Olympic Valley Incorporation: Dividing Communities, Businesses And Residents

Andy Wirth is the CEO and President of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. He holds a Bachelor of Science that he received after graduating from the Colorado State University. He has decades of experience working in all different roles in tourism and the wilderness. Wirth has also worked his way from the bottom up. He first served as a firefighter and national parks ranger in New Mexico and Colorado. He then became an intern at Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation. He worked for Steamboat for more than 20 years in all different marketing type positions. Due to all of this experience, Wirth was asked to be the Chief Executive Officer of Squaw Valley.

Andy Wirth is also very involved in philanthropy and in his local community. He has won several awards for his hard work, including the Chairman’s Outstanding Service Award, the Steamboat Springs Business Leader of the Year Award and he was listed as a Top 25 Minds in Hospitality and Travel Sales and Marketing. He has also been given several other honors like being asked to speak at the graduation ceremony of his alma mater or having a place on the board of several highly esteemed organizations and associations.

For the past 4 years, Wirth has been fighting a move to incorporate Olympic Valley, where Squaw Valley Ski Resort sits. He believes that incorporation will only hurt both the individual residents of the town but also the businesses in the town. The main reason is an significant increase to taxes. A secondary reason is that the services that the residents have come to know and appreciate, will cease. These services include snow plowing and road maintenance. Another secondary concern is that it will no longer be a member of the north shore communities, who have historically worked together to deal with regional issues. The Reno Gazette-Journal covered the issue in a recent article.

The other side of the argument, by the parties in Olympic Valley who would like to incorporate say that they want a town council so that the residents of the town will make the major decisions. At the current moment, the decision in the town are made by the Placer County Board of Supervisors. Most of the board members live in the suburbs in Sacramento. However, after four years, the Local Agency Formation Commission denied the town the right to incorporate because they said it was not financially viable. After this took place, the supporters of incorporation withdrew. The article closed by saying that the combination of this issue and the drought that has struck the Lake Tahoe area have created division within the town.

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