If skiing sounds like a good idea, Squaw Valley may be in your future. Squaw Valley is one of those iconic ski resorts that attracts celebrities, professional skiers, politicians, and world leaders. There are several reasons why Squaw Valley hasn’t lost its ski mojo after all these years. One reason is the location of the resort. The Lake Tahoe area is beautiful 12-months a year. Another reason is the privacy that Squaw Valley offers its guests. There are slope side lodges and secluded lodges for the lovers that want to ski. And, the reputation of the resort is first class. Squaw Valley hosted the 1960 Winter Olympic Games. The slopes and trails are named after some of the high-profile skiers that came to the resort in the old days and left their mark.
The truth is, Squaw Valley is a well managed, profitable, and well-financed operation that has the well-being and the safety of their guests in mind. CEO Andy Wirth is one of those people-lovers that understands what guests want. Wirth has an extensive background in the ski industry. He was the marketing director for the Steamboat Springs ski resort for several years, The Cushing family asked him to join Squaw Valley to oversee the expansion of the resort in 2010. Andy recently told the press it was the best decision of his life. Wirth is currently working on another major expansion that will benefit the ski resort as well as the Lake Tahoe community. See: http://www.sierrasun.com/news/environment/squaw-valley-issues-statement-on-upper-mountain-water-quality/
The last five years were not great years for the ski industry. The drought threw a dry monkey wrench in at least five ski years. In 2015, the ski industry made a comeback. The forecast for the 2016/2017 season was good, so Wirth and his staff started to plan early for a long and successful ski year. But nature didn’t cooperate, in October 2016. A freak and heavy rainstorm flooded four of the Squaw Valley wells. The wells are located in the upper mountain region of the resort. The staff did a routine water check when the rain stopped, and the test showed high levels of coliform and E. coli bacteria in the wells.
According to Squaw Valley Public Relations Director, Liesl Kenney, two drinking water systems in the Gold Coast and High Camp areas of the resort were shut down. The restaurants and bars in those areas were closed, but the guests had access to the other 50 restaurants and bars in the resort. Free bottled water was given to all the guests. None of the guests were exposed to the bacteria, so no one got sick.
Kenney said the Squaw Valley Public Service District and the Placer County Environmental Health Department were notified, and health safety experts were called in to assess the situation. A water cleanup program started immediately. According to the Sierra Sun, three of the four wells responded right away to the cleanup process. Three wells have low levels of the coliform bacteria and no E. coli. The two affected water systems will remain closed until all four wells are free of harmful bacteria, according to Liesl Kenney.