Intense Fight Shapes New Future for Olympic Valley

Those who live and work in the Lake Tahoe region have had to contend with serious drought conditions that have made it difficult for some of their more successful businesses struggle.

The market for winter resorts have seen lost revenue from the change in climate and weather over recent years, which has made the iconic olympic valley incorporation ripe for pilfering by real estate developers. But local businesses leaders like Andy Wirth hasn’t made it easy for them.

Wirth has been something of a go-to authority concerning the viability of businesses around Lake Tahoe, especially during this time of unpredictable climate patterns and environmental conditions in California. Incorporation of Olympic Valley has been of considerable interest as it implicates even his resort, Squaw Valley Holdings.

Squaw Valley Holdings has dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars to undermine the incorporation effort in court, citing the boots to taxes due tot he costly development would prove even more burdensome to businesses that are already struggling to hang on to the next season of tourism. There’s also the issue of isolating Olympic Valley as being detrimental to the economy of the region by segmenting businesses from one another. Such an effort could impede any attempt at recovery.

Despite opposition from the businesses in the region, those in favor of incorporation have pushed on with their real estate efforts, turning their eye towards residential options. But arguably their most ambitious plans is a gondola that would connect Squaw Valley to Alpine Meadows.

In courtroom contests, those backing incorporation have been quick to discredit Wirth and those defending local businesses, citing an excess of spending on their part to seek their own disruptive real estate deals. It’s a claim that did not play out well with the media considering the expenditure on either side is nearly equal in these courtroom battles.

It seems the Local Agency Formation Commission of California wasn’t swayed by those backing incorporation or their claims, as they deemed the real estate ambitions to be too costly to support. This leaves the fate of the region to those who already live there and the businesses that have shaped the economy. Wirth has stated that this is the time businesses should ban together and focus on the real issues that plague the region like bettering their local infrastructure to help tourists better enjoy the region.

Andy Wirth is the CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. He’s taken a vested interest in the environmental health of the region and has fostered a relationship with the nature there as well as businesses that rely on it.

Apart form his professional life, Wirth has been involved in many philanthropic causes, such as the Wounded Warrior Support, an Ironman competing team that raises money to support the Navy SEAL Foundation.