In an article from the Reno Gazette-Journal it is reported that the Lake Tahoe area is suffering from a seriouss drought. This is causing a lot of hardship for winter resorts and small business in this area that need favorable weather conditions for successful business. Not only is the weather threatening this area; the area is also faced with a political challenge.
The beautiful Olympic Valley, home to Squaw Valley Resort and other winter sports teams were being challenged from an incorporation battle. There is; however, some relief in sight says, Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. It has been a hard four years, say Wirth, but they are receiving some help from Mother Nature in the form of early season storms.
Wirth works in the mountain resort and hotel industry, and is currently President of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. He has a long history in this area as his grandfather had been director of the US National Park Service. Wirth himself has been in the mountain resort industry for over 25 years.
Andy Wirth, born in West Germany, begain with the Steamboat Ski Corp. in 1986. He served them in many different marketing areas for ownership groups involved in the ski resort industry for over 20 years. In 2007 he was promoted to their parent company, Intrawest. There, Wirth managed domestic and global marketing strategies which led to the formation of the Mountain Village Partnership. He was appointed President of Squaw Valley ski resort in 2010.
Wirth considered incorporation efforts a threat to the businesses in the area. It was also considered a threat to the civic climate; however, relief has come this week when they withdrew their efforts to incorporate Olympic Valley. In Wirth’s opinion the efforts were a recipe for disaster and a long term threat to operating a business in the area.
Backers of the incorporation say the company had plans to improve real estate with more residential and commercial development. They had planned to build a gondola to connect Squaw Valley with Alpine Meadows, two ski areas. One drive organizer feels the opposition was due to Ski Holdings wanting to influence the Placer County supervisors and not having local influence of the local residents.
Wirth rejects this interpretation and says now they can work on transportation and other issues as a community. He feels everyone will come to agree on what they all love about this area and also agree on what it needs to continue to grow and succeed. He sees the aborted efforts to incorporate as a chance for the area to heal.