Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth Knows What It Takes To Stay Competitive In The Ski Industry

Skiing is a wealthy sport. Die-hard skiers travel all over North America to ski, and they spend tons of money while they ski down slopes filled with tons of snow. The main attraction for these never-say-quit skiers are the resorts that offer not only challenging slopes but first class accommodations.

A ski trip is usually a vacation trip, and if you have enough money to buy the gear and clothes to ski, you want to stay in a resort that is known for pampering its guests. No one knows that better than Andy Wirth, the chairman of the Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe.

According to KCWR, Andy Wirth has been in the ski business long enough to know that just hosting the Olympics in 1960 is not enough credibility to attract this new generation of skiers to his resort. That’s why Andy Wirth has been pushing the redevelopment of Squaw Valley. The redevelopment project is a 25-year project that will add 1,500 bedrooms, and an assortment of resort and retail amenities. The project has already been approved by the Placer County Planning Commission.

Wirth is known for his tenacity as well as his love for skiing, the resort business, and outdoor activities. Wirth is feeling the pressure of Vail Resorts buying British Columbia’s famous resort Whistler/ Blackcomb recently. Colorado and Canada are fierce competitors when it comes to attracting modern-day ski buffs. Squaw Valley has been living off the reputation that was built during the 1960s and 1970s.

A $70 million renovation of the property in 2010 helped business, according to Wirth, but since then traffic has gotten worse even though the number of true skiers has declined. The skiers that can afford to spend the big bucks are booking ski trips in other resorts, and Wirth wants them back in Squaw Valley.

If Wirth gets his way, and the project is approved, Squaw Valley will add a mountain adventure center that includes a water slide, several pools and climbing walls. Wirth also wants to add a shipping center and hire another 300 people. Opponents of the project say traffic will be worse, and the pollution and noise will change the dynamics of the area.

But Wirth knows how to get things done. He spent 20 years working in Colorado. He learned how to attract more skiers to the slopes, especially the skiers that spend a lot of money.

Read more: Andy Wirth – About.me