We’ve been pretty quiet about the Save Olympic Valley campaign for a few months. For three months, there was only minimal spending by SOV, funded entirely by Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. During the month of May, the flood gates were opened again. The financial reports released for May showed that the campaign spent another $45K, bringing the total spent to roughly $575K over the last 18 months.
It’s an email that drew some ire, because it was sent out to a lot of people that didn’t want it. Several SVSH employees forwarded the email to us, complaining that they did not appreciate being spammed by the campaign, because many of the employees do support the incorporation movement. The email contains the same rhetoric that we have heard before – that the draft preliminary CFA showed that the town of Olympic Valley may not be viable. One thing that never fails to escape our attention is that the logic used to say that the town may not be fiscally viable also does an equally fabulous job of suggesting that the entire Squaw Valley Village project may not be fiscally viable. It is these sorts of statements that should frighten KSL Capital investors!
In fact, there are good reasons to believe that development would be slower than expected. Continued drought, economic recession, environmental litigation, or the actions of a new town council could all act to slow or stall development. – Matthew Newman, Blue Sky Consulting
Newman and Blue Sky Consulting have been very active over the last month in trying to develop support for the idea that the town of Olympic Valley would not be financially viable. Are they experts in municipal finance? It’s tough to say. Certainly Newman’s credentials are strong – but he is the former executive director of the California Institute for County Government. The battle over the incorporation movement really comes down to county government versus a more local city-based government. Personally, I’ll take the word of Incorporate Olympic Valley consultant Tom Sinclair in matters relating to municipal finance.
In addition to sending out a lot of unwanted e-mails, the SOV group has also struggled with getting people to see their campaign at the Save Olympic Valley website. Over the last year, there was a short campaign of paying for ads on Google, so when you searched for “incorporate olympic valley”, you would see the anti-incorporation message first. More recently, the campaign has resorted to slimy SEO tactics to get their message out.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a collection of methods to make sure that your site appears near the top of Google rankings. The best sites, like this one, rely on good content and design to make those rankings happen naturally. We’ve noted a number of bizarre links appearing lately that relate to the flawed CFA document. These shill sites are often set up for no purpose other than to offer paid links that will boost a site’s ranking by Google and other web indexes. Here’s some examples: