Squaw Valley officially has a new name. Last year, the legendary California ski resort announced it would be renaming itself after recognizing the racist and sexist slur its in name and committing to making a change. According to a press release, the renaming process began with a research and discovery process where the resort team dissected what elements of these neighboring valleys, from the mountains to the people, truly set them apart. They looked at the history of the local Washoe Tribe, whose ancestral lands were in Olympic Valley, to extreme ski movies that featured the resort, to the spectrum of feedback on the name change decision. Next, the team carefully conducted numerous surveys—collecting more than 3,000 responses—and held focus groups in order to consult with a wide range of individuals in the community, including locals, pass holders, athletes, employees of the resort, and members of the local Washoe tribe. Palisades Tahoe became the result of a collectively shared experience and is the new name for both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
“It is inspiring that after seven decades in operation, a company as storied and established as this resort can still reflect and adjust when it is the necessary and right thing to do,” said recently appointed Palisades Tahoe President and COO Dee Byrne. “This name change reflects who we are as a ski resort and community—we have a reputation or being progressive and boundary-breaking when it comes to feats of skiing and snowboarding. We have proven that those values go beyond the snow for us. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be part of Palisades Tahoe and after more than 10 years at the resort, I’m honored to be leading our team into this new era.”
In a separate press release, Tribal Chairman Serrell Smokey observed that “The Washoe People have lived in the area for thousands of years; we have great reverence for our ancestors, history and lands. We are very pleased with this decision; today is a day that many have worked towards for decades. The Washoe Tribal Council recognizes the significance of the name change and on behalf of the Washoe people expresses its great appreciation for this positive step forward.”