Wanderlust fills Squaw Valley top to bottoms | SierraSun.com

Wanderlust fills Squaw Valley top to bottoms

Amy Edgett
aedgett@sierrasun.com

Amy Edgett / Sierra SunA member of Quixotic, an ensemble of artists from dance, aerial acrobatics, music, fashion and film limbered up to the High Camp crowd's amazement during the Wanderlust California Festival at Squaw Valley. They performed throughout the event, held July 26-30.

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. and#8212; Much like melting snow from Squaw Valley peaks fills small alpine lakes and canyon creeks, Wanderlust attendees flowed into Olympic Valley by the thousands.

and#8220;This is a hot brand and great event, focused on being sensitive to the community,and#8221; said Andy Wirth, CEO of Squaw Valley, whose arrival to the area coincided with the 2010 Wanderlust. and#8220;It’s an incredibly unique, remarkable event, and I am thrilled with how it has evolved.and#8221;

Since its inception in 2009, the event has morphed, grown and in accord with its roots, maintains an earth-friendly amalgamation of yoga, music, hikes, lectures, films, paddlboarding, farm-to-table dinners and wine tastings.

and#8220;The concurrent events, operational venues and#8230; these are signs of a professional, well-run organization,and#8221; said Wirth.

Wanderlust California has a legacy of leaving a positive footprint, from supporting local nonprofits, such as the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, to partnering with Off the Mat, Into the World, a grassroots organization that uses yoga to inspire conscious activism.

Wanderlust organizers reached out to Timberland, not in a strictly financial mode, but also because Timberland has a longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability. Timberland’s Earthkeepers, a team of volunteers, set up and manned the composting and recycling tents that dotted the Village at Squaw Valley.

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and#8220;It is critical to understand the fundamentally aligned ethics,and#8221; noted Wirth. and#8220;The organizers do business in a similar fashion and#8230; they are agents of change, with the intent to vastly improve the world. It’s a net positive for our entire region.and#8221;

During the four-day festival, July 26-30, lodging was full to the brim in Olympic Valley. While having a to-capacity Saturday night is not unusual, Wirth said four full summer nights is nearly unprecedented.

Marc Sapoznik, marketing and public relations manager at the Resort at Squaw Creek, agreed.

and#8220;Wanderlust has grown to the point where it does have an impact on occupancy at Resort at Squaw Creek. When Wanderlust comes to town, between Wanderlusters and our typical summer leisure guests, we are looking at a sellout period,and#8221; said Sapoznik, whose employees also attended the festival.

and#8220;A great number of business associates spent their first time in the Village during Wanderlust,and#8221; said Wirth. These business buddies were surprised by the eclectic, contemporary crowd and#8212; not a throwback to hippies. Wirth estimated about two-thirds of attendees are from the Bay Area, with a substantial net worth. and#8220;It was a real eye opener,and#8221; he joked.

Beyond the extremely positive fiscal impact, Wirth, who is friends with founders Jeff Krasno and Schuyler Grant, reminds us why they initially chose Squaw Valley.

Krasno said to Wirth, and#8220;This mountain, this place, has a soul.and#8221;

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