Squaw Valley Ski Resort Is Handling A Water System Failure

Squaw Valley is the second largest ski complex in the Lake Tahoe area. In 2016, Squaw Valley was voted the best ski resort in North America. The resort features incredible slopeside lodging. There are more than 60 bars, restaurants, and boutiques on the premises. Squaw Valley gets more than 450 inches of snow every year. Skiers are on the slopes well into the spring, so the resort is known for its long ski seasons. Alex Cushing opened Squaw Valley in 1949, and Andy Wirth took over as CEO in 2010. Wirth has an extensive background in the ski industry, so when it came time to expand the ski resort, he was the man the Cushing family chose to oversee the expansion and the resort. Squaw Valley merged with Alpine Meadows in 2010, and the resort is in the process of getting approval to expand again, in 2017.

The ski industry relies on the weather to produce revenue. The last five years have been a challenge for the ski industry in the Western part of the United States because of the lingering drought. The drought subsided in 2015, and Squaw Valley had a great year. Wirth and the staff are expecting another great year in 2016, but the weather didn’t cooperate at the beginning of the season. In October 2016, Squaw Valley was inundated with water, compliments of a freak storm. Four wells were contaminated by the flood waters. The four contaminated wells service the High Camp and Gold Coast areas of the resort. According to a statement released by Liesl Kenney, the Public Relations Director for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, the E. coli bacteria were found in the wells during a routine water test. Source: http://www.sierrasun.com/news/environment/squaw-valley-issues-statement-on-upper-mountain-water-quality/

The E. Coli bacteria infect people of all ages. Kenney said the restaurants in the two areas were closed immediately. She also said the Environmental Health Department in Placer County was called in to inspect the water system, and the Squaw Valley Public Service District was notified as well. Other health and water experts also assisted in the inspection of the wells and the infected water system. No skiers were exposed to the virus, according to Kenney.

Finding the E. coli bacteria in water is not uncommon after a flood. Squaw Valley was able to take the appropriate steps to rid the water of the bacteria. Three of the four wells are E. coli free, and the fourth well will be free of the virus soon. The skiers and the guests have not been inconvenienced by the contaminated water system.

More than 265,000 cases of E. coli infections occur every year in the United States. The good news is Squaw Valley prevented an outbreak by reacting quickly to the signs.

The ski season is in full swing at Squaw Valley. Snow is falling every day, so the slopes and trails are in perfect condition. Andy Wirth and the staff at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows are doing their best to make the 2016/2017 season one for the record books in terms of longevity and revenue. The well contamination issue won’t stop Wirth and company from having a great season.

Philanthropic CEO Andy Wirth is an Inspiration and Example of True Grit

Avid cyclist, runner, triathlete and skydiver, Andy Wirth, is more than just President and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings in Lake Tahoe, California. Wirth, who was appointed as chairman to the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board in July 2015, has shown how hard work and true grit can accomplish anything. After a major skydiving accident severed his arm, he recovered from a three month hospital stay combined with months of rehabilitation. He found motivation and was inspired when a Navy Seal team arrived in Lake Tahoe for combat training. After befriending one of the Seals, he co-founded a team to compete in the Ironman 70.3 Lake Tahoe in 2014. Proceeds from the race were raised to benefit the Naval Seal Foundation, which benefits families of service men who have lost limbs from combat.

Wirth continues to strive to make the Olympic Valley ski area one of the top ski destinations in the world. Squaw Valley Ski Resort was not only USA Today readers’ number one picks for the top 10 best ski resorts in North America, it was also a Winter Olympics destination. Andy Wirth works very hard improving the Lake Tahoe area for the communities as well as focusing on efforts for environmental preservation. In January of this year, Wirth was elected Chairman and President of the Reno-Tahoe Regional Air Service Corporation, known as RASC, to promote air service into the area which will help grow the economy. These efforts also hope to bridge private business with public organizations thus boosting tourism in the area.

More about Andy: https://about.me/andywirth