Throughout his entire life, Andy Wirth has been connected to the mountain resort and hotel industry. Now the CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, Wirth brings over 25 years of experience to his current job to make the ski area one of the top winter tourist destinations in the world.
Born in Nuebrucke, West Germany, Wirth would begin to fully dive into the industry once he decided to attend Colorado State University. He would also further his education at Edinburgh University in Scotland. During this time period, he gained experience as a backcountry ranger for the Rocky Mountain National Parks, as well as a wilderness ranger in the San Pedro Parks Wilderness Area. National Parks were always in Wirth’s blood, as his grandfather Conrad was a former US National Parks Service Director.
After completing college, Wirth began his career path as an intern at the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation in 1986. For over 20 years, his official title changed (mostly on the marketing side of things) until he was promoted to the parent company Intrawest.
The company purchased Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation in 2006, and he was quickly named the Chief Marketing Officer, as well as the executive vice president of sales and marketing. His job title included the management of domestic and global marketing strategy for all of the resorts owned by the company. Additionally, he would take on a variety of other roles, most notably the president of the Mountain Village Partnership that aimed to help provide solutions for local retail businesses. He would remain with the company until 2010.
For nearly 70 years, the Squaw Valley ski resort was under the direction of the Cushing family. All that changed in 2010, when Wirth was officially named the new CEO of the company. He would take over for Nancy Cushing, who moved on after 16 years at the head of the company. Right away, Wirth was responsible for overseeing a $70 million upgrade to the resort, which helped bring things up to par with competing skiing areas. After just one year, Squaw Valley rebuilt its reputation to put itself in the top 20 percent of the skiing industry.
The other major change to Squaw Valley that Wirth has been involved with is the merge with Alpine Meadows Ski Resort. Customers can now purchase a single ticket for admittance to both, and by default, Wirth also became the CEO of that resort as well.
At 49 years of age, Wirth continues to focus more on philanthropy to go along with his CEO work. He is a major contributor to environmental and community service organizations in the Lake Tahoe area, and his focus is to improve the area in general for people of all ages. The long term goal is to continually build and improve the reputation of Squaw Valley to make it more popular than ever. Wirth and his wife Karen (real estate lawyer) currently reside in Truckee, California while being active members in the community.