What is The “Wirth” of Ski Resorts Lacking Adequate Snow?

With the weather getting noticeably warmer during all seasons, many winter sport/recreation areas must question their ability to adapt to these changes. This morning, I happened to hear an interview done on California radio station KCRW, with Madeleine Brand, which outlines this exact issue. Read more: How Will the Drought Affect California Ski Resorts?

The topic of the interview was “How Will The Drought Affect California Ski Resorts?” Present to speak on this topic was Andy Wirth, CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings in Olympic Valley, CA, near Lake Tahoe. Wirth has served as CEO of the Squaw Valley Ski Corporation since August 2nd, 2010, and brings a whopping 24 years of sales and marketing experience to the table.

In addition to his current position, Mr. Wirth has worked a variety of other positions including Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Intrawest ULC, and Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation. Mr. Wirth attended Edinburgh University in Scotland, and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University.

Mr. Andy Wirth had his knowledge and resourcefulness challenged by Ms. Brand during her radio interview on KCRW. She introduced the interview with a frightening scenario. Although Californians managed to cut back their water usage 27% in the last month, there is still scare and concern about an upcoming drought.

This fact transitioned in to a pool of interrogative questions aimed at Wirth, such as “What would you say to people who wanted to go to Squaw Valley in February, and there isn’t a lot of snow there?” Wirth brought to light that ski resorts experienced one of the driest winters in recorded history, and because of that, have to adapt and be resourceful. Wirth, who minored in meteorological sciences, blamed a phenomenon known as a “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge”.

Wirth also stated that because of this, business plummeted 20%. As grim as these facts may sound, and as probing and doubtful as Brands questions seemed, Wirth seemed to be hopeful, and claimed that his resort would still be able to turn a profit, even with the noticeable decrease in business.

Wirth also stated his confidence in his resorts technological abilities, which include the science of making snow. He also wants to diversify summer events, and said that “We take managing this natural resource area very seriously”.

Learn more about Andy Wirth: http://andywirth.com/