Squaw kicks off summer by announcing a partnership with the worst thing man has ever created: A ‘ski’ resort in China

1
2019

Andy Wirth has a fever …and the only cure is press releases about more bad decisions.

By Andrew J. Pridgen

In the annual Homer head-slapping summer kick-off, Squaw Valley announced last week that it will partner with, ready? A ski resort in China.

…Which is kind of the same thing as saying you think those red Trump hats are “kinda cool,” or you ask Siri to sext you in private, or your restaurant is banking on styrofoam making a comeback, or you’re building a serial killer-friendly dating app, or that those kids from Oregon were really on to something with the way they recently “decorated” the shores of Lake Shasta.

As if Squaw didn’t have enough of the bad medias crawling all over with their plans to turn the base of the mountain into a giant McDonald’s ball pit, it’s all there in a crazy-good press release entitled: Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows Partners with China’s Genting Secret Garden Resort.

First off, kudos to Squaw peeps for not mentioning in the lede that the Secret Garden Resort sounds like a hecka good Chinese place that does a bangin’ $7 lunch buffet while you get your tires rotated. Otherwise, the release itself is vintage Squaw. For starters, Squaw PR peeps pretended to drop it from actual China — it’s like hey that’s where this fleece comes from, so why not say fuck it and do it live?

Ready?

[Zhangjiakou City, China] May 27, 2016 – Today Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows announced a broad strategic alliance with China’s Genting Secret Garden Resort. Located in the Dama Mountains northwest of Beijing in the county of Chongli, Genting Secret Garden Resort is slated to host the freestyle and snowboarding events for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

…This. Is. Press Release. Magic.

The quick search on the googs reveals the Beijing games have ONLY been in the news for the worst things imaginable. Think: Potential human rights disaster meets environmental apocalypse. I mean, in a year of PR missteps for Squaw, evoking human slaves charged with draining the earth of the last of its last viable resource (water) to sugar coat a dry-ass mound of coal is something they probably could have tried to steer clear of — unless, of course some of that, um, “free” labor can come build out that village as part of the deal.

From the New Republic:

When Beijing hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008, the biggest concern was that the city’s heavy smog would choke athletes. Now that it’s hosting the Winter Olympics, Beijing has more than dirty air to worry about. As a naturally arid region that’s only growing drier with climate change, it will have to manufacture snow to make the games possible.

From The Guardian:

Xiao Tian, the vice-president of Beijing 2022, was fired after accusations of corrupt practice. In a further blow, IOC members have expressed concern over the lack of natural snow. Almaty’s slogan, ‘Keeping it Real’, is a cheeky jab at Beijing’s snow quandary. Because of the doubts surrounding the Beijing bid, some experts have predicted the International Olympic Committee will give the Games to the new boy. Beijing might lack snow, but the IOC has shown itself more than susceptible to the claim that holding events in authoritarian countries shines a light on the human-rights underbelly, accelerating progress towards a more democratic future.

From Mother Jones:

Beijing were already broadly obligated to steer clear of human rights violations and discrimination: The Olympic Charter calls for a respect for “human dignity” and bans discrimination “with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise.” But, “we’ve clearly reached a moment when the words of the Olympic Charter are not enough,” says Worden. “You have to put these guarantees in a contract and force the host country to sign it.” Worden hopes the IOC’s action will be adopted by organizers of other mega-sporting events at risk of mishandling human rights, such as FIFA. Sharan Burrow, the general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, estimates in an ESPN documentary that, at current rates, 4,000 people will die in preparation of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

That last part is the best: Beijing can actually look good if they kill fewer than 4K people getting their winter games on. (Not likely, but a ruthless, authoritarian nation state can hope.)

….And now, I present to you the linguistic stylings of Squaw CEO Andy Wirth:

“The Chinese skier market has seen significant growth over the last fifteen years, and as the 2022 Beijing winter games approach, the fever for winter sports in China is very real,” said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings.

Holy fucking shit, Chinese skier market (singular?) plus the fever?!? THE FEVER!!! This is SO fucking awesome.

  1. If you’re, you know, talking about a place that gets as much annual snowfall as Fresno because this ever-loving planet is starting to boil like it hasn’t in…let’s see…ALL of time, ‘The Fever’ might not be the best choice of words.
  2. If the MAIN symptom of a virus that is basically threatening to shut down the upcoming summer games as well as the host country and may send the world into the kind of health crisis-borne economic tailspin where there won’t be another Olympics (like ever) is a …FUCKING FEVER — that might not be the best choice of words.
  3. Unless you’re making a Will Ferrell/Christopher Walken “More cowbell” reference — and to Andy’s credit, he may have been… “I’ve got The Fever and the only cure is more awesome quotes from me” — then fever might not be the best choice of words.

…Followed by a bunch of other coughed-up word phlegm that’s customary yet equally effing crazy town in these type releases:

“The Olympic heritage at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has great appeal to Chinese visitors.”

Um, I think the word “never” is missing from this sentence. Not sure though.

“…and our alliance with Genting Secret Garden Resort will connect two Olympic host sites to promote greater visitor exchange.”

And with that, pass the General Tso’s Chicken… did you know General Tso was an ACTUAL general? I read that on a Panda Express cup.

“Although Chinese visitation to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is nothing new…”

Please, elaborate.

“…we have an incredibly unique opportunity to appeal to this burgeoning market, and we already have a number of plans in place to better attract Chinese visitors.”

Plans include: Taking families from their hotel quarters in the middle of the night and relocating them to an internment camp in Carson City, free SARS masks at the Chammy and suicide nets installed on the Funitel.

The good news is there were no gong sounds anywhere in this press release.

Maybe save for one, the quote from Mr. Xiao Huanwei (Uh, be sure put Mr. in front of his name, like Mr. Miyagi — it sounds more Asian…I don’t care if Miyagi is from Okinawa, just do it!)

“It is truly our pleasure building this strategic cooperation with Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, which is one of the top ski resorts and mountain destinations in the world,” says Mr. Xiao Huanwei, CEO of Secret Garden. “Taking advantage of the development in various industries like sports, travel, leisure and entertainment, combined with international resources, is one of the most important strategies to strengthen the Secret Garden Mountain Alliance. Secret Garden will work closely with Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows to enhance the promotion of winter sports in the China market, preparing to receive the Winter Olympics Games in 2022. Meanwhile, we’ll launch tailored travel services like one-stop ski overseas tour, providing more convenience to ski fans.”

Look at that, Mr. Xiao used all the fucking words in the Chinese/English – English/Chinese dictionary. Squaw servers must’ve crashed from using too much Google Translate on that one.

The press release also left some of the translations, “raw” with sentences like this one: Mr. Xiao Huanwei also expected that more and more ski fans could have access to international-level ski services via the Secret Garden Mountain Alliance platform.

…You know, ski fan access to international-level ski services and all that.

The press release rounds third with the mention that Jonny Moseley is going to be sent to China in some kind of political prisoner exchange ambassador program some time in the near future.

Hey, if we get Ai Weiwei in return — this atrocity will have all been worthwhile.

 

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