January 5, 2016 · Business, Ski City, Sports · (No comments)

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.


Andy Wirth is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, which includes the ski resorts of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows in Olympic Valley, California. Before taking the reigns at the Squaw Valley Ski Holdings in 2010, Wirth got his professional experience working for Steamboat Springs Resort in Colorado. He began working for Steamboat Springs out of college in 1986 and worked his way up to executive vice president and chief marketing officer. In addition to being a businessman, Wirth is also a member of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board, an athlete, and a philanthropist.

According to the story on The Sierra Sun News, Andy Wirth was appointed as Chairman of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board in July of 2015. Wirth was appointed because of his international resort experience. Wirth is hoping, along with the new board members, to help revitalize the Reno-Tahoe Airport in order to bring in more visitors yearly. Enhancing the services provided at the airport will only help to enhance the community, local businesses, and the ski industry in the area. When appointed as Chairman, Wirth said that he was excited to take on the challenge.

Andy Wirth is also an athlete and a lover of extreme sports. A few years ago he fell in love with skydiving but suffered a life-changing accident in 2013. Out for a routine jump in Lodi, California with some friends, the winds shifted and Wirth missed his drop zone. Instead of landing safely, he came down into a vineyard where his right arm got caught on a metal fence post. While waiting for help to arrive, Wirth was able to slow down his bleeding and keep himself calm. After nearly 50 surgeries, he has regained the use of his right arm. Through his recovery he has had the support of many, however a chance meeting with a group of Navy SEALs has pushed him to do more. He has assembled a team for the 2015 IRONMAN Lake Tahoe race to support the Navy SEAL Foundation. Through Crowdwise, Wirth and his Special Warfare Warrior Team are taking donations to support their cause.

Andy Wirth is also a major supporter of environmental causes and finding a clean, renewable energy source. He frequently volunteers and contributes to causes such as the Humane Society of Tahoe Truckee, The McConkey Foundation, the Truckee River Watershed Council, and many others in the area.