Andy Wirth Speaks to Madeleine Brand of KCRW on the Recent Drought Phenomenon

Andy Wirth recently spoke to Madeleine Brand of the California based KCRW about the effects of drought on California ski resorts. Andy Wirth is a prominent personality in the resort industry; he currently heads Squaw Valley Ski Holdings as its CEO.

In the interview held on July 30, 2015, Madeleine began by pointing that drought had forced Californians to cut back on water usage by 27% compared to 2 years ago and placed scarcity of water as the number one concern in the minds of many in the state. Andy Wirth told Madeleine that his resorts remained profitable and resilient in spite of 20% drop in visitor numbers due to the devastating effects of what Stanford meteorologist call the “”ridiculously resilient ridge”.

The occurrence, according to Andy prevented the pressure system from forming over the mountains, causing a reduction in the amount of precipitation that brings snow. Andy also affirmed that the mountain resorts under his watch were more than capable of withstanding bad weather because some 4,000 acres of skiing surface out of the possible 6,000 acres were still in play.

Some of the strategies Andy has proposed to keep the business viable include using modern techniques to manage snow and making more snow using science. The other strategies include making long and short-term business adjustments and hedging on the existing business model to take advantage of the winter and summer holiday seasons. Learn more about Andy Wirth:
Andy Wirth added that his resorts were already doing brisk business in the summer because of activities such as weddings, meetings and events. Madeleine also asked Andy about the future of his resort business and Andy promptly answered by affirming that his businesses have embraced the Stanford meteorological findings about the increase volatility of weather.

In the final analysis, Andy vouches for an adjusted mountain resort and hotel industry business model that will lead to increased use of green energy and thereafter low carbon imprint. Andy told Madeleine that his grasp of various weather aspects stems from his years working as a fire ranger in New Mexico.

About Andy Wirth

Andrew Wirth, best known as “Andy” is the President and CEO of the Olympic Valley, California based Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. According to Wikipedia, Andy supports various charitable causes and foundations, including Special Warfare Warrior for the Navy Seal Foundation, The McConkey Foundation and Truckee River Watershed Council. The Navy Seal foundation offers immediate and outgoing support to Naval Special Warrior community and their families.

Andy is currently involved in fundraising efforts to support the foundation through He also sits on the board of various organizations including the Reno Tahoe Regional Air Service Corporation, Master of Tourism Management of Colorado State University and Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation.

Read more: How Will the Drought Affect California Ski Resorts?