Reno Gazette-Journal’s writeup on the trials of Lake Tahoe’s north shore neighborhood details how for four year the area had been in the midst of battles with nature and political progress. A crippling and unseasonable drought greatly effected the winter resorts in the community on mynews4.com as well as the small business who rely on the revenue that visitors of the resorts generate. Without snow tourism in the area suffered and so did the economy of the area, so when a proposal to incorporate Olympic Valley arose disagreement about whether or not that was a positive step for the future of the north shore ensued.
CEO of Squaw Valley, Andy Wirth, was a vocal opponent of the incorporation effort because of its potential to negatively effect the relationships between the business and civic communities in the Olympic Valley Incorporation. Wirth was concerned about the increase in taxes to both residents and businesses and decrease in public services like snow plowing and road maintenance and reasoned that these factors would increase the cost of living and doing business while making the area less efficient. In addition to local drawbacks, Wirth believes the incorporation would have stripped Olympic Valley of its ability to coexist with its neighboring towns as well as the resources and support the towns often lend each other to deal with regional issues.
A break in the drought has begun to lift town spirits as storms happening early in the season have produced enough snow and cold weather to allow earlier than they’ve been able to in the past ten years. The political strain on the area has lifted as well since a state commission ruled that the proposed incorporation wasn’t viable. Now that the area has seemed to overcome the two biggest obstacles it faced Wirth sees an opportunity for the community to improve and move forward together. In his years as CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings Andy Wirth has achieved his goal of making the destination a place that tourists want to flock to. His investment in the area extends beyond his business endeavors, however, to work in environmental and community service in Lake Tahoe while his work with Wounded Warrior Support raises money for the Navy SEAL Foundation that supports service members who’ve returned home.