Nov 112016
The Placer County Supervisors has a big vote coming up this week. Squaw Valley is proposing to redevelop its parking lots with additional lodging and hospitality offerings. The ski industry is changing all over the country. Squaw wants to make improvements to remain competitive with Colorado, Utah and other resorts around the country who have been upgrading and enhancing their offerings to skiers.
For Placer County, this means more jobs and more economic development for the region.
The project really doesn’t expand beyond the current asphalt parking lot. But, being in Tahoe, there are always going to be opponents to any proposed redevelopment. The vocal opposition seems to be a mixture of NIMBY types and one particularly aggressive environmental group, Sierra Watch.  This organization has waged a campaign, much of which is built on distortions, in a way that’s not often seen – even in Tahoe. You’d swear that Squaw had put measure M on the ballot all by themselves.
It’s interesting to note however that, Sierra Watch isn’t always so aggressive in its opposition to development in the region. The Squaw Project appears to receive far more intense and vehement opposition than anything else Sierra Watch has undertaken in recent years.
We think we’ve figured out why. When you take a look at Sierra Watch’s publicly available financial filings shows something they haven’t been telling the public, or even their supporters about. We will dive in to those filings in a future post.
Here at, we’ve learned that over the past few years, they’ve had massive infusions of cash on their balance sheet. In fact, Sierra Watch’s assets nearly quadrupled over 12 months from July 2014 to June 2015. An organization that was worth about $300k now boasts over $1.3 Milion dollars in assets. We are sure it wasn’t Cattle Futures either.
Where did all the cash come from?  There’s been speculation that it may come from developers in the region since Sierra Watch seems to be mildly opposed and simply quiet on some projects and wildly and hair on fire opposed to Squaw.
What’s even more interesting is Sierra Watch seemingly hasn’t disclosed any of this on their website or in other public communications.
So, just what is Sierra Watch after when it comes to Squaw?
Is this just another attempt to get a massive cash infusion into its coffers? Is their vocal opposition based on the fact that they see another massive cash payout that can come from a big employer like Squaw?
Your interpid blogger wants to know – what is the whole story behind all this cash suddenly swishing around Sierra Watch’s coffers?
There are a lot of questions here. A lot. It looks like the planning commissioners and supervisors need to know what is driving this groups’ opposition as they contemplate the issues over the next few weeks.
Things that make you go HMMM. If you want to help Squaw Valley expand in to the 21st Century despite Sierra Watch – see below:
Placer County Board of Supervisors
Tuesday, November 15
9:00 am till ?
North Tahoe Event Center