In a recent article published in the Sacramento Business Journal, the merits of incorporation for the small Olympic Valley community were found lacking. The Olympic Winter games were held in this beautiful valley but unfortunately, though an amazing claim to fame, it doesn’t support a city. A financial analysis by the Placar County Local Agency Formation Commission states that a city would be unable to be supported by such a small permanent population. The permenant population of Olympic Valley is less than 1000 people. RSG a land use firm hired by the commission for the analysis indicates that incorporation isn’t feasible.
The main revenue source of the town would be gained from hotel fees from tourists. The flux and seasonality of tourism would not provide a steady and reliable source of income. In fact, the prediction is that is if incorporated in the next year the deficit would be as much as $1.8 million by 2017-18, not a good way to start off a new city. This plan already includes a limited number of city employees as well as contracting many services out to the county. Alternative plans are being considered that more closely model the current structure of the community with the county. Unfortunately for incorporation supporters they have not been found to be sustainable either.
The push for incorporation was started by some residents a few years ago when a large hotel project was proposed by Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth, who you may have seen on the CBS show Undercover Boss. The hope was that incorporation would give the community members more say in these types of projects. Some of those opposed to the incorporation have formed a group called Save Our Valley. This group hopes the financial analysis will help all residents to see what is in the best interest of all the members of the community and their scenic home.