally a big fan of Heavenly and only stayed there cause it was free and used the rental car to get to Squaw and Kirkwood which are excellent mountains. In my opinion having the car is worth it so you can hit the places you want and then spend time hanging out in other parts for dinner, apres etc e.g. Tahoe City