The North Lake Tahoe area has been long recognized as a ski destination for decades, yet the unique economy is dependent on year-round tourism. When setting out to improve Squaw Valley to improve the area’s tourist attraction, Andy Wirth met with his community and discovered what the area needed most.
Preserving Squaw Valley’s Olympic History
More than just a pristine ski destination, Squaw Valley was home to all events for the 1960 winter Olympics. This history holds firm as a key tourist drawing point for visitors of all stripes. Wirth had a vision to expand around Squaw Valley’s legacy, and so met with locals and the community to share his vision. Learn more about Andy Wirth: http://www.sierrasun.com/news/business/17254546-113/squaw-valleys-andy-wirth-appointed-chair-of-reno and https://www.crowdrise.com/wwsupport
The Community Speaks Out
Andy Wirth detailed the community’s response to his plans in his op-ed that appeared in the Auburn Journal in October of 2015. While they were all for seeing their valley home flourish, they wanted to preserve the natural beauty and wonder of the mountains that tucked in around them.
Reducing the Project’s Original Impact
According to Andy Wirth, the result of these meetings was a “…substantial reduction of the project…”. While the project to expand Squaw Valley would still include adding new jobs, a new focus was now placed on sustainability and preserving the natural land that the resort was home to. But what exactly does that mean?
- The original size of the expansion has been reduced by up to 50%. This includes vertical space as well as land space, preserving areal views and land as well.
- Currently, there are 82 acres of existing asphalt parking lot that will be reused for 90% of new building sites.
- Squaw Creek will be restored, including enhanced floodplain and wetlands.
Who Is Andy Wirth?
Since taking the reins at Squaw Valley in 2010, Andy Wirth has polished this iconic ski resort and turned it into one of the top ski destinations for adventurers of all degrees. Read more: Andy Wirth — KCRW and andy wirth | POWDER Magazine
Having survived a ski-diving accident where his right arm was severed and later reattached, Wirth devotes much of his time and energy to improving the Lake Tahoe area for all who fall in love with its charm.