Category Archives: Olympic Valley

Andy Wirths’ Visions for Better Ski Resorts

Winter skiing is a major sport as well as a popular getaway sport during the winter for people from all walks of life. Squaw Valley has been a preferred destination for so many.

Like many other vacation choices, winter mountain skiing was once mostly for the wealthy but over time, it has become more affordable for the middle-class income families or people who just enjoy the challenge of the sport.

Andy Wirth gained public recognition with his association with the group “Wounded Warrior Support”, an Ironman team of Navy Seals. He was basically raised in Olympic Valley since both of his parents were avid skiers and taught him early on to ski.

At first, he preferred to ski with a group of young friends that were sometimes bit of daredevils but as he grew older, he took a strong interest in the workings of the corporations that run worldwide ski resorts. When Squaw Valley was sold to one such corporation, he got in on the ground floor until he hired to be the CEO of the company, KSL Capital Partners.

He is a smart businessman to see the great potential of uniting Squaw Valley with Alpine Meadows, a separate ski resort just a few miles from Squaw Valley.

According to Crowdrise and TohoeDailyTribune, Andy Wirth approached the CEO of Alpine Meadows, Troy Caldwell, with the idea of combing the two ski resorts through a track entitled a base-to-base gondola since he had discovered that many of the same customers skied at both resorts.

The two resorts had tried to find a mutually beneficial solution quite a few times before but there was always the problem of a stretch of private land and also a government wildlife protected wilderness that lay between the two resorts and the only way to get between was to drive there.

If the gondola could be worked where it did not encroach upon either the private property or the government wilderness, then it would be feasible. There has been opposition from the local community and environmentalists that such an enterprise might destroy the natural beauty of the mountains as well as over commercializing their communities.

In an interview, Mr. Wirth spoke strongly of ways to satisfy everyone, but he did state it would take a good deal of cooperation with both groups to reach an amicable agreement.

He has also brought forth ideas or suggestions that could draw more summer tourism to the Lake Tahoe area around the mountains. So far, the gondola is still just a work in thought, but Mr. Wirth is very hopeful that it could eventually become a reality.

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Julia Mancuso opinion: My friend Andy Wirth is a good guy