KCRW’s Chat with Andy Wirth About the Drought


As I am a huge ski enthusiast, keeping in touch with any news regarding this recreational or competition sport is important to me. Currently one of the biggest new that I have been keeping up with is the drought in California. California is currently experience a huge drought due to the El Nino effect. One ski resort in particular, though having reported low amounts of snowfall, has stated that they have not been affected. This ski resort is the Squaw Valley Ski Resort and is being ran by President and CEO, Andy Wirth. 

Andy Wirth is a notable figure who has turned the Squaw Valley resort around within the last 5 years since he was appointed as President of the resort. As I am a regular listener to Madeline Brand on KCRW, I tuned into hearing Wirth’s experience with the current drought in California. 

Andy Wirth and Madeline Brand has recently sat down to talk about the effects of the drought on the Squaw Valley Ski Resort. Currently the drought is affecting Californians all around by decreasing their allowed water usage by 27 percent. When Brand asked Wirth about the effects of the drought on the ski resort business, Wirth responded with a positive attitude. Wirth stated that although the ski resort experienced a decrease in profit, the Squaw Valley ski resort, will regardless be able to withstand the dry winters for an infinite amount of time.

If anything, Wirth stated that he is able to adjust the business model with the current situation. Before, with snowfall, the ski resort was able to offer 6,000 acres of land for ski usage. Now, with the drought, the resort has 4,000 acres of snow-covered land to offer. The the amount of offered acreage has decreased, the resort still remains profitable. Wirth even commented that the drought has been beneficial to the resort because the employees now take extra care in conserving the snow. Wirth has even made investments towards having snow made to continue to normal amount of ski traffic. 

Wirth looks at the drought with a positive mind. Every statement he made over the talk show demonstrated that he as an attitude that does not rely on just one business model. Instead, Wirth will be adjusting his business model if the drought continues. As every Californian knows, this drought is one of the biggest that has ever been experienced. Businesses, thanks to the lack of rain can be shut down. When Wirth was asked of his concern over the drought, Wirth stated that he had no concern whatsoever. In fact, he even stated that he is excited for what is next to come and what new events will be added to this luxurious ski resort.

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