I heard this interview with Andy Wirth on Santa Monica College’s community radio station, KCRW. The radio program was, “Press Play with Madeleine Brand,” his thoughts on how the California drought will affect the ski season, were particularly interesting.
As the current President and Chief-Executive Officer of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings; Andy Wirth is well known throughout the skiing community for his expert knowledge.
In the telephone interview with the show’s host, Wirth spoke with detailed assurance about the impact of the weather situation.
Andy Wirth interest in climate change isn’t a passing sensation. He has devoted a fair amount of his time working with environmental protection organizations. Organizations that he’s involved with year round.
Wirth believes that it is equally important to reduce the impact of humans on the environment, to lessen the impact of weather systems such as El Niño.
Winters have been tough in the Squaw Valley region, because the mountainous ridge prevents low pressure systems from coming through. Without the rain, there is a decrease in snow.
Wirth maintains that for his business model; this isn’t a problem. Because, Squaw Valley resort still has 4,000 acres of available acres for prime skiing. Read more: How Will the Drought Affect California Ski Resorts?
The level of snow fall this past winter was far below expectations. Wirth feels that there’s still enough natural snow fall and additionally, Squaw Valley Resort plans to blend it with artificial snow to compensate for the lack of cold weather.
Andy Wirth met with national meteorologists to try and pinpoint important weather patterns for the upcoming ski season. A good prediction would mean steady traffic on the slopes in the winter.
Either way, Andy Wirth said that his resort would have ample summertime activities to offset any profit losses from the lack of snow fall in the winter. More changes to the resort’s visitor’s activities could be necessary, if winters keep getting warmer.
Perhaps, the reason that everyone in the Squaw Valley area loves Andy is because of his passion for both the outdoors and skiing. He’s a forward thinking guy; one who’s isn’t afraid of taking on challenges.
One of these challenges presented itself when the parent company of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, KSL Capital Partners, purchased the neighboring property, Alpine Resort.
The two resorts were literally separated by a series of ski passes, which were difficult to get around. Andy came up with an innovative idea, he created a base-to-base gondola system, which allowed skiers to travel between the slopes.
Thus, eliminating the need to pack everything up and drive for one resort to another; in order to take advantage of the partnership. Andy Wirth successfully connected the two resorts and everyone was happy with the creative solution; snowboarders and skiers alike.
Learn more about Andy Wirth: