Andrew ‘Andy’ Wirth is the CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, a company that owns both the Squaw Valley Ski Resorts and Alpine Meadows in Olympic Valley California. Both resorts are top Ski destinations around the world.
Besides the CEO title, Andy is also a philanthropist. He contributes to community service organizations and environmental organizations in the Lake Tahoe region with the aim of making it a better environment for all people. He founded an Ironman team called, “Wounded Warrior Support” which raises funds for the Navy SEAL Foundation in honor of the Navy SEALs.
When asked where the idea came from, Andy said he had a vision of connecting Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley. A move he believes was long overdue in the eyes of skiers and snowboarders. He said the idea had been there for decades from his predecessors and only when he met Troy Caldwell did the vision start becoming a reality. They first formed a friendship, and the rest was taken care of. Read more: Andy Wirth – About.me
When quizzed about the snowpack affecting the Gondola, Andy gave assurances that the snowpack won’t have an impact on the Gondola going from base-to-base. He said the plan was to operate the KT Ridge and Alpine base independent of each other so as not to affect the ability to get skiers from Alpine to Squaw and back. He continued to say that it is hard to predict how the Gondola would influence the traffic along the Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley roads.
With some reports claiming that construction of the Gondola will affect the five Lakes and Granite Chief Wilderness areas, Andy has gone on to dismiss those growing concerns. He said that all construction would take place in privately owned lands belonging to him and Troy except Alpine Meadows which is under U.S Forest Land Service.
In response to the question, if combining the two mountains would make it the largest Ski resort in the lower 48 regions, he said that it was not only about the size. They were only concerned with making the resort the preeminent Ski experience in North America.
When asked about the level of input and support he got from the community, Andy acknowledged that they were still in the beta stages of the project but will be seeking constructive comments and involvement from the community. He added that after the project was complete, they would go on and improve the snow service levels and improving the general quality of everything.
According to Powder, Andy Wirth added that the downside of this project is that it would compromise the unique vibe, history, and legacy of each mountain.