The two resorts, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, which had long been separated by not only being on different mountains, but with different owners, different passes, and different skiing cultures are possibly going to become quite well connected. The process began in 2011 when the owners of the Squaw Valley resort, KSL Capital Partners, bought the Alpine Meadows resort. Effectively now, the two operate as one large ski resort, but there is a long drive between the two mountains and their respective parking lots.
Squaw Valley Ski Holdings (the parent company of both resorts, which some are calling “Squawlpine”) CEO Andy Wirth reports that skiers and snowboarders have been dreaming of the prospect of connecting the two resorts for decades. Wirth announced the plan to build a gondola which, in three sections, would run from the bottom of Squaw Valley, over the intermediate ridge, and down to the bottom of Alpine Meadows.
Wirth is an established industry veteran, having worked in the hotel and hospitality industry for twenty-five years, been a backcountry and wilderness park ranger, and in the ski industry itself for over two decades. Wirth has been the CEO of Squaw Valley since summer 2010.
This new gondola plan still needs permission from the owners of the land in between the mountains, namely Troy Caldwell, who owns 460 acres at the top of a mountain known as White Wolf, and the United States Forest Service.
Looking to bolster even more support from the public to get the program quickly approved by the United States Forest Service and Placer County, Squaw Alpine is asking for public support for the proposed gondola on their website with an area for signatures and testimonials.