The Rise and Fall of the Olympic Valley Incorporation

Since it was established in 1949, the Squaw Valley ski resort has always been the place to go to hit the slopes. It is located in majestic Olympic Valley, California and was the site for the 1960 Winter Olymics. In 2010, a visionary by the name of Andy Wirth became CEO and president of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and big changes were on the horizon.

A year after Mr. Wirth took his position, Squaw Valley acquired the Alpine Meadows ski resort and the dream of merging the two ski resorts began. From the top of Squaw Valley the top of Alpine Meadows is visible but the two resorts are seperated by different passes. His biggest battle began when politically an incorporation challenge ensued.

Throughout the batttle Andy Wirth and Squaw Valley Ski Holdings stood firm on their opposition. If the incorporation stood then it was Mr. Wirth’s belief that tax rates on the local community would rise and then services such as winter road maintenance would suffer. Squaw Valley Ski Holdings invested thousand upon thousands of dollars for this cause. This incorporation battle becme so large it was even discussed quite often in th Reno-Gazette Journal.

Finally, the battle is over with the California’s Local Agency Formation Commission’s ruling stating that the “proposed town wouldn’t be financially viable”. With that the effort to incorporate Olympic Valley was formally withdrawn. Now there are plans to erect a base to base gondola. This gondola would join the two mountains by starting at the base of Squaw Valley and taking guests to the base of Alpine Meadows.

Since Andy took over as CEO his dedication to the company has been evident. In fact, he was the focus of an episode of CBS’s reality show “Undercover Boss”. He went undercover to see how the operation was running and to relate to the employees. During the show Andy went undercover as a snowboard instructor, lift mechanic, ski patrol and terrain park crew.

Source: Reno Gazette-Journal

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