|Born||25 July 1963|
Nuebrucke, West Germany
|Education||Bachelor of Science|
|Alma mater||Colorado State University|
Andrew "Andy" Wirth (born 25 July 1963) works in the mountain resort and hotel industry. He was most recently the President and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, the parent company of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts in Olympic Valley, CA until 2018. He is also the grandson of former US National Park Service Director Conrad Wirth and the great grandson of Theodore Wirth.
Wirth has worked in the mountain resort and hotel industry for 25 years. He began his career with Steamboat Springs Resort in 1986 and served several different marketing and leadership positions at the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation and its parent companies. In 2007, Wirth was appointed the chief marketing officer and executive vice president of Intrawest, which acquired Steamboat in 2007. In 2010, Wirth left Steamboat to serve as the President and CEO of Squaw Valley, taking over for former CEO Nancy Cushing.
Wirth is a recipient of multiple community service and professional awards including the Chairman's Outstanding Service Award from the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board of Trustees, Steamboat Springs Business Leader of the Year Award and made the HSMAI Top 25 Minds in Hospitality and Travel Sales and Marketing list. In 2014, he was recognized as Citizen of the Year by Disabled Sports USA and received the Community Five Award.
In October 2013, Wirth's right arm was torn off and surgically reattached, as a result of a skydiving accident in Lodi, California. Steamboat Today chronicled his accident and recovery and his connection with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder.
Wirth was the Fall 2014 commencement speaker at the graduation ceremony for Colorado State University's Warner College of Natural Resources. In January 2016, Wirth was named the Chairman and President of Reno-Tahoe Regional Air Service Corporation. He is also a board of directors member at Capital Public Radio, an NPR affiliate in the Sacramento area.
Early life and education
Andy Wirth was born in Neubrucke, West Germany on July 25, 1963.
Wirth worked as a backcountry ranger for the Rocky Mountain National Parks and a wilderness ranger in the San Pedro Parks Wilderness Area. He was also a member of the Hot Shot Wild Land Fire Crew based out of Northern New Mexico.
Wirth began as an intern with the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation in 1986. He worked at Steamboat for more than 20 years, serving in many different marketing positions within Steamboat and for ownership groups involved in the ski resort industry, while based out of Steamboat. In 2007, he was promoted into the parent company Intrawest, which completed acquisition of Steamboat in 2006 for $265 million, and he was named the chief marketing officer and executive vice president of sales and marketing. At Intrawest, Wirth managed domestic and global marketing strategy, overseeing Intrawest's full portfolio of mountain and ski resorts
Wirth also led and founded the Mountain Village Partnership (MVP) in 2009, serving as president of the board of directors of the organization. MVP is a business and marketing promotion group supporting local businesses, and it is sponsored by Steamboat.
Wirth was active in Steamboat Springs, serving as chairman of the board of directors for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, a 100-year-old organization responsible for the development of winter sports athletes and staging of winter competitive sporting events. Wirth also served as a volunteer fireman and then board member of the North Routt Fire Protection District.
In 2010, he helped direct Steamboat's Olympic send-off for the American Winter Olympic teams going to Vancouver. Wirth was also involved in two previous Olympic send-off celebrations in 2002 and 2006.
In the summer of August 2010, Wirth was appointed the President and CEO of Squaw Valley ski resort. He replaced former CEO Nancy Cushing, who was exited from the position after 16 years as President and CEO. Until Wirth took over, Squaw Valley had always been under the direction of the Cushing family after the ski resort was founded by Wayne Poulsen in the 1940s and later owned by Nancy's late husband, Alex Cushing.
Under Wirth's direction as CEO, the company underwent a $70 million upgrade. Changes included vastly improved mountain design and infrastructure, renovations to culinary, base area facilities, lodging and common areas and were funded by KSL Capital Partners, which bought Squaw in November 2010. Improvements have also included much-needed alterations to the customer experience. According to Wirth, "Squaw Valley moved from the bottom 20 percent of ski resorts into the top 20 percent over the year" for customer service satisfaction.
In September 2011, it was announced that Alpine Meadows Ski Resort and nearby Squaw Valley would merge to offer a combined ticket pass to customers. Wirth led the acquisition of Alpine Meadows and is now the President and CEO of both resorts.
Andy Wirth announced his retirement from Squaw Valley on April 14, 2018.
By 2018, Squaw Valley announced a plan to get electricity from carbon-free sources. The company started using renewable energy at two of its resorts, building a mountain-side storage facility for Tesla Inc. batteries. Wirth stated that Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows would be operated by 100% renewable-sourced energy by the end of the 2018 to reduce its carbon footprint.
Wirth is a member of the Tahoe Fund "Founders Circle" and is a major supporter and contributor to environmental and community service organizations, including the Humane Society of Tahoe Truckee, The Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation Community House, High Fives, The McConkey Foundation, Girls on the Run Sierra Chapter and the Truckee River Watershed Council.
Over the course of his career, Wirth has served as a member or in a leadership role of several community organizations in Steamboat including:
- Chairman, Board of Directors – Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
- Board Member, Yampa Valley Regional Airport Advisory Board
- Board Member, North Routt Fire Protection District
- Volunteer Fireman, North Routt Fire Protection District
Since arriving in the Lake Tahoe area in 2010 Wirth has served or is serving on the following Boards and community service organizations:
- Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation Board of Directors – a not-for-profit organization which awards grants and scholarships in the areas of art, education, youth development, environment, health and human services in the Lake Tahoe area.
- Tahoe Fund Board of Directors – a not-for-profit environmental organization formed in 2010 whose mission is to preserve and improve the natural environment around the Lake Tahoe Basin area.
- Executive Committee, California Ski Industry Association
- North Lake Tahoe Resort Association Board of Directors - an organization promoting the success and vibrancy of regional commerce environment.
- Lake Tahoe Winter Olympics Committee, Board of Directors - serving as President and Chairman.
- National Ski Areas Board of Directors
- Chairman of the Reno Tahoe Airport Board of Trustees
- Chairman and President of Reno-Tahoe Regional Air Service Corporation
Current philanthropy work outside of the Lake Tahoe Area:
- Colorado State University's Master of Tourism Management Advisory Board.
- Board Member at Capital Public Radio, an NPR affiliate serving Sacramento and surrounding counties.
Wirth is a recipient of multiple community service and professional awards. In 2012, Wirth was awarded the Chairman's Outstanding Service Award from the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board of Trustees. Wirth was the recipient of the 2002 Steamboat Springs Business Leader of the Year Award. In 2009, he was also awarded a spot on the HSMAI Top 25 Minds in Hospitality and Travel Sales and Marketing list.
In 2013, Wirth was featured in a Wall Street Journal article about his workout routine and trail running. He has competed in half-marathons and triathlons.
In October 2013, Wirth's right arm was torn off and surgically reattached, as a result of a skydiving accident in Lodi, California. Due to changing wind conditions and other factors, Wirth, an experienced and licensed skydiver, along with other skydivers, were not able to make it to the designated landing area. Wirth landed on steel posts and wires in a vineyard outside the landing area. Wirth was able to slow bleeding of his brachial artery until he was airlifted to the University of California, Davis trauma center, where his arm was reattached. Additional surgeries were performed at the Buncke Clinic at the California Pacific Medical Center. Wirth returned to work after 50 days in the hospital and over 23 surgeries on his right arm.
Wirth announced his retirement as President of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings in April 2018, stating that he would be spending time with his family and "focus on the active support of wounded warriors and environmental causes – advocacy and action."
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