Letter to the Editor: Can Squaw Valley fall on hard times?
May 20, 2014
"The entire country is littered with towns and cities that have failed because they were too reliant on one company to a single source of revenue which closes, runs on hard times or otherwise ceases to be the economic driver it once was."
This is an accurate statement from Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth in his May 9 letter to LAFCO regarding Incorporate Olympic Valley (reported in the Wednesday, May 14 Sierra Sun story "IOV chairman: Excluding Squaw an 'illogical' move"), and the sad story of much of post-industrial America.
Yet it seems a strange warning coming from the mouth of the CEO of the fore mentioned single source of revenue. Is this the sort of outlook he gives his investors? Most likely not, but perplexingly it has become one of the keystone arguments in the opposition of the efforts to incorporate Olympic Valley.
As much as I appreciate Mr. Wirth's concern, I find that the tacit suggestion that his own company could fail to be a shaky platform to be standing on. Given the uncertain economic future, drought and a host of other factors, Squaw Valley could certainly fall on hard times, but I suspect by that time Mr. Wirth's altruistic concern for the wellbeing of the local residents will have evaporated.
Furthermore I would like to seek a clarification, whenever such similar, should I say the exact same concerns, in regards to the long-term economic viability of a massive scale development as proposed by Mr. Wirth and his investors such questions are scoffed at.
Assurances are given to the "high level of capitalization" that KSL possesses. Mr. Wirth, how is it possible to simultaneously maintain such diametrically opposed viewpoints? Is there any substance to these arguments other than narrow corporate self interest?
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How exactly can the residents be assured that they will not be left with a hulking failure of a development that in the CEO's own words seems to fall within the realm of plausibility?