Category Archives: Squaw Valley
Andy Wirth Is Helping Make Lake Tahoe An Easier Place To Visit

Skiing is a fun activity that many people happen to love doing. In order to ski, it is often necessary to travel to certain places. One of the most famous place to ski is Lake Tahoe. The many resorts of Lake Tahoe can be hard to get to directly.

One person, Andy Wirth wants to make the process of traveling to and from this area easier for all visitors. This is why he has decided to oversee the construction of an entirely brand new gondola system between two of the most famous resorts in the region, Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley. His hope is that this gondola will make it easier to visit both lovely areas.

A Base-to-Base Gondola

As mentioned in a piece that was published in Powder Magazine, a magazine devoted to the world of skiing and all activities related to it, the gondola is currently in the process of completion. Such a connection appears to make a great deal of sense from multiple point of view. The two mountain resorts are close together.

They are so close that one can easily be seen from the other one. However, in the past, getting from one to the other has been a cumbersome process that can take a great deal of time. This is where the gondola should make it so much easier for all those who are going to visit either resort.

Visionary Leadership

Andy Wirth is the Chief Operating Officer of the Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows resort. In this capacity, he has been responsible for efforts that have helped bring the region into the rank of both nationally and internationally renowned resorts.

He knows that it is imperative to offer an experience that is truly wonderful for all those who visit this region. As a result of his efforts, many changes have been made to the entire area. Such changes have been part of his love of the outdoors. He loves sports of all, especially outdoor sports such as skiing.

Bring The Resort Forward

Above all, Andy Wirth is committed to this region. He loves the beauty of the area. His aim is to help bring more people here to go skiing so they can also enjoy what the region has to offer. As the head of one of the area’s most important resorts, he has been instrumental in bringing changes to this part of the world.

His efforts include expanded transportation networks as well as efforts to welcome skiers of all skill levels and backgrounds to the slopes here. He comes to this area with a sense of wonder as he was a wilderness ranger in his younger days, a role he hopes to continue today.

Read more: Squaw Valley’s Andy Wirth appointed chair of Reno airport board 

Squaw Valley Scores Base to Base Gondola

Residents and tourists of the Reno-Tahoe region reserved great news as Andy Wirth, CEO of the epic Squaw Valley Ski resort, revealed that the company would be adding a Base-to-Base gondola that would attach to Alpine Meadows — as reported by Powder Magazine. These two amazing resorts have long been connected with one another in the minds of skiers everywhere and now they’ll have a physical connection as well.

The announcement for the gondola came about recently with public reaction being immediate and positive. The gondola is no small venture, however, and it will be done in three parts in order to complete the entire arc between the two resorts.

The beginning of the gondola will start at Squaw Valley’s base before going up over a ridge and then landing at the base of Alpine Meadows. For a long time this sort of gondola connection has been nothing more than a dream of local skiers and tourists alike who hated the idea of driving between the two resorts in order to get their slope shredding in. For a long time the biggest problem with completing this gondola came from landowner Troy Caldwell. Read more: Squaw Valley’s Andy Wirth appointed chair of Reno airport board 

Mr. Caldwell owns the area of land between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows that is known as the White Wolf area. White Wolf is a stretch of land that compiles 460 acres, which includes the top of Squaw Valley’s chairlift — KT-22.

According to SteamBoatToday, Andy Wirth has been publicly trying to get this connection done through the White Wolf since 2011 and all parties involved can proudly, and honestly, say that there is a sigh of relief going about town with it finally over.

With the gondola entering construction phase we will see Squaw Valley turn into one of the most desired ski resorts in the entire country which will bring a boon of tourism dollars to the region. Wirth has been more and more active in the Tahoe region over the past couple of years, going so far as to join the Reno Airport Authority Board. His work in the area is starting to pay major dividends as the region booms.

However, for Andy Wirth life is no longer all just about business. It was only a few years ago that Wirth nearly lost his life in a near-fatal skydiving accident. Wirth’s plane missed its drop zone and he was flown off course, being forced to put down in a rough area.

Wirth clipped a telephone pole and immediately sustained a deadly injury to his arm. Wirth managed to stay calm and collected until help arrived and he was able to go through the litany of surgeries before getting back on his feet in order to get back to work and help Squaw Valley grow

Andy Wirth on skiing through a drought

In an segment I caught on KRCW’s “Press Play with Madeleine Brand”, Andy Wirth gave an excellent interview about the future of skiing in California, and what Squaw Valley will be like the the near future. He made some great points throughout and gave a very positive outlook, given the current state of the environment and the drought situation plaguing much of California.

Andy Wirth is the president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings in Olympic Valley, California, located near Lake Tahoe. He has been in this position since 2010, and during his time in the area he has worked to improve the quality of skiing in the valley, as well as maintain the natural beauty of the mountain and the forests.

One example of the improvements made is the base-to-base gondola that now connects Alpine Meadows with Squaw Valley, improving mobility for skiers and improving the overall experience.

In the interview, Andy Wirth comments on the drought the state has been facing and the effects it has had on the industry, as well as Squaw Valley in particular. He notes that in this season in particular, there was a ‘ridiculously resilient ridge’, as coined by Stanford meteorologists.

This prevented many low pressure systems from entering the mountains and bringing much needed precipitation. Andy goes on to say that this produced 20 percent fewer skier visits compared to the previous year, but it was manageable.  Read more: How Will the Drought Affect California Ski Resorts?

The Squaw Valley skiing is resilient, according to Andy Wirth, and they can withstand less than ideal winters indefinitely. Proper business models and utilizing what nature provides will allow the industry to continue on and thrive.

While there may be less snow than in previous years, there is still plenty of good skiing to be had. Advances in the use of artificial snow, as well as intelligent snow management allow much of the mountain to remain open for skiing given the reduced snowfall.

Moving forward, Andy Wirth sees an optimistic future. Given the current weather patterns, this coming winter could be colder than the last, making for excellent skiing. The future of changes to the climate are not just warming, but more variability and uncertainty. Andy is confident in his ability to build a business model around this and handle any changes with intelligent design and managements.  Learn more about Andy Wirth:

In the long term, the possibility of the decline of skiing in the area looms uncertain. However, through hedging the business and focusing more on Summer events, they can adapt. Furthermore, as a sort of resource manager for the land maintained for recreation, Andy and Squaw Valley are connected to the changes happening and are actively working to reduce emissions and the overall carbon footprint. They are a business committed to environmental preservation and sustainability.