Andy Wirth discusses the affect of California drought on ski resorts

The drought in California is affecting everything, including ski resorts. How is it affecting them? What are they doing to remain profitable in the midst of unpredictable weather? Andy Wirth answers these questions in his interview with Madeline Brand on KRCW.

Mr. Wirth is the CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Resort. Mr. Wirth isn’t your average businessman. He had a horrific sky diving injury and almost lost his right arm. That didn’t stop him though. He is back to trail riding and biking. He is competing in an Ironman competition. He raises money for the Navy Seal Foundation. He also has a great love for the environment.

Moving onto ski resorts, perhaps you think they are destined to fail because of the drought. According to Mr. Wirth, you would be wrong. Yes the season ended early last year. Yes their business was down by twenty percent. Yes they only used 4,000 of the 6,000 acres that they own. But, as we have already learned, Mr. Wirth doesn’t give up easily.

So how does Mr. Wirth plan to stay profitable? The problem last year was the “Ridiculously resistant ridge” which shouldn’t be a problem this year. They are expecting “increased volatility of weather”, but have plans to keep their business thriving. Thanks to modern technology they can make their own snow. They also use snow cats to move the snow to where they need it. In addition, their summer business is thriving. They hold weddings, meetings, and other events. They are booked for the entire summer.

Mr. Wirth isn’t only concerned with his business. He is very concerned with the environment views himself as a “resource manager”. IN an effort to make as small a carbon footprint as possible, he is switching to all renewable resources. Not only does he want his business to thrive, he wants to leave a legacy of taking care of the environment.

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