Category Archives: Skiing

From National Park Heritage, A Ski Resort Manager Is Born

Andy Wirth has been the CEO and president of Squaw Valley Ski Resort for the past five years. The 52-year-old is the grandson of Conrad Wirth who was National Parks Director from 1951-1964. CEO Wirth’s great-grandfather, Theodore Wirth, helped design the Minneapolis system of parks. In his own right, Andy Wirth brings a lot to his job as Squaw Valley CEO, including 25 years of hotel and resort experience. In 1986, Wirth held several marketing positions with Steamboat Springs Resort. By 2007, Andy Wirth was appointed CEO and vice president of Intrawest. Intrawest had taken over Steamboat Springs in 2007. In 2010, he resigned his position with Irawest to run Squaw Valley Ski Resort where he is in charge of all the marketing decisions. Born in Neubrucke, West Germany, Wirth earned of Bachelor of Science degree at Colorado State University and has attended Edinburgh University, located in Scotland. Prior to his work in hotel industry, Wirth was a ranger in Rocky Mountain National Parks and San Pedro Parks Wilderness Area. Wirth’s wife Karen is a real estate lawyer. He has three children from a previous marriage. The Truckee, California resident is an avid sportsman as well. Andy Wirth loved going skydiving.
In 2011, Andy Wirth became a certified skydiver in Perris, California. On October 12, 2013, Wirth had a skydiving accident that nearly ended his life. Wirth joined his friend, JT Holmes, a mountain athlete, and others for a day of skydiving in Davis, California. On October 13, 2013, Wirth realized that the pilot had not dropped him near the drop zone. Having to deal with power lines , strong winds, and a vineyard, the CEO decided it was safer to land in the vineyard. Trying to slow down his parachute, he ended up veering to the right, and so, with his right arm he grabbed on to a nearby pole. The pole had torn off his right arm from the shoulder on down to his middle fore arm. He had to have his arm surgically attached. Wirth thinks the cause of the accident was because the pilot did not drop the CEO down at the drop zone, and Wirth descended at 2500 feet instead of 4000 feet. The surgery to reattach Mr. Wirth’s arm lasted 12 hours and required 12 units of blood. Since the accident, Andy Wirth is involved Disability Sports, an organization for physically and intellectually disabled people.

Challenging and Exciting – Squaw Valley delivers thrills

One of the most popular places for skiers to visit in the US is the Squaw Valley Ski Resort in Olympic Valley, California. The resort offers such breathtaking and exciting slopes that close to 600,000 people show up to ski there each year. It is the second largest ski resort located near Lake Tahoe, and it’s size means Squaw Valley is large enough to offer a variety of experiences. Thirty six hundred acres of great ski runs and 30 chairlifts means there is definitely something for everyone.

Squaw Valley was the site of the World Cup in 1969 featuring four technical events. The slalom and giant slalom for both men and women were held at the resort. In 1960 Squaw Valley hosted the Winter Olympics. That year introduced the first televised games and millions of people got to see first hand the beauty of the location of the games. People were impressed with Squaw Valley, it’s ability to host such a big crowd successfully, and everything the site had to offer. 

There is no lack of entertainment at the resort and facilities include a swimming pool, dining, disk golf and roller skating. Popular summer events in Squaw Valley include a gathering of writers, concerts and wine and beer events. Lovers of music also enjoy several musical events.

Andy Wirth serves as the current President and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, which is the resort’s parent company. Wirth has 25 years’ experience in the hotel and resort industry. After a skydiving accident in 2013 he almost lost his life but survived. Andy Wirth has been awarded the Chairman’s Outstanding Service Award, the Steamboat Springs business Leader of the Year Award and the HSMAI Top 25 Minds in Hospitality and Travel Sales and Marketing. He was also named 2014 Citizen of the year by Disabled Sports USA.