The drought conditions in California are a major concern to many individuals and organizations. The California ski industry is especially concerned by the drought and the effects it has had on the amount of snowfall in winter.
While listening to “Press Play with Madeleine Brand” on KCRW I discovered an interview with Andy Wirth discussing this topic in detail.
Andy Wirth is currently the CEO and president of Squaw Valley Ski Corporation, which is comprised of both the Squaw Valley Ski Resort and Alpine Meadows. For over 20 years he has worked in the ski resort industry in some capacity.
While fulfilling such roles he has learned the importance of keeping a close watch on weather patterns to help ensure his company thrives throughout each season.
His background in the ski industry in Colorado and California make him a great source for information on how the drought has effected snow in the region. According to Mr. Wirt there has definitely been a decrease in the total amount of snow fall. Learn more about Andy Wirth: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfSquawValley/posts/10152191670133708
Unfortunately, this has led to a decrease in overall visitors to ski resorts. The outlook is not overly bleak, though. The total combined ski area held by the two resorts under Mr. Wirth’s control is over 6,000 acres.
While there has been less snowfall there were still about 4,000 acres open for skiers. This allowed for the companies to still make a profit for the season, even if the profit was not as much as desired.
In order to continue a profitable business Mr. Andy Wirth is looking at expanding summertime activities and really taking advantage of all the area has to offer beyond just skiing.
This is something that ski resorts in California and Colorado are continually looking at in order to ensure continued growth and appeal to visitors throughout the year.
While skiing in the winter is certainly a main attraction for the area, there are enough other activities to keep visitors entertained without snow. Learn more about Andy Wirth: http://www.kcrw.com/people/andy-wirth
In short, Mr. Andy Wirth expresses a concern for the changing weather patterns and hopes to reduce the company’s carbon footprint as much as possible, but he is not concerned with the longevity of the company.
He anticipates many years of a continued presence in the area due to the careful business practices ingrained in the structure of the Squaw Valley Ski Corporation.