Andy Wirth: A Successful CEO and Survivor

The recent influx of rain very much benefits the upcoming ski season. The rains gives a much needed boost to snow making and it is a vital ingredient in order to have enough snow for a season. The rain helps recharge ground water, which is beneficial because when it is low, it can hurt the effectiveness of snowmaking ponds,as well as aquifers. Snow is able to be produced as early as next month.

One person who this particularly benefits is Andy Wirth, who is the President and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. This is the parent company of both Squaw Valley as well as Alpine Meadows ski resorts, both in Olympic Valley, CA. Andy was recently interviewed about the how the lack of rain will affect his ski resort this winter, but with increasing rains lately, he is in better luck than he thought.

Wirth became the President and CEO of the ski resort in Squaw Valley in 2010. He replaced the former CEO, Nancy Cushing, who was a member of a family who had run the resort since the 1940s.

When Andy Wirth took over as CEO, the company upgraded its facilities to the tune of $70 million. Wirth majorly improved the mountain design and the infrastructure. He also made positive renovations to the culinary facilities, the cabins in the base area, lodging areas, and common areas where all guests can come together to socialize. Some non-tangible things were also renovated for improvement. Customer service was improved, bringing this ski resort into the top 20% for customer satisfaction when it comes to service.

In 2011, Wirth decided to combine his two nearby ski resorts, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort and Squaw Valley. They then offered a combined ticket pass to all skiers. Because Wirth conducted the acquisition of Alpine Meadows, he is now the President and CEO of each resort.

Wirth is also well known for being an active skydiver who survived a brutal accident in 2013. Wirth experienced a fall during a skydive which resulted in his right arm being torn off. This fall was due to changing wind conditions, among other unfortunate factors. His arm was surgically reattached. While waiting for help, Wirth was able to slow the bleeding of his arm until help arrived and he was airlifted to the Davis Trauma Center at the University of California. Wirth returned to his passion of his ski resorts after just shy of two months in the hospital and after going through 23 surgeries on his arm.

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