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Category: California

Category: California

Background and Education

Andrew “Andy” Wirth was born July 25th, 1963 in Nuebrucke, West Germany and has worked in the mountain resort and hotel industry for 25 years. He attended Colorado State University and moved on to furthering his education at Edinburgh University in Scotland. During this time, Wirth gained experience as a backcountry ranger for Rocky Mountain National Parks including being a wilderness ranger in San Pedro Parks Wilderness Area. Seeing as how Conrad, Wirth’s grandfather was a former US National Parks Service Director, it seemed Andy Wirth inherited a heart for National Parks.

Upon completion of college, Andy Wirth started his career journey at Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation as an intern in 1986. Wirth’s official title changed over 20 years, specifically on the marketing aspect, until he was promoted to the company Intrawest. Intrawest had become the parent company after buying Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation in 2006 and Wirth was named the Chief Marketing Officer along with the executive vice president of sales and marketing. His responsibilities were management of domestic and global marketing strategy for all resorts owned by the company. Wirth would also take on several other roles, most well known, the president of the Mountain Village Partnership which aimed at supporting local businesses. He remained with Intrawest until the year 2010.

Current Job Status

The Cushing family had run the Squaw Valley Ski Resort for almost 70 years. However, that changed in 2010 when Andy Wirth was formally given the title new CEO of the company. After 16 years of Nancy Cushing being Director of Squaw Valley ski resort, she would move on passing the company down to Wirth, who ended up supervising a $70 million upgrade to the resort. This helped the company get up to date with the current competition skiing areas. In just after one year of these changes, Squaw Valley, reconstructed its reputation putting the company in the top 20 percent of the skiing enterprise.

In addition, another change was the result of Alpine Meadows Ski Resort merging with Squaw Valley. This allows customers to purchase one ticket for access to both resorts. With the merging of both resorts, Wirth had taken over Alpine Meadows ski resort as CEO too. By age 49, Wirth focuses on philanthropy to go with his CEO tasks at work. His newest title lately is being appointed Chairman of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board.

Olympic Valley is one of the premiere communities in the Lake Tahoe area. The area once played host to the Olympics. In the last few years, this community has been considering applying to become a city. The town has commissioned a study to see if becoming a city would be worth it, and according to the Sacramento Business Journal, it appears that becoming a city is not worth it for the community.

The Placer County Local Agency Commission spent a great deal of time studying the issue and they have concluded that the Olympic Valley community contains less than a thousand people. Due to the small size of their population, it would be impossible for the city to sustain itself despite claims from Incorporate Olympic Valley.
The commission studied a wide variety of options for the city to support itself. The current plan was for the city to support itself off of a transient occupancy tax. This tax would mostly impact hotel guests, who visit the area to take in the beautiful views and participate in many of the recreational activities. After analyzing the tax, the commission concluded that the tax would not be enough to sustain the city. The cost of operating a city would require at least three employees and would be rather difficult for a thousand people to support.
The commission analyzed the projections and they determined that if the city incorporated this year, it would be looking at a more than a million dollar deficit after two years.
The community has been pushing for incorporation as a way to gain more control over the zoning in the area. There have been many hotels opened in the area, and many community members do not want to see a massive expansion of tourism in the area. While the community wants more home rule, it appears that they will have to find a different solution.