Last year was a miserable year for the ski resorts in Northern and Southern California. In fact, 2015 was a miserable year for the residents of California. Mandatory water rationing was the flavor of the day for residents.
Fruit and vegetable farmers were trying to stay afloat in the driest weather in decades. Ski resorts had to make their own snow to compensate for the gaps in real snow on their precious ski runs.
But some skiers still said Lake Tahoe ski resorts runs felt like dirt instead of snow. The 60-degree temperatures and the lack of snow closed several resorts in Northern California, but Squaw Valley, the mother of all ski resorts, stayed open as long as it could thanks to the smart thinking of Andy Wirth, the CEO, and Chairman of Squaw Valley.
Andy Wirth was a guest on the Press Play with Madeline Brand KCRW radio show. Mr. Wirth said that his ski resort had a decent 2015 in spite of the four-year drought. Squaw Valley is an enormous piece of property. Wirth told Brand that 4,000 acres of the 6,000-acre ski resort were available for skiing in 2015. Learn more about Andy Wirth: https://www.crowdrise.com/wwsupport
Wirth did say that the drought made skiing harder because of the amount of fresh snow was not up to par, and that cut into Squaw Valley’s profits. Revenue was down 20 percent in 2015, and Brand wondered how many seasons Squaw Valley could survive if the drought continued to stick around.
Wirth said that Squaw Valley is financially sound and would be able to survive several years of light snowfall. But thanks to the presence of El Nino in 2016, Squaw Valley made a big comeback.
Madeline continued to ask Wirth some tricky questions, but Andy has the experience and the know-how to answer them. Mr. Andy Wirth was actually born in Nuebrucke, West Germany, and his parents said that Andy’s first love was being outdoors in nature.
He attended Colorado State University and fell in love with skiing and the Rocky Mountains. He became a backcountry ranger during his school years, but Wirth continued his studies at Edinburgh University in Scotland.
His grandfather was a US National Parks Service Director. In 1986, Andy took a job as an intern at the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation. Andy Wirth held several positions with the Steamboat Ski Resort over the 20 years he spent there. In 2006, Wirth was named the Executive Vice President of Sales and Chief Marketing Officer for the company.
In 2010, Andy was named CEO of Squaw Valley, and he guided the resort through a $70 million renovation. Squaw Valley is considered one of the best Ski resorts in the world thanks to Wirth’s leadership.