Squaw Valley Holdings CEO Andy Wirth says things are looking up for Squaw Valley Resort and the Olympic Valley community.
The drought conditions of the last few years hit the community hard. A number of businesses lost money and resorts saw visitor-ship drop by some 20%. The best news is that there is snow on the horizon — and plenty of it. According to Stanford University meteorologists, the drought is over. The impending El Nino should bring a great deal of snow, over a longer period.
But that’s not the only thing that was adversely affecting the community. Backers seeking to incorporate Olympic Valley caused an uproar. Wirth and the committee against incorporation spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight the effort. In the end, the effort was stymied, and the group backed out.
“Olympic Valley incorporation would have cost the area millions,” said Wirth. The only thing the Incorporate Olympic Valley effort would have achieved is higher taxes and a reduction in services, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. Now that it’s over, Wirth is hoping everyone, regardless of which side they’re on, can kiss and make up.
Wirth says there are a lot of exciting things on the horizon. The resort has a number of impending upgrades including a connecting gondola to the Alpine Resort.
Wirth is one of the most well-known and highly-respected businessmen in the area. He took over Squaw Valley in 2010 and built it in to one of the largest and most popular resorts in the world. Wirth is a generous philanthropist and spends a great deal of time dealing with veteran issues.
An avid sportsman, Wirth likes to skydive and fly planes in his spare time. He is likes to run and has participated in a number of marathons.
Wirth was involved in a near-death accident while skydiving with some friends three years ago. He was blown off course and landed in a vineyard. His arm was ripped off after being caught on a steel pipe. Through rehab and a great deal of perseverance, he was able to bounce back. He plans to enter the Iron Man competition this summer.