Lake Tahoe’s communities found in its northern shores have not had an easy time over the past years. A drought that can be described as epic took a huge toll on the winter resorts found there and this affected the small businesses that depended on them badly. Apart from this natural challenge, there was also a political one; the incorporation battle over the Olympic Valley. This valley is home to North America’s terrain of the most iconic winter sports as well as the Squaw Valley Resort. Andy Wirth, CEO and President of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings believes there will be a relief on two fronts. He stated that the last four years have been tough but Mother Nature had favored them with storms that have come early this season. This aspect combined with temperatures that are cold have enabled Squaw Valley and other resorts based in the Tahoe-area to open much earlier than they are accustomed to in the past decade. Another beautiful thing is that the persons who were supporting the incorporation of the Olympic Valley have since formally withdrawn their incorporation efforts.
Squaw Valley Ski Holdings strongly opposed the incorporation move and went ahead to spend quite a fortune in opposing this effort. Wirth argued that the move could have led to high taxes on businesses and residents in the area and also decreased service levels that the people are accustomed to like snow plowing and maintenance of roads. Mr. Wirth also held the view that if the efforts bore fruit, it would have isolated the Olympic Valley from the other communities in the North Shore with whom they pooled resources to deal with issues affecting the region. You can read the whole story as published in the Reno-Gazette Journal.
About Andy Wirth
Andy Wirth was born on July 25 1963 and he works in the hotel and mountain resort industry. Currently, he is the CEO and President of the Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. This is the parent company of Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley ski resorts based in Olympic Valley.
Wirth has been involved in the hotel and mountain resort industry for a period of 25 years. His career started way back in 1986 at Steamboat Springs Resort. He held several leadership and marketing positions at Steamboat Ski & Resorts Corporation. In the year 2007, Wirth was appointed to the post of Intrawest’s Chief Marketing Officer and the Executive Vice president when Intrawest acquired Steamboat. He then joined Squaw Valley in 2010.
It makes sense for someone like Andy Wirth to step up in support of the Clean Power Plan, which was voted on and supported by the Reno City Council. Wirth is, at his core, an outdoors-man who knows the importance of a healthy environment for both his business and his day to day life. As the CEO of Squaw Valley Ski, Wirth has seen the Reno area boom in the past five years thanks to his work bringing tourism into the region. The Clean Power Plan was always going to draw some conflicting reports, but Wirth took time to write in to the Reno Journal-Gazette to clear the air with his support.
Wirth didn’t waste any time in showing his unflinching support of the Clean Power Plan. He rightfully pointed out that a clean environment was needed and necessary for the Reno City area. In order to back up this assertion Wirth pointed out the environmental issues that are becoming all too common for those living in the area. He pointed to the low quality of the air that residents breathe, the wildfires that have swept over the region, and the way that the coal burning plants have made massive additions to their already large carbon footprint. Wirth said that “the time was now” and that their city, their region, could be forward thinking by continuing to support the CPP.
Wirth knows that in order for there to be long term success with clean energy that the public at large needs to be on board. Wirth pleaded with the readers of the Reno Gazette Journal and implored them to push their support onto every level of the government, from local legislators all the way to Congress. With support from the county residents there can only be long term success.
Andy Wirth knows how treating nature can cause you to be treated well. As the owner of a world class ski resort Wirth has his value tied into the quality of the environment. With huge companies like Microsoft
Andy Wirth has been a big part of Reno City for the past five or so years, ever since he took control of Squaw Valley Ski. As the owner of Squaw Valley Ski, Wirth has watched his business flourish all while bringing in tourists to the area and helping the industry flourish. After his appointment to the Reno City Airport Board it only made sense that Wirth would get more involved in the local government and how it effects the world around him. When the Reno City Council voted in support of the Clean Power Plan Wirth knew that he had to speak up and put his voice in the choir of support. Wirth put out an op-ed column in the Reno Journal-Gazetteto make this happen.
The Clean Power Plan was inevitably going to gain scrutiny for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which is the general misunderstanding of climate change and carbon footprints. Wirth isn’t one of those business owners who finds himself on the short end of the stick of understanding. Instead, in his op-ed we saw Wirth deliver a passionate monologue on the importance of the Clean Power Plan because of the good it will not only bring the region, but the environment as well. Wirth said that the Reno City Council, when choosing to support the CPP, was helping to move society “towards clean energy” and he closed his statement by stating his applause for their actions.
Wirth says that times are changing and that a booming economy can be had for the residents of Reno City. Wirth pointed to the progress the city has already made for clean energy and he thanked the bigger companies out there for leading the way: Tesla, Microsoft, Apple. Wirth pointed out how important it was for the private sector to be involved in clean energy because it kept pressure on utility companies and the elected officials who need their support.
Squaw Valley Ski has been Wirth’s project for the past five years and he’ll continue to cultivate the company as he pushes for more involvement with the local government. Wirth was recently appointed to the Reno Airport Authority Board.