The ski industry is coming back from a relentless drought. The drought has lingered in the Western part of the United States for more than four years. The popular ski resorts and lodges have experienced low skier turnout, and several resorts closed permanently because revenue was so low. The warm weather and lack of snowfall seem to be the norm until the snow started to fall again in 2015. And the snowfall was the kind of heavy snow that makes the slopes perfect for novices as well as world class skiers.
The Squaw Valley ski resort had a great 2015/2016 season. It was one of those long seasons where skiers are on the slopes in April and May. Squaw Valley has a reputation for being one of the best ski locations in the world. For more than 60 years, skiers have been coming to the Lake Tahoe area to ski the good life at the resort. Squaw Valley is a 6,000-acre ski resort these days. The merger with Alpine Meadows a couple of years ago added more slopes and trails to the resort. Squaw Valley is one of the world’s best winter vacation destinations. The staff at the resort goes all out to make guests feel comfortable after a day on the slopes. There are more than 60 restaurants, bars, and boutiques on the property. Unfortunately, a couple of those restaurants had to be closed recently due to a freak rainstorm that flooded four wells in the upper mountain area of the resort.
According to Liesl Kenney, the Public Relation Director for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, a heavy October rain filled the wells with harmful bacteria. When the rain subsided, the staff at the resort did a routine water check, and they discovered coliform and E. coli bacteria in the wells. Two of the upper mountain water systems were shut down, and the guests staying at the High Camp and Gold Coast sections of the resort were notified. The guests staying in those areas were never in danger. No one got sick. Free bottled water was available for skiers.
Anytime E. coli is discovered, people react. Kenney told the Sierra Sun that the resort immediately notified the Squaw Valley Public Service District and the Placer County Environmental Health Department as well as other health experts. The cleanup process began right after the water receded. Kenney said three of the four wells now have low levels of the coliform bacteria and no E. coli after the initial cleanup. The cleanup process will continue until all harmful bacteria are gone, according to the CEO of Squaw Valley, Andy Wirth.
Andy Wirth has been CEO of the resort for six years. Wirth is responsible for the Alpine Meadows merger, and he is currently working on another expansion project that will benefit the resort and the Lake Tahoe community. Andy is a seasoned veteran that cares about Squaw Valley and the Lake Tahoe and Truckee communities. The water issue has not hurt Squaw Valley’s 2016/2017 bookings, according to Wirth. It’s going to be another long and prosperous ski season in Squaw Valley.