(SALT LAKE CITY, UT) December 2, 2020 – Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has selected Utah-based agency Struck to assist in the resort’s name change. The legendary California ski area, located in Olympic Valley near Lake Tahoe, announced earlier this summer its intention to remove the derogatory and offensive word “squaw” from its name.
The resort’s leadership, having conducted thorough historical and etymological research, as well as outreach to the local community, including the Washoe Tribe, determined the time is now to make a change. The current momentum across the country to remove or change controversial and offensive names , has also led to increased support of this decision, compared to when it has been raised in the past.
After a national search of agencies to assist the resort’s renaming project team, Struck was selected as a partner. With significant experience in branding,travel and tourism—specifically ski destinations—Struck will lend expertise in a variety of ways.
“This name change will be among the most important moments in our resort’s history, and we are excited to announce that we are enlisting Struck to help guide us in this effort,” said Tom Feiten, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “Not only did Struck appeal to us because of their demonstrated success working with well-known outdoor brands and destinations, but their approach really set them apart. Struck’s commitment to starting the project with careful research and discovery, as well as centering the process around empathy and understanding our community and what makes Squaw Alpine the extraordinary and beloved place that it is, made us feel confident that the rich legacy and culture of Squaw Valley would be reflected in their work on this renaming and rebranding effort.”
In addition to being the Utah Office of Tourism’s Agency of Record for over a decade, Struck’s travel and tourism experience also includes leading creative campaigns for the Catalina Island and Monterey destinations. Struck has also been a long-term partner for Snowbird, Deer Valley, Canadian Mountain Holidays and Sundance. Struck’s California ties also include experiential work with Nickelodeon Animation Studios, allowing Struck to bring a unique set of capabilities to the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows renaming project.
“First, Struck is honored to have been selected to assist the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows team in leading a monumental opportunity to usher in a new era, while honoring their community’s unique legacy,” said Struck CEO Andrew Howlett. “We have great respect for the gravity of this project, and aim to continue the thoughtful approach the resort has already begun by involving a diverse array of stakeholders. From gathering input from resort guests, local skiers and tribal representatives to conducting qualitative and quantitative research, our aim is to ensure all voices are heard.”
Founded in 1949, and host to the Olympic Games in 1960, the resort’s unique culture, challenging terrain and pioneering freeskiers changed the sport forever. History runs deep in Olympic Valley, predating skiing and snowboarding. The valley has been the ancestral home to the Washoe Tribe long before white settlers first arrived in the mid-1800s, and the tribe’s leaders will continue to collaborate with resort leadership throughout this process.
Work to determine a new name has already begun, and resort leaders expect to announce a new name in 2021, with implementation to begin immediately following the 2020-21 winter season.
Struck is a full-service marketing, advertising and creative agency, with offices in downtown Salt Lake City. In its 25-year history, Struck has transformed global, national and local brands with award-winning work in travel and tourism, consumer packaged goods, life sciences, fast casual restaurants and experiential projects. Struck grows brands by creating “Experience Affinity” – drawing attention and affection for brands through experiences, and it’s more than just wildly effective. It’s entirely measurable — in love, impressions, revenue — and quantified by Struck’s new Affinity Index.
About Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is an internationally renowned mountain resort in North Lake Tahoe, California and proud host of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games. The resort spans 6,000 skiable acres across two mountains, with stunning views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada. Skiers and riders of all ability levels are welcomed by over 65 percent beginner and intermediate terrain, while legendary steeps, towering cliffs and heart-pumping chutes continue to be ground zero for boundary-breaking skiing and riding. The resort features slopeside lodging at The Village at Squaw Valley®, which bustles year-round with nonstop events and over 50 bars, restaurants, and boutiques. With an annual average of 450 inches of snowfall and 300 sunny California days, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is known as the Spring Skiing Capital™ and provides the longest ski and snowboard season in Lake Tahoe. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is on the Ikon Pass, the new standard in season passes, which grants access to 43 iconic destinations across five continents. Ahead of the 2020-21 ski season, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows announced its commitment to change the resort name, removing the word “squaw,” which is widely considered offensive. The resort has begun work on determining a new name, which will be unveiled in 2021. Visit the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows website or call 1.800.403.0206 to learn more. You can also visit us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Vimeo.