Finally the residents of Olympic Valley can breath a sigh of relief as the battle to incorporate their city is officially over.
According to an article published on the Reno-Gazette Journal website, the incorporation battle has been very divisive. While some in the community were for it, there were just as many who were against it.
Andy Wirth, the president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC, was one of the locals who was totally against incorporating Olympic Valley. Wirth believed incorporating the city would have been a direct threat to both residents and businesses. In his opinion, such an effort would lead to higher taxes and a decrease in important services that local residents depend on.
To help fight incorporation efforts Squaw Valley Ski Holdings spent hundreds of thousands of dollars. Needless to say, incorporation backers were not happy Squaw Valley Ski Holdings was spending such a large sum of money to prevent them from incorporating the city.
Backers believe Wirth and his company had self involved motives and that’s the reason they put up so much money to prevent the incorporation from becoming a reality.
Fred Ilfield, the organizer of the incorporation drive, wrote in an email that he and many other people believe Squaw Valley Ski Holdings was opposing incorporation efforts because they didn’t want to have to answer to a future Town Council.
Wirth of course rejected this idea and made it very clear incorporation backers spent just as much as his company did.
Either way, when it boils down to it, it was the California Local Agency Formation Commission that decided the incorporation plan was not viable.
Now, with the incorporation battle behind them, Wirth hopes the community can heal and move on.
Who Is Andy Wirth?
Andy Wirth has been connected to the mountain resort and hotel industry for the majority of his life. He grew up around it and built his entire career around it – Squaw-Alpine boss looks to turn page on ‘divisive’ fight.
In 2010 he was officially named the new CEO of Squaw Valley ski resort. As soon as he took on the position, he was forced to deal with a $70 million upgrade project that was already in the works. The purpose of the upgrade was to ensure the resort was up to par and able to compete with other ski resorts in the industry.
Though this was a big project, Wirth had over 25 years of experience to fall back on. After being on the job for just one year Wirth was able to rebuild the reputation of Squaw Valley and get it back into the top 20 percent of ski resort.
Wirth is also a philanthropist and gives to environmental and community service organizations in and around the Lake Tahoe area.