I was listening to Madeleine Brand the other day and was able to pick up some interesting information about the drought and its effect on our California ski resorts.
Here in Sacramento where we live, we’re only an hour or less from snow…when it’s there. And of course, artificial snow is a more and more viable option to keep our resorts open.
Madeleine Brand talked with Andy Wirth on Station KCRW.
“Water use in California dropped by 27% last month, but the drought continues to plague us more than any other issue in recorded history.”
Andy Wirth, Chief Executive Officer and President of Alpine Meadows of Tahoe, is a man who wears many hats; he has direct responsibility for all aspects of marketing and sales and more. He kindly offered some of his views on the current situation.
“Of course, up here in Ski Country, such as Squaw Valley, drought particularly impacts our hopes of a plentiful snowfall that’s guaranteed to bring skiers here, not only our loyal locals, but from all over the world.”
Madeleine asked Andy the obvious question:
“So how was our California winter this year?”
“It’s been a tough year,” he tells us, “I think everybody knows, here, especially in California, it was definitely a tough winter, but for all that, attendance was down only about ten percent.”
“Our capital structure remains solid. We’ve remained confident and we survive. Of course things could be better and we expect to take advantage of every opportunity to offer the best we can. We have over six thousand acres, so even if we only have a part of that with good cover, we can still offer quite a bit of great skiing.
Especially now that we have the ability to create snow as needed along with increased cold, and with at least four thousand snow covered acres to offer, we’re still in a good position to keep ’em coming. Our results in December and January have been very favorable. Science has been an enormous help in keeping us in plenty of snow on the slopes.”
“But you are looking toward the future rather than at the immediate situation.”
“Exactly. The punch line is that we hope as we continue to move along. Considering our new capabilities to create snow and our desirable locations and popularity, we expect to continue to grow, especially in the addition of many other attractive events and venues, such as weddings, and other celebrations.”
“We hear some pessimistic talk from Colorado about snow, but you evidently have a different idea.”
“We never know for certain how much natural snow is coming, but our hopes remain positive. Andy Wirth artificial snow and as I said, meetings, weddings and a host of other attractive events that we can host up in our part of the world, we can keep the people coming to show their interest in keeping up these beloved mountains.”
“Although we’re not achieving the results we know we can, we continue to work on improving every aspect of our properties, our service and our attractions.” Learn more about Andy Wirth: https://about.me/andywirth
“I believe I have the ability to make lemonade even when we don’t see ideal conditions and keep our operations not only going, but profitable.”
Ms. Brand then asked, “So you started out with an interest in meteorology?”
“Actually I started in Mexico and although meteorology wasn’t my main concern at the beginning, I began to see the importance of this aspect of any outdoor sport, so as time continued, I’ve focused more and more on weather conditions and what we can do about that. This year, we’re expecting to have a great winter season.”
“Thank you very much for your warm and helpful information.”
“You’re very welcome, Madelaine, and have a great day.”