On July 2015 Andy Wirth, the CEO and President of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings held a candid interview with Madeleine Brand on KCRW Press Play to discuss the effect of recent drought on California Ski Resorts. Madeleine asked Andy several questions ranging from the effects of weather to business profitability.
At the beginning of the interview, Madeleine acknowledged that the drought had led to a reduction in water usage and placed drought as the number one concern on the minds Californians according to a recent poll.
On the issue of drought, Andy confirmed that the drought had caused less snow to fall in the area because of what the scientific community calls the ridiculously resilient ridge.
Andy Wirth added that the ridge phenomenon prevented snow promoting pressure from reaching the mountains. In spite of the harsh weather and the fall in skier visits by 20%, Andy was categorical that his company has taken several measures to take advantage of the situation to ensure sound business.
The strategies he has put in place include leveraging on the existing 6,000 acres of skiing, investing in snow making technologies and making other necessary amends. With regards to the future, Andy agreed with a study done by Stanford University, which points to a future that will continue to witness increased volatility of weather. Read more: How Will the Drought Affect California Ski Resorts?
Madeline recalled that changing weather pattern in the resort area had already forced several resorts in Colorado to change their business model. In response, Andy noted that resorts in the area must be inventive to remain attractive during winter and summer.
Some of the activities his resort is undertaking during the summer season include, creating attractive visitation packages and hosting various summer events.
Andy Wirth said that his company is also coming up with strategies to reduce carbon imprint and promote the use of renewable energy in order to kick start a legacy that will ensure a more sustainable growth.
About Andy Wirth
Andy Wirth is well known in the business and resort circles as the CEO and president of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. He also serves as the Senior VP of Sales and Marketing at Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. According to Bloomberg, Andy became the CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Corporation in August 2010.
In July 2013, Andy was appointed as Trustee of Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority. The enormous work Andy is doing to improve Squaw Valley has won accolades from various quarters, including Julia Mancuso, a sportsman and resident of Olympic Valley.
Julia wrote a compelling article on the Tahoe Daily Tribune on April 2015, acknowledging the improvements Andy had undertaken to transform the area. One of the developments includes the construction of a gondola connection Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley.
Learn more about Andy Wirth: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfSquawValley/posts/10152191670133708