Residents living on Lake Tahoe’s north shore are all too well acquainted with the trying hardships the area has faced over the last few years. In addition to the numerous natural challenges which hit the community such as the drought that wreaked havoc on the area’s winter resorts and businesses, the residents also had to contend with tons of political turmoil. Just as the debate over incorporating the breathtaking Olympic Valley heated up, locals were beginning to believe that they’d never again catch a break. As the birthplace of the renowned Squaw Valley Resort, the area is also famous for being home to some of the country’s most celebrated terrains for winter sports.
Andy Wirth is the president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings LLC. He believes that there may actually be respite up ahead for both parties in the conflict. Understanding much like anyone else of the area just how hard the past four years have been, he remains hopeful. Luckily, the community did get some helpful guidance by old Mother Nature herself when early season storms brought colder temps which offered several local resorts including Squaw Valley the chance to open business weeks earlier than what had become the new norm in the last ten years.
Plus, just this week, backers seemingly provided some further relief when they withdrew efforts on Olympic Valley. CEO Wirth and many others consider this a huge blessing as it would have likely put a damper on the civic climate for most local businesses. Having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and loads of hours opposing the divisive efforts, it’s also common knowledge that the incorporation may have posed higher taxes on businesses and residents. Olympic Valley incorporation could have even led to major decreases in the level of service residents received for such tasks as snow plowing and road maintenance.
Despite their exceedingly deep pockets, the political push for incorporation failed against the California Local Agency Formation Commission. The state’s LAFC ultimately decided the town simply wasn’t financially viable. Now, Wirth hopes that the community will fine tune their efforts on to more pressing issues like transportation. Having co-founded the Wounded Warrior Support and contributing to local environmental and community service causes, the CEO and president hopes that now will be the time for healing and the divisive political agenda can be put in the past where it belongs finally.
This article was published through the Reno-Gazette Journal.