MMSA acquisition and home-town impact

mmsamainlodge.jpgWhile Eastern Sierra residents consider the news this week that Mammoth Mountain has agreed to buy Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, some wondered what it would all mean to the local communities.

We posed that question to Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory. He said, “Mammoth will have a deeper and broader position in the Southern California Market and Big Bear Mountain Resorts typically do well in drought years which provides a hedge to Mammoth’s weather risk.” Gregory said these factors increase Mammoth Mountain Ski Area’s financial strength and this stability, he said, adds to employment and economic security in our area.

In the initial press release on the acquisition, Gregory was also quoted as saying that there will be announcements in coming months about new development and expansion plans for each of the four resorts.

A new season pass called Cali4nia Pass goes on sale at Bear Mountain this weekend. It includes unrestricted access to all four mountains. Mammoth Tourism Director John Urdi said he believes the new acquisition and season pass will bring new visitors to Mammoth Lakes.

Urdi said, “Having sister resorts in Southern California will give Mammoth Mountain Ski Area an amazing opportunity to entice those skiers and riders to become Mammoth loyalists.” Urdi said Bear Mountain and Snow Summit will be the “local” resort, while Mammoth Mountain becomes their go-to destination resort. He said offers and special products like the Cali4nia Pass will “bring new visitors to town, staying in properties, shopping and dining in our restaurants. This is a great new opportunity,” said Urdi, “not only for Mammoth Mountain but for our community.”

The Los Angeles Times pointed to a ski area consolidation trend going on now with the need to make profits at what appears to be a time of unreliable snowfall. As Gregory said, “weather risk.” Bob Roberts, executive director of the California Ski Industry Association referred to a “climate-change market.”


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13 Responses to MMSA acquisition and home-town impact

  1. Curious September 26, 2014 at 6:20 am #

    Bought and financed with the savings provided by our imposed TBID subsidy tax?

    Did you ask him how long before he picks the pockets of the Big Bear residents and visitors?

    I can’t get excited about a pass for somewhere I’d never ski.

    This is about as valuable as a Cabo timeshare.

    • Capt Odile October 3, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

      Earl, perfect name. Your rather ignorant about Cabo San Lucas. My girlfriend is the top vacation club sales person in San Lucas. There are more people flying in daily from the U.S. and Canada everyday than fly into Mammoth airport per season. The massive effort bye the Mexican power Co. CFE to repair Cabo was impressive on any scale. I was in Cabo for the entire hurricane. I doubt you were. I have also been skiing in Mammoth since 1967. It’s my favorite place on earth. But I make my living down here. Educate yourself before you make statements that are hurtful. I bet that come mid Febuary some people up there will be dreaming about 80 degree days and sunsets at the beach. Thanks CG

      • Curious October 4, 2014 at 9:08 am #

        El Capitan,

        What does your diatribe have to do with the “value” of a Cabo time $hare or the Cali4nia Pa$$?

        Cabo use to be a sport fishing capital, the same way Mammoth was a fresh water fishing and winter sports Mecca. Both, have been reduced to a playground of posers who’s main purpose is the real sport of being fleeced by the snake oil peddlers. The real motive is to separate hard working people from their cash by any means possible while their here on holiday.

        While this may pay your bills it has made my life style here an endangered species. The plutocrats have succeeded in making everything more expensive trying to feed their insatiable geed for money. They dream of plane loads of sheep to fleece by selling them a life style that no longer exist for most of them except for that one or two weeks a year.

        Please tell me again, who is really the ignorant one here?

  2. earl duran September 26, 2014 at 7:30 am #

    How will combining these ski resort bring employment to Mammoth area?

  3. Tinner September 26, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    I’m guessing this wont mean much to those of us who do not plan to ski/ride on either one of those hills (molehills).

  4. Desert Tortoise September 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    “Market consolidation” is just a polite, and highly misleading, word for monopoly. Monopoly means higher prices and less output because that is the profit maximizing solution for the monopolist. The lazy business person seeks monopoly power because they make more money selling fewer products or services. It is easier for them than having to compete against six or more capable competitors. When you have competition, prices and profits are bid down to the bare minimum to keep competitors in business and buyers reap low prices and maximum output. Of course that means the sellers, those in business, have to work hard, really hard, and they all have an allergy to hard work. They would rather combine, reduce competition and reap the high profits of the monopolist.

    • Ken Warner September 26, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

      Movie: “Other Peoples Money” Laurance Garfield says, “A larger and larger share of a shrinking market. The last buggy whip maker made the best damn buggy whips you ever saw.”

      There’s some of that echoing through this purchase. There’s an on going drought. People age getting fatter every year. Now 30% of Americans are not just fat but obese. And kids spend more time on their smart phones than any other activity.

      The trends seem to be to a more sedentary lifestyle. People would rather watch ski movies than ski. It will be interesting to see how all this works out. I just hope I don’t have to pay anymore taxes.

  5. da dum dum September 26, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    biggest reason we don’t ski local at Big Bear and Summit, is SMALL hills as well as the riff raff…gangs, thugs, etc. from LA find it easy to get up there and have turf wars which we have witnessed in the past. Then there’s the traffic, which if anybody has been up there on a weekend or end of week, it takes just as long to get down from there as it takes to get home from Mammoth. With that said, we prefer Mammoth in SO many ways…ALL of the reasons are great – great ski town, great ski mountain, great snow (yeah, I know…I know…we need a good snow year), great people, great vibe, great summers, great festivals and on and on. Sure there are great people at Big Bear and they really want their ski mountain to be bigger, badder, better but I think many Mammoth skiers won’t be heading there anytime soon. Me included.
    Kudos for Mammoth to think bigger…but I think expanding Eagle Lodge so it’s not a tent, improving chair 9 and other similar rides, and giving Mammoth employees a bit of a raise (I’m not an employee) would all be good moves, or would have been at least before a move like this. thank you.

  6. Ken Warner September 26, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    “…as well as the riff raff…gangs, thugs, etc. from LA…”

    Gee maybe we can get some of them up here to spend money.

  7. Tinner September 27, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    Gangs and thugs would be leaving Mammoth with more ski/snowboarding gear than what they arrived with, without paying for most if not all of it.

  8. Tony Cumia September 27, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    38,000,000 and June Mountain will continue to rot…JUNE FIRST!!!

    • Ken Warner September 27, 2014 at 9:33 am #

      Another interesting perspective is that $38 million is more that the settlement for the airport lawsuit. Remember the airport that Rusty wanted?

      • Trouble October 3, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

        Thank you Ken. You got that right! People need to realize Mammoth Mountain could care less about the local economy. Pretty much like rest of corporate America!


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