Squaw Valley’s planned expansion that included 850 high rise condo units, an indoor waterpark, and a rollercoaster has been blocked by a California appeals court, according to Fox 2 News.
A judge has blocked the expansion after appeals from activist group Sierra Watch claim that Squaw Valley failed to “adequately address climate change or impacts on regional wildfire evacuation plans”.
Sierra Watch believes that the commercial expansion would bring more traffic into the Lake Tahoe basin which would generate more sediment runoff that could jeopardize the lake’s world-renown clarity.
Sierra Watch Executive Director Tom Mooers believes that this decision is a “major milestone” in blocking Squaw from executing the expansion first laid-out in 2012. Mooers said, “”Alterra was hell-bent on bringing Vegas-style excess to the mountains of Tahoe,”… “It was a direct threat to everything we love about the Sierra.”
Squaw Valley is arguing that the resort doesn’t lie in the Tahoe basin, and therefore, the extra traffic and pollution from the expansion wouldn’t effect the lake.
You can read more of the legal mumbo jumbo by following the link to the original article here.
Here’s my two-cents:
We’re in a really interesting time in the still relatively-new ski industry’s history. Mega-resorts such as Squaw Valley are feeling the pressure to keep expanding to bring in new business while fearing the economic impact climate change will leave on their core revenue stream.
It’s no secret that ski seasons are getting shorter, and resorts are exploring other options to keep a steady stream of revenue. I totally understand Squaw’s desire to build a luxury year-round water park that will bring people to the resort, but Sierra Watch has a fair claim to hold Squaw accountable on the environmental impact of the expansion.
Corporate interests are never shy to destroy an environment in the pursuit for profit, which is exactly why we need organizations like Sierra Watch to hold them accountable. Look at the devastation unbridled corporate greed did to the Earth in just the last 100 years.
I’m all for ski resorts exploring new ways to bring in revenue, but an indoor waterpark, roller coaster, and 850 new high-rise condo units seems like an unnecessary stretch for one of America’s most famous ski resorts. Can’t they just add some more mountain biking trails and call it a day?
I don’t know if my opinion matters at all on the subject, but I hope you’ll express yours. Tell me why I’m wrong, right, stupid, or smart in the comments on our Facebook page.