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Changes for Squaw/Alpine after 2018
3 posts from 1 user
Updated 10 months ago
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marzNC - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago

Big changes are in progress for Squaw/Alpine in 2018.  The man who has been in charge since KSL bought Squaw in 2010 is retiring.  Andy Wirth was CEO when 2011 is when Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows were put together under the same ownership.  KSL was a key player in creating Alterra in 2017, with the Ikon Pass starting up 2018-19.

By all accounts, Andy Wirth is the reason that progress was made on the idea of a “Base to Base” gondola to connect Squaw with Alpine. Building the gondola requires the cooperation of Troy Caldwell, who owns land between the two and has a cat skiing operations.  The Forest Service is in the midst of the environment impact evaluation.  Approval isn’t expected until 2019 and the hope is to complete construction for the 2019-20 season.

Here are links for more info about the proposed base-to-base gondola to be called the California Express.


https://youtu.be/UD_A-r0OzMU - early video announcement by Wirth in 2015

http://tahoequarterly.com/ski-ride-2016/the-legend-of-white-wolf - 2016 article about Tony Caldwell

http://squawalpine.com/explore/blog/california-express-gondola - Oct 2017

https://liftblog.com/2018/04/27/california-express-draft-environmental-impact-statement-released/ - April 2018

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago

A couple articles from April 2018 with a little bit more background about Andy Wirth, the retiring COO, and former CEO, of Squaw/Alpine before KSL and HCC joined forces to buy Intrawest, Mammoth, and Deer Valley to create Alterra.  The previous CEO was a member of the Cushing family who sold Squaw to KSL in 2010.



marzNC - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago

Back in 2015, one reason to combine Squaw and Alpine with a gondola was to being able to claim “biggest” in the U.S. at 6000 acres.  But then Vail ended up combining Park City Mountain Resort with Canyons into “Park City” for a total of 7300 acres.  That surpassed Big Sky (Biggest Skiing In America), which grew to 5800 acres after buying out Moonlight Basin and Spanish Peaks.  Then comes Vail at 5300 acres and Heavenly with 4800 acres.

Whistler and Blackcomb became a combined resort in 1997, for a total of just over 8000 acres.

Funny how a small act can make a huge difference.  Had the accountant in the Squaw office answered differently when Southern Pacific called in 1989 to offer the 460 acres that Troy Caldwell ended up buying, the Cushing family could have started working on connecting Squaw and Alpine as early as 1990.  That parcel includes the top of KT-22!  Squaw only had a lease agreement with SP for the 70 acres where the KT-22 and another lift end.

https://www.skiinghistory.org/news/white-wolf’s-tale - December 2014

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