For several years, local businesses at the famed Olympic Valley Winter Resort in Tahoe struggled due to the drought-like conditions. As if the might of Mother Nature was not enough, there was also an ongoing uncertainty on the fate of Olympic Valley due to the continuing legal battle to incorporate the resort. Luckily, after a long time, fate seems to be at the side of the local businesses. Firstly, Winter has set in weeks earlier than predicted, which gave hope to locals that this year will be different as skiing slopes have opened for the public. Yet, another major success on the political front is the settlement of legal case to incorporate Olympic Valley. As such, backers of the incorporation provided a welcome relief by forfeiting their case.
Interestingly, the legal battle is won as a result of the efforts by the CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, who has spend thousands of dollars to stop the efforts to incorporate the Valley. According to Andy Wirth, the win is a huge success for locals because incorporation would only mean higher tax for the locals and more cash in the pockets of landowners. He also claimed that incorporation would also increase the price and quality of basic services to the community such as road maintenance and snow plowing. Perhaps, another reason for the efforts to block the incorporation was the possible isolation that resorts in the Olympic Valley would face due to the lack of ability to pool resources with other like-minded communities in the surrounding area. Mr. Wirth also declared that he fought the legal battle because local small business would not be able to operate profitability, if the Olympic Valley was incorporated. In the near future, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings has plans to develop real estate and commercial areas of the ski resort. Among its largest projects is the Gondola ride that will connect Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
In a recent email, Fred Lifield, the backer of incorporation drive insisted that his team is ready to work with Mr. Wirth to build the community. For the businesses and residents of Olympic Valley, there couldn’t be a better news as both parties are trying to find a common ground. For now, it seems that the future of Olympic Valley and Squaw-Alpine resort is safe.
It should be noticed that Andy Wirth is the CEO of Squaw Valley Holdings, which is the premier business in the area. As such, Andy is deeply committed to promoting the well-being of the community. He is actively involved in numerous environmental and community based projects in the area. As a former NAVY Seal, Andy also oversees support fund for the Navy veterans.
P.S. The original article was published in Reno-Gazette Journal.