For several years, residents of Olympic Valley were not sure of their economic future. First, the early Winter storms had stopped, which provided many local businesses their sole means of income from ski visitors. Secondly, a private group wanted to incorporate Olympic Valley.
After consistent struggles, it seems that worries of residents are finally over. The Winter storm arrived earlier prompting visitors to return to the famed Olympic Valley in record numbers. In addition, the legal battle to incorporate the Valley is also decided as the Valley will not become yet another “business machine”. For local businesses, there is nothing better than the decision because it means that investors will soon flock to the region to continue their development plans. In fact, these businesses can thank Squaw Alpine Boss, Andy Wirth, the CEO of Squaw Valley Holdings Inc., who fought tirelessly to stop the incorporation.
According to Andy, he spent thousands of dollars to thwart the incorporation attempt because he believed that incorporation would mean a “death sentence” to local businesses who rely on traditional source of income. For instance, incorporating the Valley would deprive businessmen of such basic facilities as road cleaning and snow plowing services. Instead, these activities would be relegated to the private authorities. Similarly, incorporation would also mean that residents will not be able to share their resources with other North Lake Tahoe communities. Overall, everything would end up in the hands of private contractors.
After the legal decision, it is also notable that Andy and his company plans to extend public and tourist facilities at Squaw Valley Resort. In fact, final plans are already in place for a Gondola chairlift connecting Squaw Valley Resort with Alpine Meadows. The Gondola ride is among a series of high-profile projects that Andy is overseeing. According to Andy, his vision goes beyond facilitating local businessmen and residents in the area. In fact, mass projects such as the Gondola ride will help alleviate traffic congestion problems in the area and adjacent communities. Andy also suggested that the final decision will also give communities a chance to heal because the past few years haven’t been easy for the community.