The Squaw Valley Ski Resort and its adjoining community has faced many difficult challenges lately. Business owners will tell you that they haven’t fared well financially due to some events that were well beyond their control.
No one could have predicted in a million years that the area would be plagued by a drought that would cut snowfall literally in half. The lack of snowfall forced many area resorts to shorten their seasons.
The domino effect caused many local business to lose money due to lack of visitors. “It was a nightmare. I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it through the season,” said one business owner.
Squaw Valley did make it due to the leadership of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings CEO and President Andy Wirth. “We have a resilient community. When faced with troubles, we stuck together and that helped us through this difficult time,” said Wirth.
But just when everyone thought the worst was over, a bitter battle over incorporation. Wirth, along with many in the community opposed incorporation. “It would have destroyed the community. The taxes and heavy toll on businesses would have done a lot worse than the drought,” said Wirth. The issue was finally settled when backers of the initiative pulled out and dropped it.
Some of the incorporation supporters believe that the opposition was self-serving. “There are a lot of things that can be done to help the community, but incorporation isn’t one of them.” Wirth says he’s hoping that everyone can just move forward from this.
Most people in the North Shore community will agree that Andy Wirth has been a godsend. He went in with a figurative sledge hammer and removed every aspect of the old regime. “It was time to completely upgrade the resort in every way possible,” said Wirth.
He designed the upgrades after the ultra-modern European standard. Today, the resort is one of the best in the U.S., if not the world.
Good news is on the horizon. It seems that the area could see quite a bit of snow this season. “This could be one of the best snow seasons in years,” said Wirth. “This is truly a blessing.