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Squaw Valley Is One Step Closer To Starting Their New 94 Acre Expansion While A Freak Water Issue Is Being Resolved

For the last five years, CEO Andy Wirth has been working on a base village expansive program. On November 15, the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the expansion project. Wirth said the project would add more than 1,500 new hotel rooms, and condos, plus more retail space, restaurants, and a large indoor recreation center. The expansion would be spread across 94 acres at the base of Squaw Valley’s famous snow-covered slopes and trails.

The Squaw Valley ski resort is not the same resort that hosted the 1960s Winter Olympic Games on Facebook, according to Mr. Wirth. Wirth said the resort is much larger now, thanks to the merger with the Alpine Meadows ski resort. He also said the resort got a facelift in 2010. The skiers that come to Squaw Valley these days enjoy more than 60 restaurants, shops, bars, and clothing and shoe boutiques. Squaw Valley was voted the best ski destination in 2016 by two industry magazines. The staff at the resort expects the 2016/2017 season to be one of the best in recent memory. The season got started early, and weather forecasters say the snow should keep coming for months. Skiers should enjoy the slopes well into May if temperatures cooperate.

But the resort did run into a snag in the beginning of October. The upper mountain area was hit with a major rainstorm. More than 9.5 inches of rain fell during a 72-hour period, according to Public Relations Director, Liesl Kenney. Kenney said four of the wells were flooded in the upper mountain area. The four wells tested positive for harmful bacteria, so the two drinking water systems for the Gold Coast and High Camp areas were shut down. The resort did preliminary water tests, and all four wells tested positive for coliform and E. coli bacteria.

According to an article in the Sierra Sun, Squaw Valley’s staff immediately closed the restaurant facilities in those areas of the resort. The staff called the Placer County Environmental Health Department, and the Squaw Valley Utility District, so the wells could be inspected properly.

According to the Sierra Sun, skiing was not interrupted by the contaminated wells. None of the guests were exposed to the bacteria. Liesl Kenney said the two water systems will remain closed until all harmful bacteria is removed from the wells. Three of the wells recently tested negative for E. coli bacteria, but low levels of coliform were still present in those wells.

Squaw Valley should have a great 2016/2017 season. The upper mountain well situation will not compromise the operation of the resort or the ski conditions. In fact, the resort doesn’t need those wells to produce clean drinking water for skiers or the restaurants. There are plenty of other clean water sources available. The health experts expect to rid the four contaminated wells of the bacteria soon, but until the resort gets a green light from the experts the wells will not be part of the clean water system.

Andy Wirth Speaks on the Effects of The Drought on Ski Resort Profits

There are few industries that can be affected more by volatility in the weather than the winter mountain resort industry. A dry winter without much snow can cause thousands of dollars to not be made over the course of what could have been a very profit-rich season.

The weather is something that mountain resort executives cannot control. However, mountain resort executives have the power to be able to plan for the long-run with business models that will work well even in the driest of winters.

Andy Wirth, CEO of Squaw Valley Resort, is very aware of this process. While Wirth has dealt with a number of less than average winters, he is strictly confident of his long-term business model that will keep Squaw Valley Resort profitable for the foreseeable future. Learn more about Andy Wirth: and

Upon recently hearing the Press Play with Madeleine Brand interview featuring Wirth, it was easy to see how the media likes to put as negative of a spin on the problem of weather volatility as possible. The media is trying to portray a doomsday type scenario for these Winter resorts that just is not true. Wirth stated in his interview with Brand that while Squaw Valley Resort received less snow that an average year, there were still thousands of skiable acres to enjoy.

Andy Wirth also states how important the summer months are in maintaining profitability in these volatile seasons. Wirth was proud to report that there were record booking for weddings, corporate events, concerts, and other summer activities. Even with a drier winter, the summer months can help a mountain resort become more profitable than even before during colder snowier winters.

The drought is something that isn’t going to go away overnight. It is something that will impact resorts all over California. However, there are many different techniques and tactics that can be used by CEOs like Wirth in mountain resorts all across California in order to keep these resorts profitable.

Wirth has been able to use his will to win not only to become very successful professionally but to also triumph in his personal life as well. Even when Wirth is faced with seemingly unbeatable odds he stands tall and leaves the situation victoriously. For example, Wirth was involved in a very dangerous skydiving accident in 2013.

When Wirth lost control of his descent, he fell rapidly into a vineyard and crash landed. This resulted in Wirth crashing right onto a sharp wire fence and losing his right arm completely. Instead of letting this defeat Wirth, he overcame many different surgeries that were extremely difficult to endure.

Through many months of intense surgeries and physical therapy, Wirth finally regained the full movement and use of his right arm. This is a triumph that Wirth will be able to share and inspire many for years to come.

Click on the following links to read more:

Andrew Wirth: Executive Profile & Biography
How Will the Drought Affect California Ski Resorts?


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