You are lucky if you live in the beautiful Santa Monica area of California. Santa Monica has great surfing waves, wide clean beaches, and a robust, thriving beach environment which attracts tourists from around the world throughout the calendar year.
Santa Monica also has KCRW public radio to entertain and inform its residents and guests. Santa Monica College is the home to the radio channel and Madeleine Brand has a talk program called “Press to Play with Madeleine Brand” so-called because if you miss the live broadcast you can listen to it by accessing their website at.
Brand recently interviewed Andy Wirth, the president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC. Andy Wirth is an involved, educated, concerned director of operations at an iconic ski resort visited by millions from California and around the world. He might be better described as a CEO and juggler because of the many factions he deals with in his daily work life.
Skiers are there and other resort guests, employees of the resort who must keep the roads open during adverse weather conditions, resort staff to man the ski lifts and create and groom the snow, administrative staff to make sure there is enough hot chocolate and clean beds where needed, ski patrol and avalanche teams. Learn more about Andy Wirth: http://andywirth.com/
Then there is a separate contingent, the residents of this idyllic ski area who enjoy the pristine conditions and cozy environment of Squaw Valley and usually are opposed to future growth and development.
Combine this with area businesses and employees who see development as a way of being able to live in this place alongside the rich and famous. Andy Wirth is a busy man, but he seems up to the herculean task of running this iconic ski resort.
Brand was very interested in the climate and specifically the El Nino effect that was producing a drought, which is concerning residents.
Andy Wirth answered Brand’s questions fully and seemed interested and educated in meteorology; he was a backcountry ranger and knew how fires could become more dangerous by being affected by the wind and weather conditions.
But the biggest and most vexing problem was centered on global warming and how it affects the ski industry. National Public Radio (NPR) and its big brother, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is a scientifically based information system which for many years has presented hard scientific facts contained within its Nova series. Read more: How Will the Drought Affect California Ski Resorts?
Wirth answered the question about how the resort is doing with its shorter ski season by saying that by realizing that the snow may not always fall in great profusion, he and the resort have made plans to alter their land use in just such a case.
Andy Wirth, seriously, feels that global warming could eliminate the ski industry. For skiers everywhere the idea of mountains in winter bare of snow is an image that is disconcerting and unsettling.