California has been dealing with droughts for many years now and they have come up with great ways to conserve water. It has been shown recently in studies that Californians have cut down on their water consumption by just over 20%. It is easy to see how a drought can affect an ecosystem during the hot summer months, but how will it affect the winter months at ski resorts?
Recently on Press Play with Madeline Brand, I heard ski resort CEO and expert Andy Wirth Shed some light on this situation. As CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Resort, Wirth has a great deal of experience dealing with the natural resources that make a ski resort work. Learn more about Andy Wirth: http://squawalpine.com/explore/blog/andy-wirth-elected-chairman-reno-tahoe-regional-air-service-corporation
Wirth confidently responded to questions from Brand about the resilience of Squaw Valley Resort due to the less than average winter weather conditions. Even with skier visits down by 20%, Wirth stated that the capital structure of Squaw Valley Resort is strong enough that it could withstand an infinite number of less than average precipitation winters. Squaw Valley has remained profitable even during the lower precipitation conditions.
Wirth comments that resorts must position themselves to thrive during the warmer winters and then to take advantage of when the conditions are colder and snowier.
Snowmaking is a technique that Andy Wirth and other CEOs of resorts have implemented to fight back against the warmer winters. With the increased volatility of weather in the winter months, Wirth is more concerned with a long-term business model that will allow for variation in these warmer winter months. Wirth is setting a great example for resort CEOs all across the country who still want to be profitable during these unsure times.
Investing in new snowmaking technologies will be a great way for many resorts to take more control of the winter conditions during the volatile winter months.
Wirth is also focusing heavily on the summer months as well at Squaw Valley Resort with corporate events, triathlons, concerts, weddings, and more. With shorter winter seasons, the summer activities are becoming more crucial in the business plan for any mountain resort. Learn more about Andy Wirth: http://andywirth.com/
Wirth is an individual who has not only had great success in managing resorts professionally but also in managing his own personal life. In 2013, Wirth was in an unfortunate freak skydiving accident where he lost control of his descent and crash landed into a vineyard.
This resulted in his arm being completely severed. Instead of giving up, Wirth was determined to use this challenge to help him grow. With the help of many doctors, surgeons, and physical therapists, Wirth was able to regain full control of his arm. This goes to show that Wirth is not the kind of guy to just give up.
Click on the following links to read more:
Update on CEO Andy Wirth and his letter
How Will the Drought Affect California Ski Resorts?