The past few years have been difficult for Squaw Valley Ski Resort, but there seems to be some relief sweeping in, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal, which posted an article last December discussing some of their troubles.
When operating a resort that depends on high snows and cool weather, there are a couple dangers that come your way. For Squaw Valley Resort, those dangers were both natural and man-made.
There was a major league drought that they struggled through, but the end came when Mother Nature dropped a serious set of storms and cold temperatures on their heads. This permitted the Resort to open earlier than they usually do, increasing attendance and revenue.
On the man-made front, the backers of an Incorporation effort to battling over the Olympic Valley, where the Resort resides, have formerly withdrawn their attempts. This comes as a great relief to Andy Wirth, the President and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC, who says that to let it happen would have resulted in long-term disaster. According to Wirth, incorporation would have isolated the Olympic Valley from it’s neighbors, who pool together resources in hard times. It could have also resulted in higher taxes on businesses and residents, and decreased the services that the locals depend on, like road maintenance and snow plowing.
Although Wirth is CEO, he’s not afraid to get down in the snow with the employees. In one episode of Undercover Boss (Season 4, Episode 11), Wirth can be seen as an employee of his own company, teaching little kids to snow board and shoveling mountains of the fluffy white stuff with the terrain crew. He also sits on the Reno-Tahoe Airport Board of Trustees, where he was appointed back in 2013, and brings to the table his experience as a back-country ranger in the Rocky Mountain Natural Park, his time as a wildlife firefighter, and more than twenty five years in resort management.
But these are just some of the things Andy Wirth gets up to in his waking hours. Wirth likes to sky-dive. However in 2013, tragedy struck when one of his jumps landed him in a vineyard; easily one of the worst places to stop a jump. Wirth nearly lost his arm and his life in the landing, and it was only with the care of some very talented surgeons and therapists, as well as considerate friends and family, that Wirth survives to this day.
Wirth is well on the mend, and sights that training for the Ironman triathlon has been key to that. He also attributes part of his recovery to a meeting with Navy SEALS training in Squaw Valley, and their friendship. For them, he runs the Ironman.