In a recent National Public Radio (NPR) newscast, the expansion requests being made by Squaw Valley were under consideration by the Placer County Planning Commission. This first step toward receiving the go ahead passed in a congenial meeting of proponents and opponents. The representative from Squaw Valley was Andy Wirth who has been the CEO and the heart, soul, and head of Squaw Valley since he began his tenure. Under his guidance, Squaw Valley has acquired next door neighbor, Alpine Meadows, in an effort to create a super-sized resort. A gondola was recently constructed to link the two ski resorts together making it possible to ski both with the same lift ticket.
Andy Wirth has not disregarded the environment as he builds this complex and often quotes his grandfather’s efforts in saving national lands. Wirth, too, has been involved in every aspect of caring for the environment witnessed by his earlier position as a backwoods ranger.
The meeting between Squaw Valley’s Wirth and the Placer County Planning Commission proceeded without the usual rancor associated with this type of expansion. Squaw Valley’s expansion project now moves to the County Board of Supervisors for its final approval or denial.
Andy Wirth’s major opponent, Jesse Patterson is the deputy director of the League to Save Lake Tahoe, his primary concern is the mounting problem of additional traffic. But Wirth was ready for this criticism and outlined a plan to improve traffic and even offered a new transit package, which would benefit not only the ski resort and Lake Tahoe area but the surrounding communities as well.
Patterson appreciates that idea and wants to see Wirth’s new traffic initiatives on paper. Wirth, too, feels optimistic that his proposals will be presented to California voters within two years.
Andy Wirth has an excellent history of getting things accomplished and no one should bet against him in this latest expansion effort.
Andy Wirth – KCRW