Andy Wirth might be wishing he stayed in Steamboat. The CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, the parent company for Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, is still facing near unanimous community opposition to his company's plans to expand the Squaw Valley Base Village. Following the release of a draft report on the plan's environmental impacts, nearly 350 comments were submitted by government agencies, advocacy groups and hundreds of individuals to Placer County. The tenor of the comments is overwhelmingly negative. Even after significantly paring down the original proposal, the consensus remains that the plan is more than the area can support.
The folks at Unofficial Alpine were only able to find one comment in favor of the current plan, which they characterized as from someone who stood to personally benefit from the base area's development.
After reading through the comments submitted by major agencies and groups, the most charitable thing that can be said is that some see it as a means to an end — willing to stomach some form of the plan in exchange for their own considerations.
The U.S. Forest Service district office outlined trail impacts not included in the plan. The California Highway Patrol expressed concerns about the area's transportation infrastructure. The Squaw Valley Mutual Water Co. took the environmental report to task for being far too accommodating in its water analysis.
Sierra Watch just came out and said what's on everyone's minds: "The inadequacies of the [draft environmental impact report] are rooted in the scale of the development proposal." The group's answer to such a fundamental problem? Deny the whole thing outright and make Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and KSL Capital Partners start from scratch.
Little chance of that happening without a fight, however, as Unofficial Alpine dug into campaign finance reports to find that Squaw Valley Ski Holdings is still pumping cash into the campaign to stop the community from take charge of the process through incorporating Olympic Valley.
· The Community Speaks Up About Squaw Valley Expansion Plans [Unofficial Alpine]
· Squaw Valley Sets a New Record for Anti-Community Spending [Unofficial Alpine]
· In Squaw Valley, Incorporate Olympic Valley Is Down, But Not Out After Latest Fiscal Report [Curbed Ski]
· New Report Details Potential Environmental Impact of Proposed Squaw Valley Base Village [Curbed Ski]