Andy Wirth first came to the Tahoe region as a small kid following through the snow in the big steps of his grandfather. He soon realized that the Tahoe region is a very special place that needs to be protected. As the CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, he realized that he can have a large environmental impact on the mountain for eternity. Therefore, he has made some changes at Squaw Valley to help protect the environment.
One of those changes is that Squaw Valley will no longer sell single use water bottles. Those enjoying Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are encouraged to buy a refillable water bottle that can be refilled at many locations around both parks. These water bottles are also a great souvenir to take home.
Andy Wirth says that he realizes that his company sold 28,000 single use water bottles every year. Over 80 percent of those bottles ended up in landfills. A plastic bottle in a landfill can take over 100 years to degrade. In a decade this change will save the production of over eight tons of CO2. Visitors will be able to refill their bottles with Mountain Tap water at various locations around both parks.
Andy says that after he lost his right arm in a skydiving accident, that he realized that the mountain was very precious to him. He wants to make sure that it is taken care of for eternity. Therefore, he embraces this change as a way to take care of the land.
Andy was recently appointed to the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board. He hopes to use his position on the board to encourage it and other businesses to take small steps to protect the environment. He says that if each business in the region will commit to making one small change, then the consequences can be huge.