Category Archives: Survival Stories

Ski and resort entrepreneur Andy Wirth

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are two well-known and highly profitable ski resorts in northern California. The president and CEO, Andy Wirth, has a career history deeply rooted in the mountain resort industry that many visitors may not be aware of. He started out in leadership in 1986 at Steamboat Springs Resort, which eventually lead to a head position at Intrawest Resort Holdings, his current position of CEO at Squaw Valley after Nancy Cushing departed in 2010, and most recently Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board chairman.

Mr. Wirth has always had a love for recreation and the outdoors. He served as a backcountry ranger and was on the ambulance crew of North Routt Fire Protection District. That experience gave him invaluable knowledge during a life-changing sky diving accident in October 2013. High winds forced a landing in a vineyard, where a support pole detached Wirth’s right arm nearly causing him to bleed to death. Numerous surgeries and a lengthy stay in the ICU at Davis trauma center gave him a renewed sense of appreciation for life, and he even credits the Pearl Jam song “Just Breathe” with keeping him calm during the experience. Good physical health from years as a cyclist and triathlete can be credited to his recovery.

After recovery, Wirth gathered a team to compete in Lake Tahoe’s Ironman 70.3 race and proved that determination will lead to success no matter the circumstance. A lesson of success in business and in life can be learned from the extraordinary circumstances faced by Squaw Valley CEO and philanthropist Andy Wirth.