Survey Says

Squaw Valley has enough water to move forward with village expansion

Back Update Aug 1, 2014 By Christine Calvin

Squaw Valley Real Estate and KSL Capital Partners, the company that owns Squaw Valley Ski Resort, have received the critical report needed to move forward with a planned expansion of the resort’s village. A draft version of the Village at Squaw Valley’s water supply assessment concludes that Olympic Valley contains a “sufficient supply” of water to support the proposed expansion project and other future demands.

As we reported in May of last year (“Water Under the Bridge,” by Kibkabe Araya), Squaw has envisioned a massive, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use project that would include hotel rooms, condos and more than 226,000 square feet of commercial  development, including indoor and outdoor recreational entertainment and a water park.

The report, which was released last month, weighs the next 25 years of water demands against supply during normal, dry and multiple dry water years. According to the assessment, estimated water demand by project buildout (2040) will be 1,205 acre-feet per year, up from the average 843 used today.

But quantity has never been the problem. According to the report’s authors, storage capacity is the real issue. Six additional wells will be needed to meet projected demands by 2040.

The completed environmental impact report, which includes the water assessment, will be ready by the end of this year. A determination on the final EIR will then be made by the

Placer County Board of Supervisors.

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Squaw Valley USA was once the premier ski resort of California and the world-renowned site of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games. But in the decades that followed, the resort’s managers focused on the mountain, and Squaw became eclipsed by other resorts that boasted hotel rooms and other amenities to capture business in the dry months.

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