Eco Truckee Tahoe Commentary
Drones over Squaw
By Ted Lipien
This is so classy, I wanted to share it with all Squaw Valley skiers and others who appreciate the beauty of this area. The idea is, in fact, so tasteful and so in line with community values and expectations, I suspect it can go right into the same category as the giant Water Park proposal for Squaw Valley from the inimitable Andy Wirth, the President and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. We all know that Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake are just not enough for those who seek special thrills.
A few days ago, skiers were greeted at the base of the Squaw Funitel gondola with a stand and a blue banner promoting: “GET FILMED BY A DRONE.” It appeared to be not Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, but a company which apparently received permission to set up a drone operation and a stand.
We learned that for slightly less than $100, you will be directed towards the run where the drones are operating. Drones will follow and film you. In less than 48 hours, your video will be uploaded to YouTube.
“Don’t worry, everything’s set to private by default, so your boss won’t know that your ‘sick day’ was actually spent on the slopes,” a flyer assures potential clients.
Perhaps Squaw Valley Ski Holdings management and KSL Capital Partners, which bought Squaw in November 2010, can turn the court in front of Le Chamois into a landing area for drones. Squaw management just has to be careful that dogs who play there don’t confuse them for frisbees. We would not want dogs to get hurt.
Perhaps filming from helicopters, or a runway for private jets right in the valley. It would be reserved for really special people who love themselves so much, they don’t mind causing a little disturbance for a few locals and visitors who think Squaw is for skiing and enjoying nature. Money talks.