Incorporate Olympic Valley will create an authentic sense of place for the valley and the ski area. Many world-class ski areas are located in small, vibrant and interesting towns.
Think of Aspen, Telluride, Crested Butte, Steamboat, Chamonix, Park City, etc. Real estate will be more valuable with an incorporated small town that creates a sense of place, a home, a civic center.
A fake ski village doesn’t have any sense of place, especially if locally owned shops are removed from the village. Instead of fighting IOV, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings should be promoting IOV and engaging in dialogue and cooperation to help local residents achieve their goal to incorporate.
IOV might be one of the best things that ever happened for our valley and our mountains. Corporate comments about “knowing what is best for our community” or recommending that Squaw be separate from IOV are soul-less and self-centered. Negative comments serve no purpose except to divide the local community. If the corporation intends to promote Squaw as the “soul of skiing” then they need to stand with IOV, because IOV is the “soul of our community.”
Most of us were here before KSL and SVSH, and we will be here long after KSL is gone. In 100 years, local resident alpinists who are in fact the “souls of skiing” will continue to live in Olympic Valley. We wish to incorporate in order to create a sense of place and civic purpose. We wish to “Keep Squaw True” to its essence, spirit, and soul.
I hope the corporation will eventually see beyond their short-term fears and embrace the long-term sustainability and rationality of IOV. Together we can be so much better and stronger as a community. Imagine a world-class community where the Olympic spirit and soul of skiing live in harmony. This is my vision.