Andy Wirth is the CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings that owns and operates Squaw Valley and the adjacent Alpine Meadows ski resorts. He had his hands full defeating a challenge from a group wanting to incorporate Squaw Valley into the local community, taking control away from Wirth and adversely affecting the ski business.
Wirth has been an accomplished juggler, balancing the wishes of employees and business owners at Squaw Valley against the year-round residents and property owners living in this idyllic community where expansion is usually frowned on by residents but demanded by those working at the resort. He has proven to be an effective arbiter and spokesman for the resort and the residents. Skiers, employees, business owners and workers, and even residents respect his judgment in matters concerning Squaw Valley. Wirth was recently named chair of The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board. He, also, has to be a meteorologist to handle the periodic droughts affecting the southern California area. As snowfall levels decrease and days skied become less with each passing year, Wirth must entertain new recreational ideas that include hosting of meetings and concerts on the grounds of Squaw Valley.
Wirth, recently, added a near death experience to his resume. He does everything with gusto whether in business or in his sport of skydiving. On one day off, he and friends were disappointed to learn that their local airstrip had closed for take-offs due to high winds. Not wanting to have to cancel plans they traveled to another area that was allowing flights. It was windy, but Wirth and friends were not to be dissuaded. Unfortunately, tragedy was lurking and being blown off his intended course Wirth found himself having to make a lethal choice. He could try to land close to a power line and chance electrocution or to land in a local vineyard. He chose the vineyard, crashing into the tightly strung wires supporting grape vines severing his arm from his body in the accident. He survived, his arm was reattached, and Wirth has now promised his wife and children that there will be no more skydiving. He has enough to do at work.