Over the last four years Olympic Valley has had its share of some pretty tough times. First a drought came along that was so epic, businesses were forced to remain closed during their most profitable months of the year. As you can imagine, this had a negative impact on the community as a whole.
But that wasn’t the only problem brewing in the Lake Tahoe community. Incorporation Drive, an organization run by Fred Ilfield, decided they wanted to come in and incorporate the city.
Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC, wasn’t too fond of the idea. He believed incorporating the area would be a recipe for fiscal disaster. He referred to it as a threat that could lead to big problems for both businesses and residents in the area.
In an article published in the Reno-Gazette Journal, Wirth was quoted as saying, “This was a fundamental long term threat to operating a business, whether it be a wine bar or a ski area in this valley.”
He also said such a move would lead to higher taxes and a decrease in services people in the community depend on such as road maintenance and snow plowing.
To help prevent this from happening, Wirth’s company Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight the organization trying to incorporate Olympic Valley.
Luckily, Wirth and the community of Lake Tahoe came out on top. Eventually incorporation backers decided to withdraw their efforts and move on.
But that wasn’t the only good news the Lake Tahoe community received. Mother Nature showed up and blessed them with some really great weather. It was so great in fact, businesses were able to open a few months earlier than usual. This allowed them the opportunity to recoup some of the money they lost due to the drought.
While incorporation backers feel Wirth acted out of selfishness, Wirth made it clear his objective was, and will always be, to help the community as a whole.
About Andy Wirth
Since 2010 Andy Wirth has been serving as CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. Over the last six years he has worked tirelessly to bring it up to par with other competing ski resorts. After just one year on the job, Wirth managed to rebuild the resorts reputation and help it climb into the top 20 percent of the skiing industry.
Original article: Squaw-Alpine boss looks to turn page on ‘divisive’ fight