How California’s Drought Affects Ski Resorts with KCRW

Posted by Isaac on

California’s drought, a topic that has been in the public eye for a while now, was deemed a State of Emergency in January of 2015. Lack of precipitation in the region has caused massive water loss for many inhabitants, including ski resorts residing in the northern part of the state that thrives off of the winter snowfall.

I was able to tune into KCRW where Madeline Brand was fortunate enough to interview the CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, Andy Wirth. Madeline mentions how many resorts are debating changing their business models, having prematurely ended skiing seasons due to the issue. Learn more about Andy Wirth: http://www.kcrw.com/people/andy-wirth

She goes on to say that experts predict, if the drought persists, within 20-years there will be no skiing in California. Andy quells her concern for his resort, assuring our hostess that the resort has taken every precaution to keep business booming. Andy does agree that the lack of snow has staggard business to the resort, but only slightly.

He states that out of the 6000 acres of mountain, 4000 acres is still operational; that’s plenty to keep the lift doors open. Subsequently, he says that the resort is acclimating to the challenge, not only by creating more snow but also hedging both summer and winter months. With this approach, the resort can take advantage of events that take place during the summer, including weddings, meetings, and the IronMan triathlon of which Andy Wirth is a huge supporter.

During a skydiving run, Andy Wirth was unfortunate enough to land in a vineyard, causing him to completely sever his right arm. During his recovery, he unexpectedly befriended a group of navy seals that happened to be training in Squaw Valley. For Andy, that incident was a blessing in disguise as he states,”quite a few of them have become good friends and their spirit, counsel and narrative has truly been an important part of my recovery.”

He has gone so far as to set up a fundraiser for the purpose of honoring those who give their lives for the stability and freedom of this country. To date, he has raised $14,460. Learn more about Andy Wirth: http://squawalpine.com/explore/blog/andy-wirth-elected-chairman-reno-tahoe-regional-air-service-corporation

Andy Wirth has shown time and time again, from working his way up to CEO of the resort to his tragic accident, that he is extremely resourceful in what some made deem a “dire situation. He harnesses this tanasity with his ability to pull through situations stronger than ever assuring us that December and January are quite favorable for his resorts, dispite the lack of snowfall.