June Lake reels under news of Mountain closure

“We are all kind of devastated.”  Connie Black, owner of Double Eagle Resort in June Lake, expressed the blow to all community members when news came out Thursday that Mammoth Mountain would immediately close June Mountain for the summer and next winter season. CEO Rusty Gregory named ongoing money losses as the problem.  He did say he would look to future changes for June.

Black said she was on the phone most of the day talking to people about the upsetting news.  She said, “It was a dreadful winter and the thought of our main tourist attraction not opening – it just leaves people not knowing what to do.  Many are barely hanging on.”  Black said she believes all need to put their heads together and find a way to buy June Mountain.

Supervisor-Elect Tim Alpers was hit with constant calls when people in District 3 got the news.  Alpers said, “The County needs to become involved and be a player in providing as much help as we can to reassure any potential operators that we’re friendly and helpful.”

Alpers said he and others need more facts about the nature of the Forest Service Use Permit for June Mountain and why there was not more warning about the closure considering the “huge impact on the human environment.”

Alpers said that the June Lake community was already hurting badly.  “It was a light winter, the economy was down, there were foreclosures.  People in June Lake,” said Alpers, “are living in quiet desperation.”

A few years back, Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory had talked about partial closure of June Mountain which was consistently losing money.  The community managed to convince him then to leave it open.

Connie Black said, “Sometimes these events create opportunities.  We’ve been hit between the eyes, but no one has given up.” We hope to learn more from Rusty Gregory today.

When contacted for comment from the Forest Service, Information Officer Nancy Upham said, “The Forest Service was notified yesterday (Wednesday) evening about this decision by MMSA.   We have not had a chance to sit down and have a discussion with them yet.  These are tough business decisions with significant impacts and we will work with MMSA regarding the terms of their permit and the future planning process they intend to embark on for June Mountain.”


, , , , ,

37 Responses to June Lake reels under news of Mountain closure

  1. pMack June 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    Rusty has no idea what to do. Look at everything he has put his “fingerprint” on.
    EVERYTHING new in Mammoth SUCKSSSSSSSS. Rather than go into everything that blows about somebody tell me ONE thing he has created that is an upgrade? Don’t tell me about lifts or the black pass or the MVP pass. Rusty has no IDEA what to do with June. He thinks build big build new BUILD BUILD BUILD-How has that worked out so far in Mammoth. The sad fact is the Town is a joke. The service workers are un-trained in the basics of hospitality. The mountain buildings are old and smell. Rusty you are a flunky. God, did Dave really sell this place to Rusty and his Daddy?

    • upthecreek June 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

      rusty has his irons in too many fires.


  2. Eamon McNamara June 21, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    That’s really sad news but many people in the area are to blame for this….the tourists and locals with Mammoth Passes who still avoid June Mtn because “it’s too far from Mammoth”; the community for thwarting all efforts (~10 years ago) by Mammoth to build a “Village” style resort at the entrance to June Mountain and the highway; the Inyo NFS for only allowing June to be open from December 15- April 15 regardless of the snow conditions on either the mountain or within the Sierra, as well as stalling all possibilities for improved access through better trail systems and chair lifts.
    Goodbye June Mountain and the community of June Lake, this is the death nail you didn’t need.

    • Ken Warner June 22, 2012 at 8:01 am #

      Or look at it this way — June Lake will survive. It’s a pretty place and with fewer tourists, long time residents may find it a more attractive place to live — like the growth at Crowley Lake. And the ski hill isn’t going away. It will still be there waiting (hopefully) for a more sensible operator and development strategy that doesn’t pivot on covering the town with fractional ownership condominium hotels.

      Maybe this will scare off the big, out of town carpet baggers and let June Lake develop in a more natural, local kind of way. It’s still a pretty place.

    • Sierra Lady June 22, 2012 at 9:02 am #

      ^ There are a LOT of people who DON’T think June is too far to go to ski and ride in winter. Check out the many positive posts in this thread link below in the June Mountain forum:


      B. Richter

    • Emily Jackson June 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

      Lets get some things straight. The town of June Lake has always been a modest area with modest means. It is full of empty mansions and packed shacks, but the long time residents have lived there for a long time because they know how to live in their means. This is not a death sentence to those that know better. If the mountain is to be closed, then it needs to be put on the market and sold. For those that argue that there needs to be development, I agree. However, we don’t need more hotels and hospitality business. The ability to cap the population makes us exclusive in the same way Facebook is an exclusive social networking site. What the town of June Lake needs is industries that are service locals, not tourist. The fad of today is “Going Green”. But what exactly does that mean? There are many different definitions, but the definition that I prefer is “Think Globally Act Locally”, and “A Sustainable today, for a Sustainable tomorrow”. Now is June Lake sustainable? No. Most people travel for work, groceries (that are outlandishly expensive at Vons), and for school. And these are the industries that June Lake needs. June Lake has a local General Store, but the General Store needs to provide food grown from local growers (an industry that will hopefully exist one day). June Lake used to have a local mechanic, dentist, and school. It is hard to argue that a high school belongs in June Lake, but what does belong is Adult Learning Centers associated with online higher education organizations. June Lake is not Mammoth it never was and never will be. June Mountain has a future, and June Lake has the possibility of having a sustainable economy, but locals need to start being creative and asking the right questions. And to alter the quote of JFK “Ask not what your community of June Lake can do for you, but ask what can I do for the community of June Lake”, and only when we can answer that for ourselves will we see economic improvements that other have tried and failed to bring to June Lake.

    • esfotoguy June 22, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

      If the people of June were against the Rodeo Grounds then they would have never elected Vikki Bauer. She was pro Rodeo Grounds.[as were ALL of the resort and motel owners] and she won 2x. Rusty has/had an interest in the property and this is how multi millionare investment firms twist arms of resort towns….hence the term…”dont Mammoth June”

  3. JJ June 22, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    What is Aplers going to do? Cry to Obama? June was not profitable, end of story.

    • esfotoguy June 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

      I doubt it Tims a Repub…

  4. Ethan James June 22, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    Its a waste of time to go around blaming everyone. The community can survive without MMSA it just needs strong leadership, and planning which MMSA didn’t provide anyway. Its a great community with alot to offer than just ski operations. A fresh perspective and a new operator could easily revive the mountain. Getting Rusty out of the picture is probably the best thing that could happen for that community anyway its not like he’s demonstrated strong leadership or solid management decisons lately. I have a lot of hope for this community.

  5. SierraFan June 22, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    Here’s the thing… if a business isn’t expanding then it’s on it’s way out of business! You have to continue to grow in order to be viable long term. If the June residents really want a long term resort then they’re going to have to come to grips with some kind of development. I’m not saying that they need a Vail situation but to have a really nice village somewhere at or near the resort is in need.

    Trust me, I’d rather it didn’t happen that way but that’s the hard reality especially if Mammoth decides to sell it. If they sell it (they won’t unless the end plan is to sell MMSA as some poster’s think may happen) then they’ll have a viable competitor in their area. Who knows, maybe a Vail ski company might come in like they did in Tahoe and bring a sustainable and profitable ski resort!
    I know that’s not a popular option for locals (as none seem to like develop and or change) but they do a fantastic job of bringing additional marketing and economy to the resorts they purchase and operate which then brings an economy.
    And I think they would relish in the fact that they were in Mammoth’s back yard! Another coop for a very strong organization!!!!

    • Econ 101 June 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

      As the economy grinds to a halt – it’s all about those who have money.
      And those that have money want much more than June can provide.

    • the powers that be June 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

      So, what’s so bad about June being a bedroom community for Mammoth?

    • esfotoguy June 23, 2012 at 5:56 am #

      on busy wknds the town still has ‘hot’beds’…bottom line ..MAMMOTH DOESNT WANT TO COMPETE WITH ITSELF.It has to much invested over there…hence the lack of promotions.Looks Like Im not skiing in Mono county this yr…btw Kirkwood[family owned] 379.00 for a pass. Homewood[family owned] is also very reasonable. And the hospitality is way up above anything found in Mammoth/June

      • SierraFan June 28, 2012 at 9:36 am #

        You nailed it!!! I was responding the same info on another post.

      • bss June 30, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

        Kirkwood is owned by Vail Resorts. Homewood is owned by JMA, which is a San Francisco real estate development corporation. Just FYI.

        • esfotoguy July 1, 2012 at 8:08 am #

          JMA is the family company that owns Giradelli square. They battled for a very long time to buy Homewood….why? Because another pontential buyer wanted to close the ski area and build about 3000 houses all the way up the canyon, being that it was the last lake front PRIVATE property in the basin. They bought it to preserve/improve the ski area that they grew up skiing.My brother was a consultant for the sale. Just FYI

  6. Political sigh June 22, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    When the going gets tough the rich close down businesses taking what’s left of the money and running. Gregory knows that Republican strategy all too well.

    • upthecreek June 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

      Sorry Charlie
      That is not only a Republican Strategy. .In today’s world both parties are to blame.

      If you look at it closely we only have one Political party. the party of “BAD Government”


    • esfotoguy June 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

      he claims hes an independent

  7. Rob June 22, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    June is a great little resort, but it needs to grow to attract more skiers and more business to the June Lake Loop – that is a fact. The people in June Lake can’t have a locals only little hill, the economics aren’t there anymore. If you want people to ski and spend money in June, give them the product. We had a blast at June last season, but it was never more than somewhere to go when Mammoth was packed, there just isn’t enough terrain variety.

  8. Allie June 22, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    From a environmental point of view it is a win that June mountain has shut down. The
    resort and ski runs are unsustainable constructions that cause unbalances in the local
    ecosystems. We do not need any more carbon producing / polluting ski resorts in this
    special area of the sierras. Hopefully NGO’s like Friends of the earth or the MLTPA take over Stewardship and manage the land properly.

    • Rob June 23, 2012 at 11:25 am #

      Allie I hope you don’t drive a carbon producing vehicle. If you were my neighbor I’d razz you everytime you got in your car and drove anywhere. Hope you aren’t making any babies either, as an ever increasing human population is the bigest impact on ecosystems.

    • Jenny B June 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

      Allie, – I see how you think. Get rid of all the human activity in the area so a small group of ‘green’ people including your self can manage it and enjoy it while the local economy crashes and we all have to move back to the city. Very selfish!

      Bureaucrats push the fake corptocracy green’ smart growth agendas through via their army of NGOs such as the MLTPA to lobby to make our decisions for us. The multinational development corporations fund the bureaucrats who provide grants to the NGOs to push the public into buying into ‘plastic green’ redevelopments built on top of retail stores. Great deal…. If you’re the insider developer OR you need grant money for your NGO.

  9. mucho donero June 23, 2012 at 5:54 am #

    Repubs build their lives around development and profit.
    The rest focus on providing a means of living for the little guy.
    I thought EVERYBODY knew that.

    • Uff-Da June 24, 2012 at 10:51 am #

      Too bad you had to turn this into a political discussion but since you did, it’s the “Repubs” who build their lives aound development so that the Dems have jobs and can feed the next gen of little libs.

      • Don't think so June 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

        A thousand pardons.
        But the standard Point of View today is the Repubs have greedily looked after their wealthy pals only while letting the rest of the country (and the little guys) get run into the ground.
        And now the richest of them are relocating to foreign shores for tax reasons and more greedy it’s all about me! behavior.

  10. Vince Townsend June 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    June Lake Ski Area Is DONE DEAD FINNISHED, time to move on to something else 🙂

  11. Econ 101 June 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Accept this fact:
    We are in the early stages of a world – wide economic depression.
    And as in any situation like this, the rich will continue to get richer still at the expense of the non-rich.
    The powers that be have known this fact all along and have actually expedited the process.
    It’s all about buying power.
    People like the presidential hopeful are paused and ready to collect the booty.

    • Econ 202 June 23, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

      As soon as you understand that the Infinite Growrh Paradigm is over and that you cannot have Infinite Growth on a planet with 7 billion people and finite resources, you will be able to plan your lives accordingly.

      If June Mountain was unable to make a profit for many years and in fact had to be subsidised at a rate of 1.5 million a year by Mammoth Mountain in better times, there is no hope. Marching in Mammoth is a futile effort. The bottom line is that June is a nice family ski town and families are trying to put food on the table and keep their homes right now. June Lake never had the beds in town to make it profitable and in fact rejected a plan to have the bed space needed for a profitable destination resort. The plan to close June Mountain by MMSA in these difficult times is a prudent business decision.

      Thi is very, very sad but June Lake residents need to take a hard look at how the world is changing around them.

  12. Profit motive June 24, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    As money gets tighter and tighter, those in the dough will continue to fly to places like Salt Lake City, and then up to Park City where there are better restaurants, entertainment, art and culture, film festivals … high brow stuff.
    Leaving Mammoth to the snowboarder crowd who sleep 6 to a (cheap) room and dine at McDonald’s.
    Gregory could give a rat’s a– just so long as he sells lift tickets.

    • SierraFan June 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm #


      I don’t think you’re not too far off except when it comes to your Rusty comment. I’m pretty sure he cares about the entire experience and not just selling tickets. He wouldn’t get very far if that was the case so let’s keep this real rather than personally attack him. The man cares about the community he lives and works in and I’m pretty sure he wants his friends in town to succeed in their own right. ANd that’s not just the business owners I’m talking about. We’re fortunate that we don’t just have a monkey corporate guy and have him instead. He’ shown love over the years so let’s show appreciation for him and get behind him.

  13. Profit June 25, 2012 at 6:35 am #

    Don’t take it personally – it’s only business.
    He has shareholders he answers to – not those he fires.

    • SierraFan June 26, 2012 at 6:55 am #

      I must have been sleeping when I wrote this one… my grammar was TERRIBLE!!!!!! Sorry about that folks.

  14. Can you spare a dime? July 1, 2012 at 6:00 am #

    During the Great Depression millionaires were made by the sackful – while people were standing in bread lines.
    How do you suppose that situation came about?
    Do you see this happening again?
    Do the ultra-wealthy deserve to call the shots?

  15. sierragrl July 1, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    I’m pretty darn sure that Vail Resorts would be happy to purchase June Mountain from MMSA and for a good price…come on MMSA either open the mountain up or sell it…we want competetion in this area dammit. In Tahoe, locals get great discounts because the resorts want the locals to bring their tourist friends to their resort…so they give great incentives for the locals to ski their mountain…here locals get NADA! no one can believe that, locals do not get one tiny discount for daily tix or season passes (local school kids excluded, but once they turn 18, NADA). SELL THE MOUNTAIN NOW!

  16. ReversePeakSkier July 15, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    The Mountain should be expropriated by the goverment and become a Forest-Service operated facility (bid out contract to manage). The purchase killed it. Those “family-owned” facilities mentioned earlier make it because they were owned for decades by the same folks who didn’t pay a fortune for the land.


Leave a Reply

KSRW · 1280 N. Main St. Suite J · Bishop, CA 93514 · 760-873-5329
Positive Projections Web Design