Full Episode: Andy Wirth on Undercover Boss


Undercover Boss – Season 4 Episode 11 – [Squaw Valley]

Andy Wirth, President and CEO of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, two ski resorts located in Lake Tahoe, ventures to the top of an unsafe cliff to post warning signs while training with a ski patrol. Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley joins Wirth in a ruse to help protect his true identity in the small ski town

  • A Bubba Skier

    I just finished watching the episode. I have to admit the people they chose were among the best we come across at these mountains. I loved the dialog and watch them light up about their passions in life – that’s pretty cool. And helping get them a little closer to that dream is very cool too.
    Andy is a master Marketing guy and this is a business – got to give the guy credit. It’s a highly effective infomercial on Squaw and Alpine and he learned something in the process – hopefully he sticks with it and dives deeper into the operations. And the investment in these people can be viewed as a publicity stunt or something better. I’ll choose to view it as the latter.

    Squaw/Alpine have to evolve or decay – that’s what was happening under previous management – we’ll all have to take the good and some of the bad as this happens. I thought the Alpine Slide proposed with the master plan was ridiculous and had no place on this awesome mountain. I’m very happy to read this morning that KSL has pulled plans for that attraction – reminded me of the Alpine slide at Vernon Valley NJ – people tried it once, not that fun and was an eyesore. Sanity prevails most of the time.

    This week Squaw hosts the US National Alpine Championships – another great step forward. I’ve often wondered why Squaw churns out so many top athletes but doesn’t host events – looks like that is changing for the better. Will be cool to see the best in the US at our mountain this week – I’m going for sure.

    So let’s emphasize and even compliment management on what they are doing right, be vocal and respectful on what we don’t like and influence that in a direction we do like – we’ll be more effective that way and have more wins too.

  • Ullr loves red race fencing

    more red fencing,,,, more red fencing,,,,,more red fencing,,,, more red fencing,,,,,

    from Tahoe Open Snow, Brian A.,,, ‘cooler temps and storm door opening,,,’

    more red fencing,,,,more red fencing,,,,,more red fencing,,,,more red fencing,,,,

  • Classic comedy

    Most people are missing the point.

    We’re all trying to have a little fun and trying to lighten things up, right?

    So, if you’re AW and have access to all the trappings that CEO of Squallygapervallyeymeadowsmart affords, wouldn’t you want to have a bit of fun with it in a not so great of a ski season?

    Thought so.

    This will go down as one of the classics in the annals of Squaw history, indeed.

  • Mullet

    I personally take offense to the mullet and the sad empty eyes to pull off a convincing Tahoe resident and Squaw employee. Wow, thanks for dumbing it down for us.

  • yoyo

    Ski resorts tend to change hands many times throughout their years. As a local, it would suck for KSL to come in and develop the crap out of Squaw and then bail. Leaving us with empty condos that kill the view. I think Andy is a decent guy but he said himself he has worked for over 20 different ski areas… Personally I don’t think Squaw or alpine can support the “ski magazine” crowd they want to attract. The terrain doesn’t support it and the infrastructure to get to either mountain can’t support the numbers of people they want here.

    • Justin

      I think you have a great point here questioning if squaw or alpine can support the crowds they are trying to get. Squaw and Alpine have more accessible cliffs and steep terrain then most resorts. Also, they have very contested beginner terrain that often requires multiple lift rides (Shirley Lake, high camp, top of tram area, lake view, ect,).

      Also, there is multiple ways to maximize profits, but major ski resorts seem to be only stuck on one. You don’t have to increase overhead and price to increase profits. Profit=Price-Cost or Price=Cost+Profit. Keeping overhead in control and maintaining competitive price is a proven method to considerably beat competition. A bare bones civic is much more profitable then a loaded Buick.

  • Business consultant

    None of you youngsters seem to understand that Squaw and Alpine are just like any other business. It is a business and this is what is called an “opportunity” to sell to increase revenue. That is what a business is supposed to do.

    Understand that KSL needs to balance the portfolio by appeasing all of the various types of customers, so why not be more constructive and get involved. Your goal (I’m assuming) is to preserve the local flavor that you grew to love at Squaw (events, local pricing etc). You wont stop infrastructure expansion and starbucks from nestling in, but you can maybe preserve some locals days/events and possible pricing discount too.

    This can happen if you stop whining like a bunch of 2 year olds and you develop a solid plan.

    • BoGnar

      After reading your dipshittary I have come to realize that you do not understand what a ski area community is and has been for years. It is the town, the locals and most of all a really well run ski area, not a disneyworld resort. We work hard to keep the mountain in operation for beans because we love to ski/ ride as often as possible. We love to drink and be hung over while making next to nothing opperiting heavy equipment (lifts) and keeping the public safe. We love our ride breaks and getting first chair. We locals and employees give ski towns its good vibe and party scene plus support the local buisnesses when all the tourists have left.
      KSL is steadily sucking the life out of us. Understaffing has lead to less ride breaks and over worked underpayed employees. Less employees also means less money going into the community on a regular basis once all the tourists have gone. Increased condos and large houses are pushing any affordable housing out of reach for mountain employees expecally on our steadily low wages. This is also pushing up the prices at many local shops so they can cover their rent. Do you know we don’t get overtime pay until we work over 48 hours in a pay period. I can work 12 hour days and if I don’t go over 48 hours I get the same shit pay for every hour.
      Obviously I am no business man but I can clearly see the “business/ corporate” operations that have been developing is killing the ski town. I just want to “preserve the local flavor” as said like a true clueless buisness savvy man.

      • Ski Bum

        BoGnar, I feel sorry for you. I really do… All ski area employees in Tahoe and just about everywhere make $8-10/hr for the average lift/guest service/etc. job. Doesn’t matter if it’s Squaw, Vail, or Jackson Hole. You are correct that those employees don’t work there for the money. They also receive a full season pass that’s good 7 days a week, a meal discount, tips (some do), several free and half price tickets for friends and family, and the experience of working with awesome co-workers. Squaw Valley, in my opinion, is a BETTER place now than it ever was to work. Ticket and pass sales prove that the guests like it better too. Keep up the stoke but don’t overlook all the good things…

      • BoGnar

        Are you really a ski bum? We all know how much we make. An unlivable wage except we get by with the help of 4+ rommies, cup o soup and friends who know what a hook up really is.
        I get a free day pass I get to use on my two days off. I feel like pass is more of a formality, punch card and tracking system like any corprit name tag. I get free 4 friends and family passes but what is the fuckin point of those. My friends and family all already have passes. And if I try to sell them KSL gets all fired up about “theft of services” bs. I get discounts on already grossly overpriced food and marked up hard & soft goods. All those discounts do is put the prices at a reasonable level. Not a discount at all.
        As far as the “higher ticket and pass sales” not a hard thing to understand when a season pass price drops from $1400 to $500 and they start rolling out package deals. The public is not any happier at the hill. The increased lines and tracked snow is fustrating the gaper public. They just make the best of it because a shiney “deal” is waved in their face.

      • extreme bench larry

        Hey BoGnar, By now you must have figured out that working at a ski resort is not a career right? All of of old types on here have done our time and moved on to other things and still live here and raise our kids etc. The ski resort job is a phase you go through. The exceptions being pro patrol and lift mechanics and the like, but even patrollers have to have job that pays real money in the summer.
        Squaw has always treated employees like shit, even in the alex and nancy days. There will always be kids ready to bump chairs for nothing. (even though you lazy ass kids don’t even have to do that anymore)

      • Yobrobra

        Yay! Im glad you’ve evolved in what you think is your life path. That’s super awesome for you! I’m 40 and I’ve skied 150 days a year for 25 years. Now I own my own business, great for me….do you think this opportunity is available for people now, to start a business and a family, as it was for me 20 years ago? Its not. Its not a viable life style. You calling anyone who bumps chairs a “lazy ass” is proof you’re a fucking douche bag. Go fuck yourself you fuck. Suck your dads teet and that’s what you’re best at.

    • Whining 2 yr old

      Is that a gaper gap I see?

      Wirth obviously needs to focus more on the mountain experience and less on BS PR stunts like this one and all the other ones where he always stick his foot in his mouth and gets abused on social media. He hasn’t learned to just STFU yet? Must be the megla-maniacal side of his persona.

      Instead of spending millions on slick pr campagins and web tech, he should re-evaluate what makes squaw great. Every lift, every day, including Silvy.

      Wirth doesn’t ski, doesn’t care about it, if he really did he’d be out there on mtn every day and interacting with locals and trying to gain a greater perspective of what will make squaw better. Not by listening to some obese consultants from Chicago or SF who can’t even walk up a flight of stairs.

      Corporate douchebags are only interested in what is best for the corp bottom line, plain and simple. Corporate skiing still sucks.

      Take F1 racing, billionaires with a passion for racing, the old adage, ‘How do you make a small fortune in F1 racing? Start with a large one.

      The days of the passionate ski area owner who wants to spend his fortune on owning and operating a ski area just because he/she can without regard to every penny are long gone. Take the ban of PRB @ Daves. Jeeze a few hundred dollars in measly profits to help sustain a long time local’s business. Didn’t KSL sell enough booze over the past few weekends to offset a few 2 dollar beers?

      F@#K andy dickhead and Ksl.

      Squaw is in corporate hell and we, the locals, already suffer.

  • nipples are cold activated

    Its a good thing he “dumbed it down enough” as his wife suggested…..else the lowly worker bees would of never of understood him.

  • SomeGuy

    it’d be cool if they rewarded random employees like this without the tv show. It seems that this is just a marketing scheme

  • Ski Bum

    I watched it. Thought it was good. I thought it was good that he put himself out there personally and professionally. It put Squaw and Alpine in a good light. It wasn’t anything to special but well done for what it was and the show that it’s on. Good for Squaw and good for the employees.

  • Spell checker

    You spelled his name wrong its Wirth lol sorry I wouldn’t have even said anything but my mom called me out on my share post of this article on Facebook

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