My Turn | The Squaw project: A Squaw Valley Lodge perspective |

My Turn | The Squaw project: A Squaw Valley Lodge perspective

Over the last year, Squaw Valley Lodge, representing more than 200 owners, watched the unfolding reality of a proposed, major development in Squaw Valley.

We have listened closely to the many important opinions voiced in the region — homeowners, second-home owners, Olympic Valley residents, day skiers, business people, Placer County, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings/Real Estate Development and others.

Many views, including our own, have been expressed in a variety of forums including directly to Squaw Valley management, in public and otherwise. While there are divergent views, we believe there is one common denominator — a passionate love of this valley and this mountain and a desire that they should be the best they can be for all of us.

We all want growth to scale that is sensitive to the valley — a project that will finally bring to potential the sort of mountain village that could have and should have evolved after the 1960 Olympics.

The various community stakeholders throughout the region represent a diversity of perspectives — something to be welcomed. This very vocal and energetic exchange is a healthy process.

It has occurred in public forums such as the Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council, the Placer County Notice of Preparation process, websites and newspapers.

Further, in addition to public venues, Squaw Valley management has consistently and diligently invited input directly through forums such as their Community Advisory Committee and their information center “Base Camp.”

We are optimistic about a couple of things — the serious capital investments and improvements that the new Squaw Valley management has already made on the mountain and their continued environmental commitment, such as the proposed Squaw Creek restoration.

Further, Squaw Valley management told us they wanted to create a robust community input process where stakeholders can express their perspectives about the proposed development.

Our experience to date is they have done just that and continue to do so. We feel they have listened to our positions and opinions and have taken them into consideration in a very serious way.

Simply put, we believe the community of Olympic Valley needs to proactively and collaboratively work to achieve the right balance of development that doesn’t negatively impact real estate and lifestyles, yet provides enough incentive to catalyze needed financial investment in terms of infrastructure and services to make Squaw Valley the best mountain experience that it can be — one that captures and builds on the magic that historically is Squaw Valley.

We don’t speak for everyone in the Valley. We do speak for ourselves as wanting a dynamic and sustainable future for this area.

Squaw Valley management has indicated they have had more than 200 community meetings and that more than 3,000 people have visited their information center and expressed their opinions.

As one of the groups they have met with, we believe they are listening to the community and will be flexible in their final plans.

We are looking with hopeful optimism that we will reach agreement on the variety of issues that have been of concern to Squaw Valley Lodge, and that all concerned groups will continue to actively engage in the process.

Mike Syiek is president of the Board of Directors of the Squaw Valley Lodge Owners Association; wrote this My Turn on behalf of the entire organization.

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