Olympic Valley Incorporation Plan Ruled Not Viable

March 11th, 2016

The community of Lake Tahoe has had it rough over the last four years. According to an article published on the Reno-Gazette Journal, it all started with a drought that took a serious toll on winter resorts in the area.

Additionally, the community was also dealing with a very serious political challenge as an organization known as Incorporation Drive was fighting tooth and nail to get the city incorporated.

According to Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC, “This has been a very, very tough four years.”

The good news is things started to slowly but surely change. Thanks to Mother Nature providing some much needed help in the form of early storms and cold temperatures, Tahoe area resorts were able to open several weeks early.

Even better is the fact backers of the incorporation effort decided to withdraw their petition after California officials determined their plan wasn’t viable.

Wirth believes if plans to incorporate were approved, the community would have experienced a fiscal disaster. Not only would taxes have gone higher, but important services such as road maintenance and snow plowing would have all but stopped.

When asked about incorporation efforts, Wirth was quoted as saying, “It was truly a recipe for disaster, for fiscal disaster. This was a fundamental long term threat to operating a business, whether it be a wine bar or a ski area in this valley.”

To help stop incorporation efforts, Wirth and his company put up hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight it. Those who supported incorporation efforts believe Wirth’s motives were self motivating.

According to Fred Ilfield, organizer of incorporation drive, the reason Wirth was willing to spend so much to oppose incorporation efforts was because he didn’t want to have to answer to a Town Council.

Wirth of course denied this was the case and pointed out that incorporation backers also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to try and sway California officials.

Wirth feels as though this whole process has been very divisive. Right now, he just wants the community to heal and move forward.

About Andy Wirth

Andy Wirth is the current CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. Since taking over in 2010, he has working tirelessly to turn Squaw Valley resorts into one of the best skiing destinations in the world.

Besides being an astute businessman, Wirth is also a philanthropist. He is a major contributor to several organizations in the Lake Tahoe community.

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