Wirth announces plan for gondola


Andy Wirth, CEO of Squaw Valley ski resort, announced last April his facility will open a “base to bases” gondola between his resort and Alpine Meadows. The two operations combined in 2011 and have been finding ways to work together since that time. The two mountains, near Tahoe, are close to each other, but until now you still had to drive from one base to the other, to get from one to the other.

Wirth said between 20 and 25 percent of people at the two resorts ski at both, and many of those do on the same day. He said he did not know how much, but the gondola should cut down on traffic on the road between the two mountains.

The gondola will travel from one base to the other and some of that will be on federal land, which has been a concern to some environmentalists. The route also goes along the property line of Troy Caldwell. Wirth said he and Caldwell have worked out an agreement for the gondola to cross some of Caldwell’s land. The route will go along his western border, a press release said.

With said the idea of connecting the two resorts goes back to Wayne Pouslen, who started the Squaw Valley resort. Some have suggested this could make the two resorts the largest ski area in America. Wirth said that is possible but it is not a great concern to him. He is more interested in making the facility as good as it can be, and adding the gondola is part of that.

Wirth is CEO of Squaw Valley and has worked in the resort industry for 25 years. He began his career in the resort industry at Steamboat Springs resort in 1986.