Squaw Valley contributes six figures to challenge town effort | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Squaw Valley contributes six figures to challenge town effort

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — While the group aiming to create the town of Olympic Valley looks to comply with state political regulations, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings is contributing money and legal services to a group challenging the incorporation effort. Save Olympic Valley, a coalition of valley residents, business owners and property owners, has expended $183,053.59 between Jan. 1 and May 31, with major funding provided by Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, according to Fair Political Practices Commission forms filed with Placer County Elections. "Squaw Valley Ski Holdings has a vested interest as anyone in the future of Olympic Valley, and has made public that it does not support the efforts … to incorporate Olympic Valley into a new city," said SOV treasurer Sean Welch. "As such, it has contributed to Save Olympic Valley as a concerned party to oppose the creation of a new city." The company that owns Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts has contributed $100,000 in monetary contributions and $30,256.58 in non-monetary contributions ranging from food and beverage to legal services and consulting to SOV. "While it may be a legal entity, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings considers itself not only to be a full-time resident, but one of the founders of what people today call Olympic Valley," said Welch, who's a partner with Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni LLP. "On top of that, it is the largest employer and the owner of over 40 percent of the land of the proposed new city of Olympic Valley." 'IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE' Olympic Valley residents filed a Fair Political Practices Commission complaint against IOV in May, listing the group's failures to file a statement of organization, disclose financial contributions for at least five months and include disclaimers on campaign advertisements. As of Wednesday, the complaint remains under "active investigation," said FPPC communications director Jay Wierenga. IOV was unaware of the filing requirements until the FPPC complaint was filed, according to previous reports. "Ignorance is no excuse," said Tom Day, IOV board member. "We put blame on no one but ourselves, and we're moving forward." In the months since the complaint was filed, IOV has been working with its attorney to come into compliance. At the end of May, IOV filed a statement of organization. As for finances, the group has raised just under $100,000 through fundraising and a crowdfunding campaign, said Day, adding that the situation with donation disclosures is being sussed out. Last December, IOV made a $25,000 deposit to Placer County's Local Agency Formation Commission to cover staff time and materials. At a June 11 LAFCO meeting, Folsom-based Citygate Associates was awarded a contract not to exceed $51,750 to prepare a comprehensive financial analysis on the proposed town to determine if it is fiscally viable. While Citygate Associates will work for LAFCO, its analysis will be funded by IOV. A request by IOV to pay the contract in installments was denied by LAFCO at a Wednesday hearing, said Kristina Berry, executive officer of Placer County LAFCO office. As a result, the grassroots group will have to fund the analysis up-front. FOLLOWING THE MONEY An initial fiscal study commissioned by IOV for $10,000 found the town would be financially viable, something that's been heavily scrutinized and debated by Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth. According to IOV, it will cost roughly $105,000 to incorporate the town, a figure that includes its initial fiscal analysis, the LAFCO deposit, the comprehensive fiscal analysis, attorney fees and other expenses. However, one expense not factored into that total is the potential cost of an environmental analysis that IOV would have to fund. Berry said IOV is not exempt from such an analysis, but how in depth it will be is yet to be determined. Taking that potential expense into account along with accrued expenses, Day said the $105,000 estimate is believed to be low at this time. Regarding the amount of money spent by SOV questioning incorporation, Day said he is alarmed. "To see so much resentment before accurate facts come back from LAFCO is alarming," he said, referring to eventual findings of the final financial and environmental analyses. If LAFCO approves incorporation based on those findings, an election among Olympic Valley registered voters would follow, in which a simple majority — more than 50 percent — must vote in favor for it to become a town.

NEVADA FOCUS: Olympic flame to burn again at Squaw Valley

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — The Olympic flame returns to Squaw Valley USA on Sunday for the first time in 42 years. It was in 1960 that Alexander Cushing brought the Olympics to an unheralded mountain resort in the United States, beating out Innsbruck, St. Moritz and Garmisch-Partenkirschen for the honor the same way he started his business — short on silver, but long on brass. “I think his total expenditures for getting the games were $30,000,” says his wife Nancy Wendt, the president of Squaw Valley Ski Corp. “The town of Truckee came up with some support — they gave him a check for five dollars.” Salt Lake City spent $13 million convincing the International Olympic Committee that it was the best candidate for this year’s games. When the U.S. Olympic Committee gave Squaw Valley the nod for 1960, then IOC President Avery Brundage told Cushing, “The USOC obviously has taken leave of their senses.” That was in January 1955. Five months later, the IOC eliminated Germany, France and finally Austria in favor of a resort with one chairlift, two rope tows and a 50-room lodge, but more than 30 feet of snow a year. And Alex Cushing. The New York attorney fell in love with a mountain in 1946. Three years and $400,000 later, his mountain was his resort. “I realized that being a lawyer was all right,” he once said. “But you get into something that you really like and, well, I saw how interesting work could really be.” Squaw Valley opened on Thanksgiving Day 1949. Four days later, it was flooded. It reopened a month later for Christmas, which was when Cushing’s accountant told him he was broke. “We’ll manage,” Cushing responded. The Sierra still wasn’t done with Cushing. Nor was he yielding to it. Squaw One, then the world’s largest double chairlift, was wiped out by an avalanche the first year it ran. And the second. And the third. The fourth year brought another flood. The fifth, the lodge burned down. For five years, Cushing managed. Then, in 1954, he learned that nearby Reno, Nev., and far away Anchorage, Alaska, were bidding for the 1960 Olympics. He thought his mountain was better. After winning over the U.S. Olympic Committee, Cushing went into high promotional gear. His pitch, in English, French and Spanish, said: “The Olympics belong to the world, not just one continent.” At 4,000 acres, Squaw Valley is one-fourth the size of Manhattan, but hillier. Cushing carried his mountain to Paris in 1955 in the form of a 1 1/2-ton sculpture. The model and Cushing’s charisma carried the day in a 32-30 vote for Squaw Valley over Innsbruck. The Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid, N.Y., in 1932 and returned there in 1980. But until this year, Squaw Valley represented the only city in the Western United States to host the winter games. From 1955 to 1960, the nearly pristine area built roads. Motels sprang up. Restaurants served food. And ski lifts, an ice arena, a skating ring and a ski jump emerged. The Reno airport added a terminal. The only thing the 1960 Winter Olympics lacked was snow. An hour before the torch was to be lit, Cushing’s luck turned for the better again as a chilly rain turned cold enough for snow and the chance for Andrea Meade Lawrence to ski down with the torch to Kenneth Henry, who lit the Olympic flame. Along with being only the second Winter Olympics held in the United States, it was the first time they were televised. “CBS took a flyer on it. They paid $50,000. The games themselves cost $19 million,” Wendt said. NBC is paying $545 million in broadcasting rights for the Salt Lake Games. The General Accounting Office expects the 2002 Olympics to cost $1.9 billion. Along with the first television cameras, the 1960 games also saw the construction of the Olympic Village Inn, which housed all 750 athletes from 34 countries under the same roof for the first time. The games also were the first in which results were tabulated by computer. The Soviet Union dominated the medals race with 25, and the United States was second with 10. But at the height of the cold war, the U.S. hockey team topped the Soviets 3-2, then won the gold by scoring six goals in the last period to beat Czechoslovakia 9-4. The other U.S. golds went to figure skaters Carol Heiss and David Jenkins. Nineteen-year-old alpine skier Penny Pitou was the top American medalist with two silvers. Andrea Meade Lawrence, who carried the torch in February 1960, will return on Sunday along with Squaw Valley native Tamara McKinney, who in 1983 became the first American woman skier to win the overall alpine World Cup championship. Other torchbearers include Gladys “Sandy” Poulsen, widow of Squaw Valley co-founder Wayne Poulsen, and Mark Wellman, a paraplegic who has climbed Yosemite’s Half Dome and El Capitan. He will sit-ski the torch to three-time Olympic skier Osvaldo Ancinas, who also lives at Lake Tahoe. Shortly past noon, Ancinas will hand over the torch to the 88-year-old Cushing, to return the flame to the Squaw Valley Olympic cauldron for the first time since Feb. 23, 1960. —— On the Net: Squaw Valley Web site: http://www.squaw.com

Olympic celebration at Squaw Valley over the weekend

MEET JOHNNY MOSELEY, GET FIRST TRACKS AT SQUAW FEBRUARY 6-8 Squaw Valley is pulling out all the stops with this week’s Raising the Rings, a series of events both on and off the mountain, with proceeds benefiting a new Olympic Heritage, North Lake Tahoe Ski History Museum and the 2010 Olympic Heritage Celebration. “When Squaw Valley USA won the Olympic Winter Games bid back in 1955, it was cause for celebration,” said tourism director Andy Chapman of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. “It was the first return of the Olympic Games to North America in 28 years. The party continues this (week), when visitors will get a taste of North Lake Tahoe’s rich Olympic heritage with Raising of the Rings, and later in 2010 with the season-long 2010 Olympic Heritage Celebration.” No Squaw Valley Olympic celebration would be complete without a chance to meet Jonny Moseley. Moseley might be the most well-known athlete from the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, where he scored a gold medal in freestyle skiing. Moseley returns Saturday to his Squaw Valley roots, where the Bay Area resident was a member of the Squaw Valley Freestyle Ski Team, to host “An Evening with Jonny Moseley,” a benefit gala and auction. Tickets to the 6:30 to 10 p.m. event at the PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn in Olympic Valley are $125 for adults and $200 for couples. After meeting Moseley, festival-goers can be like Moseley on Sunday when participants get to be the envy of skiers everywhere by making First Tracks on the Mountain. Squaw Valley’s star athletes will be leading the tour from 7 to 9 a.m., prior to the lifts opening to the public. First Tracks on the Mountain also includes an Alpine continental breakfast, and is $25 per person (with season pass or lift ticket). Reservations are limited. The weekend officially kicks off Friday at 9 p.m. when party-goers are encouraged to pull out their 1960s attire and vintage ski gear for the 1960 Olympic Retro Party at Sandy’s Pub at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley. Prizes will be awarded for the best outfits. Attendees must 21 years or older and cover is $8 per person. In addition, there is an Exclusive Apres-Ski Wine Tasting at The Arc, the new restaurant at Squaw Valley’s mid-mountain Gold Coast, on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. Participants will join Squaw Valley and North Lake Tahoe luminaries for an afternoon of wine tasting, appetizers and conversation. Tickets are $25 per person.

U.S. National Skiing Championships to return to Squaw Valley

OLYMPIC VALLEY – For the first time in 22 years, the alpine skiing national championships are returning to Squaw Valley USA. Adding to what already looks to be a momentous year for the resort, Squaw Valley will host the races in mid-March, two weeks after the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics are scheduled to end. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and the ski resort are expected to reach an official agreement this week that would solidify the 2002 Chevy Truck U.S. Alpine Championships coming to Tahoe. The Park City-based association held last year’s national championships at Big Mountain in Whitefish, Mont., which was expected to be this year’s venue as well. However, after a drought season, Big Mountain officials determined they couldn’t host the championships due to financial reasons. After considering resorts in Colorado and Alaska, USSA chose Squaw Valley. “It’s a great venue. The biggest challenge is finding an adequate downhill, and obviously Squaw has one,” said Sarah Bergstrom, Alpine events manager for USSA. Squaw Valley’s race director, Gary Pedersen, credited the resort’s diligence, and the USSA-sanctioned events and Ford Downhill Series it previously hosted in winning the bid. It also bodes well for possible future events, he said. “The more of this kind of stuff you do, the more credibility it gives you in this business,” Pedersen said. “It’s a prestige to say you’ve hosted the U.S. Nationals, the highest level amateur ski race in the United States.” In addition to the prestige, Pedersen said, the championships occur after the Olympics, which gives spectators a chance to watch Olympic-caliber racers, and possibly even an Olympic medalist. The entire U.S. Alpine team is expected to compete, including Daron Rahlves of Truckee and other local athletes such as South Lake Tahoe’s Jonna Mendes and Marco Sullivan and Julia Mancuso, both of Tahoe City. The last time Squaw Valley hosted the event was 1980, also following the Lake Placid, N. Y., Olympic Games. “We’re excited because this is a new venue for us. Things have changed a lot since we were there last. It’s a really challenging hill, and spectator access is really good,” Bergstrom said. The championships will be earlier than usual this year, with athletes arriving for training March 10. The first national event will be the downhill for men and women on March 14. The final race will be the men’s giant slalom March 19. The downhill will be held on the Olympic Lady and Exhibition runs and the Super G and giant slalom events will also be off KT-22. Squaw Valley isn’t the only resort involved. Sugar Bowl Ski Resort will host the men’s and women’s slalom Sunday, March 17. The reason for the shift, according to Bergstrom, is because the course takes a particular beating when the men’s and women’s slalom is raced on the same day. “We probably have one of the best slalom hills in the state right now, if not the country,” said Greg Murtha, director of marketing and sales at Sugar Bowl. Murtha added that in terms of logistics it’s easier to work with another resort to deliver the best possible package. Squaw Valley and Sugar Bowl co-hosted the Junior Olympics in 2000. The coming ski season should be a big year for Squaw Valley, with the opening of Intrawest’s Village at Squaw Valley, the Olympic torch passing through the before it stops in Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics and now the U.S. Nationals. While Squaw Valley and USSA will cooperate in shouldering the financial burden for the championships, the amount of visitors should be a boon to local business. “The people coming associated with it, the athletes, the parents, the technicians, the officials – it’s quite a large group visiting just by themselves,” Pedersen said. ESPN will also cover the event, Pedersen said, adding the national press coverage should be great. “We haven’t done anything like in this in 20 years and it’s a different animal now,” he said. “It’ll be a great thing.” U.S. Alpine Championships March 11-19 Squaw Valley Usa Sunday, March 10: Arrival Monday, March 11: M/W Downhill Training, Squaw Valley Tuesday, March 12: M/W Downhill Training, Squaw Valley Wednesday, March 13: M/W FIS DH, Squaw Valley Thursday, March 14: M/W National DH, Squaw Valley Friday, March 15: Women Super G, Squaw Valley Saturday, March 16: Men Super-G, Squaw Valley; and Return of the Champions, Squaw Valley Sunday, March 17: M/W Slalom, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort; and Nationals Banquet Monday, March 18: Women Giant Slalom, Squaw Valley Tuesday, March 19: Men Giant Slalom, Squaw Valley Wednesday, March 20: Departure

U.S. National Skiing Championships to return to Squaw Valley

OLYMPIC VALLEY – For the first time in 22 years, the alpine skiing national championships are returning to Squaw Valley USA. Adding to what already looks to be a momentous year for the resort, Squaw Valley will host the races in mid-March, two weeks after the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics are scheduled to end. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and the ski resort are expected to reach an official agreement this week that would solidify the 2002 Chevy Truck U.S. Alpine Championships coming to Tahoe. The Park City-based association held last year’s national championships at Big Mountain in Whitefish, Mont., which was expected to be this year’s venue as well. However, after a drought season, Big Mountain officials determined they couldn’t host the championships due to financial reasons. After considering resorts in Colorado and Alaska, USSA chose Squaw Valley. “It’s a great venue. The biggest challenge is finding an adequate downhill, and obviously Squaw has one,” said Sarah Bergstrom, Alpine events manager for USSA. Squaw Valley’s race director, Gary Pedersen, credited the resort’s diligence, and the USSA-sanctioned events and Ford Downhill Series it previously hosted in winning the bid. It also bodes well for possible future events, he said. “The more of this kind of stuff you do, the more credibility it gives you in this business,” Pedersen said. “It’s a prestige to say you’ve hosted the U.S. Nationals, the highest level amateur ski race in the United States.” In addition to the prestige, Pedersen said, the championships occur after the Olympics, which gives spectators a chance to watch Olympic-caliber racers, and possibly even an Olympic medalist. The entire U.S. Alpine team is expected to compete, including Daron Rahlves of Truckee and other local athletes such as South Lake Tahoe’s Jonna Mendes and Marco Sullivan and Julia Mancuso, both of Tahoe City. The last time Squaw Valley hosted the event was 1980, also following the Lake Placid, N. Y., Olympic Games. “We’re excited because this is a new venue for us. Things have changed a lot since we were there last. It’s a really challenging hill, and spectator access is really good,” Bergstrom said. The championships will be earlier than usual this year, with athletes arriving for training March 10. The first national event will be the downhill for men and women on March 14. The final race will be the men’s giant slalom March 19. The downhill will be held on the Olympic Lady and Exhibition runs and the Super G and giant slalom events will also be off KT-22. Squaw Valley isn’t the only resort involved. Sugar Bowl Ski Resort will host the men’s and women’s slalom Sunday, March 17. The reason for the shift, according to Bergstrom, is because the course takes a particular beating when the men’s and women’s slalom is raced on the same day. “We probably have one of the best slalom hills in the state right now, if not the country,” said Greg Murtha, director of marketing and sales at Sugar Bowl. Murtha added that in terms of logistics it’s easier to work with another resort to deliver the best possible package. Squaw Valley and Sugar Bowl co-hosted the Junior Olympics in 2000. The coming ski season should be a big year for Squaw Valley, with the opening of Intrawest’s Village at Squaw Valley, the Olympic torch passing through the before it stops in Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics and now the U.S. Nationals. While Squaw Valley and USSA will cooperate in shouldering the financial burden for the championships, the amount of visitors should be a boon to local business. “The people coming associated with it, the athletes, the parents, the technicians, the officials – it’s quite a large group visiting just by themselves,” Pedersen said. ESPN will also cover the event, Pedersen said, adding the national press coverage should be great. “We haven’t done anything like in this in 20 years and it’s a different animal now,” he said. “It’ll be a great thing.” U.S. Alpine Championships March 11-19 Squaw Valley Usa Sunday, March 10: Arrival Monday, March 11: M/W Downhill Training, Squaw Valley Tuesday, March 12: M/W Downhill Training, Squaw Valley Wednesday, March 13: M/W FIS DH, Squaw Valley Thursday, March 14: M/W National DH, Squaw Valley Friday, March 15: Women Super G, Squaw Valley Saturday, March 16: Men Super-G, Squaw Valley; and Return of the Champions, Squaw Valley Sunday, March 17: M/W Slalom, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort; and Nationals Banquet Monday, March 18: Women Giant Slalom, Squaw Valley Tuesday, March 19: Men Giant Slalom, Squaw Valley Wednesday, March 20: Departure

Celebrate Olympic heritage in Lake Tahoe starting this weekend

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. – Tahoe honors its roots Jan. 8-17, 2010 with the Olympic Heritage Celebration, which officially kicks off with a Commemorative Relay torch run from the West Shore to Squaw Valley. Spectators are welcome Friday, Jan. 8, 2010 as the torch is lighted and runners depart at 9 a.m. from Sugar Pine Point State Park on the West Shore, home to the 1960 Winter Olympic Cross Country events. From there the relay will continue up the West Shore to Homewood Mountain Resort (10:45 a.m.), Sunnyside Resort (11:40 a.m.), Granlibakken Resort (noon), Heritage Plaza in Tahoe City (12:35 p.m.), along Highway 89 to the entrance of Alpine Meadows Ski Resort (1:15 p.m.), and then up Squaw Valley Road to the Resort at Squaw Creek (2:25 p.m.), onto the Resort at Squaw Creek ski lift (2:45 p.m.) and then to the top of the Red Dog Run (3:05 p.m.), skied down to Squaw Valley USA, which was the primary host of 1960 Winter Olympics, and then arriving at the Village at Squaw (3:30 p.m.) for the Opening Celebration. Paralympian Bill Bowness, who represented the USA at the Winter Paralympics in Lillehammer in 1992, will carry the torch into Squaw Valley. He took home three alpine medals in four events and is the technical director at Disabled Sports USA Far West in charge staff training and their new “High Performance Team” geared toward developing adaptive racers and potential Paralympians. Guests can follow the torch, an accurate reproduction of the one used in 1960, as it progresses from point to point. Squaw Valley USA, which is also marking the mountain’s 60th birthday, will be hosting the Opening Celebration in the Village at Squaw at 4 p.m. with fireworks to follow at the KT-22 Sun Deck. Later that evening is a 1960 Olympians’ Reception at the Squaw Valley Lodge. Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, includes a Biathlon Re-enactment at Sugar Pine Point State Park, 1960 Retro Party at the Olympic House in Squaw Valley and the Shootings Stars Slalom Exhibition at Squaw Valley USA. The Commemorative Relay is hosted by California State Parks, Squaw Valley USA, the West Shore Association, Squaw Valley Business Association, the Tahoe City Downtown Association, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort and Homewood Mountain Ski Resort.

Olympic torch makes way back to Tahoe

The Olympic Torch for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City will visit Squaw Valley, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, and South Lake Tahoe on its 13,500 mile journey around the United States. The Salt Lake Olympic Committee hopes to add to the tradition of the Olympic Torch Relay in the United States, by visiting all of the nation’s previous host sites, or Olympic Sister Cities, of the Olympic Games. “In the past (the Olympic Torch) has visited some Olympic Sister Cities. This is the first time in the United States Olympic history that it has visited all of the Sister Cities,” said Salt Lake Olympic Committee Director of the 2002 Torch Relay, Gillian Hamburger. “Each city that is awarded the Olympic Games’ organization committee sets its own relay. It was important to the Salt Lake Olympic Committee for the flame to visit all the Sister Cities.” The flame carried in the relay and Olympic ceremonies originates at the site of the first Olympic Games held in ancient Greece. It then travels to the host country. “What happens is the Hellenic Committee, which is based in Olympia, Greece, we get the flame from them and then it is taken to the host country,” Hamburger said. “They entrust us with this great symbol.” The torch for the 2002 Games will make its trek over the course of 65 days. A number of unique modes of transportation will be used in its journey, such as snowmobiles, horse-drawn sleighs, dog sled, skier and ice skaters, in addition to traditional running torchbearers. More than 11,500 torchbearers will be used in the relay. The criteria for the honor of carrying the Olympic torch will be announced early next year, and all are encouraged to petition. “The torchbearer selection process will be announced at the end of February 2001,” Hamburger said. “It is a two month long selection process that will occur in March and April.” The news of the flame’s return to Lake Tahoe was received with great enthusiasm at Squaw Valley. “We’re delighted,” said Squaw Valley Director of Public Relations Katja Dahl. “The Olympic heritage in this area has been a significant part of how the resort has developed.” In 1954, Squaw Valley was a little-known-out-of-the-way lodge when owner Alexander Cushing put in a bid for the 1960 Olympics. Cushing, a former mayor of New York City, put forward an excellent case for Squaw as the host site of the Olympics and beat out major U.S. resorts vying for the Games such as Aspen, Colorado and Lake Placid, New York. Cushing put nearly $16 million into renovating the resort and solicited help from the U.S. Marines, and Navy which provided much of the necessary labor and Walt Disney who provided much of the financial backing. Cushing’s efforts are still evident at the Squaw Valley Resort. “The Olympic Heritage is a daily reminder of Alex Cushing’s original dream to make Squaw Valley a world-renowned destination,” said Dahl. With the disclosure of the torch’s route coming just this week, no plans have yet been made for for its reception at Squaw Valley, but it will certainly be a major event. “I’m confident that we will do something,” Dahl said, “exactly what that is is still to be determined.”

Tahoe Fund, Truckee River Watershed Council receive $75,000 via ‘Green Bucks’

Olympic Valley businesses have raised $75,000 since 2012 to preserve and restore Lake Tahoe and the region's watersheds through the Green Bucks program and direct contributions. Green Bucks is a dollar donation program designed to harness the passion of visitors and residents to help care for the region's environment. In Olympic Valley, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, Squaw Valley Lodge and PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn have committed to collecting dollar donations on room nights and season passes to raise funds. "Green Bucks is a simple way for those who love it here to help give back," said Tahoe Fund CEO Amy Berry. "We are very thankful for the support of the business community in Olympic Valley and across the region who have all joined in our efforts for this incredible environment." "More than just support, as it relates to the Tahoe Fund and the Truckee River Watershed Council, our company maintains shared values along with the same sense of responsible environmental stewardship with these organizations," said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. "On behalf of the team here at Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, our customers and the community of Olympic Valley, we're proud to provide this fiscal support so that their projects and work can continue." Starting winter 2014-15, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings will also add its food and beverage program to the list of Green Bucks contributors. To date, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings has raised $66,500 through direct contributions as well as Green Bucks donations raised through Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows season pass purchases and reservations at The Village at Squaw Valley. Green Bucks is a win-win for residents and visitors by creating a simple way for those who love the Lake Tahoe/Truckee area to help restore the environment and enhance recreational opportunities, ultimately helping to drive more tourism and business to the economy. "Our extraordinary environment is connected, from mountain peaks to iconic Lake Tahoe to the Truckee River watershed," said Kathy Whitlow, Green Bucks Program Manager for the Truckee River Watershed Council. "We're excited that area businesses, visitors and residents recognize Green Bucks as a way to support environmental initiatives in the entire region with one, simple program." Local businesses may call 530-550-8760, ext. 7 to sign up to participate in the Green Bucks program. Visit http://www.tahoefund.org, http://www.truckeeriverwc.org, http://www.squaw.com or http://www.skialpine.com.

Locals want to bring Olympic museum to Squaw Valley

Where would you celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1960 Winter Olympics? Local residents Russell Poulsen, George Koster and Bill Clark want to commemorate not only the Squaw Valley Olympic Games but the history of Western ski and snow sports in a new museum in Squaw Valley. “There is such a fantastic history and heritage we have of winter sports in this part of the country … it’s time to find an appropriate location to be enjoyed by more visitors,” said Bill Clark, executive director of the Auburn Ski Club, which owns and operates the Western SkiSport Museum located on Donner Summit near Boreal ski resort. The ski history museum has an extensive collection encompassing winter sports from 1853 to the present, but doesn’t get the level of traffic it merits. The club is looking to combine efforts with those proposing an Olympic museum. “It seems like a win-win thing to partner with folks who want to do an (Olympic) museum in Squaw,” Clark said. Under a sub-committee of Placer County’s Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council, members of the Truckee-Tahoe community are beginning to plan for a Squaw Valley Olympic museum. The group has met a few times and is looking to form a nonprofit organization. Russell Poulsen grew up in Squaw Valley and was born just after the 1960 Olympics. He has been the driving force in bringing together organizations such as the Auburn Ski Club, the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society and Placer County to form a group dedicated to bringing an Olympic and ski history museum to the valley. “It’s an idea whose time has come,” Poulsen said. A number of people in the region have personal Olympic collections, and both Poulsen and Placer County District V Supervisor Bruce Kranz fear it will soon be too late to acquire the memorabilia and verbal history from the athletes and attendees of the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics. Since the museum idea is still in its infancy, proponents have more questions than answers. For one: Where will the museum be located? The committee is currently looking at a few places throughout Squaw Valley, naming the Placer County-owned property at the entrance to Squaw Valley off Highway 89 as the ideal location. Not only is the Squaw Valley Park area already located next to the rings and torch monument, it can be accessed from the bike path and lends itself to tourism that doesn’t cause parking problems, Poulsen said. Organizers must also consider the museum’s cost and who will pay for it. Looking at similar museums, Kranz estimates museum costs will be no less than $10 million. Some have encouraged combining a Squaw Valley information center with the museum to help fund the project, but others say the visitor center site is too small. Donations will be the key to getting set up financially, committee members say. Following establishment as a nonprofit organization, the museum can look to large companies like local ski resorts and airports for contributions. Kranz said the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association will likely use transient occupancy tax (TOT) money to fund a study to nail down preliminary museum details, such as the best location and size for the facility. Maybe the Olympics, too The Olympics have garnered recent regional media attention for the Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition’s efforts to land the 2018 Winter Olympics. Kranz said he would like a proposal for the museum to be incorporated into the coalition’s work. “I think if we get the Olympics here we darn well better have a museum ahead of it,” he said. In a perfect world, the Olympic museum committee would have displays up and running before the 50th anniversary of the Squaw Valley Games in 2010. “The Olympics are a big thing for this county … It would be a great hook to get people to come and visit the community,” Kranz said.

2014 US Alpine Championships at Tahoe resort

RENO, Nev. — The U.S. Alpine Championships are returning to Lake Tahoe next year. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced Tuesday the event will be held for the second year in a row at Squaw Valley ski resort, home of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games. Sponsors say the five days of competition March 19-23 will be a celebration of the closing of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games season. Squaw Valley CEO and President Andy Wirth said the resort in Olympic Valley, Calif., about five miles west of Lake Tahoe, is thrilled with the news. "We had a hugely successful event this year but will be offering even more programming in 2014 as we welcome our American Olympians home from Sochi with a community-wide celebration honoring athletes across the winter disciplines," Wirth said Tuesday. Those expected to compete include Squaw Valley native Julia Mancuso, who won the Olympic gold medal in the giant slalom at Turin in 2006 and claimed two silver medals at the 2010 Games in Vancouver. "It's great to get to race at my home mountain and it's awesome to have Squaw's support for ski racing," Mancuso said. "They did an exceptional job this season, so I definitely look forward to some more great races on home snow after the Olympics." Others expected include Lindsey Vonn, Ted Ligety and Bode Miller. Bill Marolt, USSA president and CEO, said the success of the event held at Squaw Valley last month combined with the area's skiing tradition helped pave the way for the return visit. "The Squaw Valley community has produced some of the greatest Olympic skiers in history like Julia Mancuso, Tamara McKinney and Jimmie Heuga," Marolt said. "That legacy helped bring out some of the biggest crowds in the history of the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships," he said in a statement Tuesday announcing the decision. Nature Valley is the event's sponsor.