Category Archives: Skiing

Riding Around with Greyhound

Normally, people ride the Greyhound bus as an affordable way to get around the country. May be they were on a budget and did not want to spend a lot of money traveling. Oftentimes, people do not feel compelled to create a project that revolves entirely around Greyhound.

However, Doug Levitt is not a typical passenger of Greyhound. Also, Doug Levitt has not lived a conventional life. In fact, Doug Lewitt is a former CNN war correspondent with a knack for art. Aside from being an artist and a former journalist from Los Angeles, Doug Lewitt is a Jew from a middle class background. For the past 13 years, Doug has traveled around 120,000 miles across America using the Greyhound bus.

What makes Doug Levitt’s perspective unique is the type of people he met while using the service. More than often, Doug encountered some relatively sketchy people. In fact, Doug encountered what he referred to as the “underbelly” of our society. Normally, Doug ran into ex-cons, neo-Nazis, and so forth. In 2004, Doug Levitt’s adventurous life played hand in hand with with John Kerry’s campaign to court registered voters. Eventually, riding the Greyhound bus would become a way of life for Doug Levitt.

In fact, he once spent seven consecutive weeks using the Greyhound bus service. In particular, Doug Levitt’s project speaks for a sect of our society that is normally silenced. His experiences gave voice to the voiceless.  No one would have thought in a million years someone used the Greyhound bus services as frequently as Doug Levitt. Not only would it be time consuming, it would also be tiresome.

Squaw Valley Releases Statement Regarding Recent Water Contamination

Reports of E. coli bacteria and Coliform discovery in the drinking water at Squaw Valley’s upper mountain have placed the Department of Environmental Health in Placer County, Squaw Valley Resorts and water experts on high alert. Following the revelations, Placer County Environmental Health Director, Wesley Nicks told the press that officials are working closely with Squaw Valley Resort to arrest the situation, a report published by the Sierra Sun on November 29 indicates. Amid the concerns, county officials have given Squaw Valley the go ahead to open the Upper Mountain to give skier’s access to the Gold Coast and High Camp facilities while addressing public health issues with the urgency it deserves.

Under the approval, the resort is authorized to offer prepackaged water and food until the issue is solved. The precaution follows a spate of cold and snowy storms that had earlier enveloped the area. Reports indicate that after the water system was certified, tested and given an approval; it received over 9 inches of precipitation in 3 days. Following news of the presence of E. coli bacteria and Coliforms in Squaw Valley’s Upper Mountain water wells, the resort has also issued a press release. The press release penned by the PR Director for Squaw Valley Meadows, Liesly Kennedy was published in the Sierra Sun on December 1. The release covered a host of issues, including the water quality, the measures the establishment was taking to ensure public safety and a schedule of events.

Read more: Squaw Valley issues statement on upper mountain water quality

In the release, Kennedy observed that the unusually heavy rain and storm recorded in October had greatly affected several water systems in Placer County. In Squaw Valley, the weather led to inundated upgrade of water systems installed at Gold Coast and High Camp by Squaw Valley, a move that is believed to have caused the contamination. However, the contamination was only limited to a single system and at no time was the water released for public consumption thereafter. When Squaw Valley officials realized the problem during routine testing, they informed the Placer County Environmental Health, various water experts and the Squaw Valley Public Service District. Sauers Engineering, the company that designed the water system was also notified about the issue.

The consultations will hopefully go a long way to help Squaw Valley and the country authorities to come up with a plan of action that will address the contamination issue on the affected system. Kennedy reiterated that the establishment will in the meantime not return regular water supply to the affected camps, until the local public health officials and water experts give an OK. Squaw Valley has taken these measures to protect the customers and ensure the resorts remain safe. However, guests at High Camp or Gold Coast are free to enjoy the camp facilities, since bottled water will be readily available. Kennedy concluded by saying that Squaw Valley will continue to update its guests regarding the matter. He thanked the Squaw Valley Service District and Placer County for their timely intervention and cooperation.

Andy Wirth and Olympic Valley Incorporation

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.


Op-ed: Clean power and good move for Economy and Environment


Last week, Reno City Council voted support for Clean power Plan. This program will help our country move toward a renewable and clean energy and away from the dirty coal power. With this vote, the council has become an important entity in the region to support clean power plan, joining numerous private companies. These voices have come together to press our society toward a better cleaner energy through clean power plan. A new, sustainable, diverse, healthy growing economy rests on us to provide the opportunity for the region. This clean energy program will realize the economic growth of our country. The leading companies in this transition are keeping the required pressure on our leaders and utilities. This time, we need truly clean energy.

The time to demand much from the leaders we elected is now. We do not just ask for compliance but rather actual leadership. This region will lay an example and become the leader in adopting the clean power plan for the 21st century and create a stronger and healthy economy. We need to ask the officials we elected to use a rational and long-term thinking and not to heed to interest groups. Through clean power plan, we will be able to realize a vibrant and healthy economy. The clean energy topic is, however, political. It is about the stern reality of the poor quality air we and the increased drought and forest fires in this region. It’s about the truth that is immutable about our country’s contribution to hemisphere and climate woes. We can reverse this by the fact that we have a chance of accepting the clean power plan.

Andy Wirth was born on 25th July 1958, and he serves in the hotel and mountain resorts industry. He is the current CEO and leader of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. For 25 years now, Wirth has been working in the Hotel and mountain resort industry. He commenced his career with Steamboat Springs in 1986, and he has held numerous leadership and marketing positions at Steamboat. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Colorado.