Although a few June Lake residents continue to gripe about Mammoth Mountain’s handling of June Mountain, the complaints, according to Ski Area spokesmen, are not true.
Ron Cohen, Company Administrative Officer, said the Ski Area went to work in May to get June Mountain ready to open in December. He also pointed to the trip a number of officials and June Lake people took to Vermont to get ideas for promoting June Mountain as a family-oriented resort.
On the very practical side of things, Cohen said crews have worked to get lifts ready for testing and annual certification. They have also performed erosion control. Cohen said crews are still at work on lifts and runs. Plus, the Ski Area has purchased a lot of new computers to replace obsolete ones and also a new radio system for Mountain communications.
Cohen said the total investment since last October adds up to around $1 million. Contrary to citizen complaints, Cohen said the Ski Area has been in communication with Mono County about regular meetings on June Mountain. Alice Suszynski, member of the Committee for a Viable June Mountain, wrote a letter to the Mono Supervisors which they agendized for last week. She questioned Mammoth Mountain’s commitment to June Mountain, including plans for marketing.
Cohen said of Ms. Suszynski, “She has a strong point of view. We are not in business to fight but to make successes.” Cohen said that Chief Operations Officer, Greg Dallas, has put his stamp on the dual operations of both ski areas. Cohen said there will be some changes on how the staff is organized, with more under the umbrella of Mammoth Mountain. Some specifically skilled employees will be shared with both Mammoth and June.
Cohen said June Mountain General Manager Carl Williams will report to Mr. Dallas, and he made it clear that Williams has done a “fantastic job” of managing June with a lot of efficiency. Cohen said new plans will make gains. The issues, he said, are about revenue not costs.
Cohen said the appointment of Julie Brown as Manager of Guest Experience puts more emphasis on that area. As for claims that the Ski Area has no money to market June Mountain, Cohen said that’s not the case. He said the company is taking “a much stronger approach to marketing both ski areas.” Cohen said Erik Forsell, the new Chief Marketing Officer, has June Mountain “on his short list of priorities.” He said the plan to allow kids under 12 to ski for free is unique. Cohen said this is a “big message that June Mountain is family-friendly.” He hinted that there will be a “big splash” on opening day.
As for the capital improvements of a new Chair One and snow-making, those projects are on track for next season with paperwork going to the Forest Service in January, according to Cohen.
And, although Ms. Suszynski said Congressman Paul Cook will hold up HR 1241 on Mammoth Mountain’s land exchange until June Lake’s concerns are addressed, Cohen said that the Ski Area understands the Mono Supervisors’ support of that bill will not be ignored by the Congressman. At last week’s Supervisors’ meeting, Tim Alpers said that the Congressman’s office indicated to him that the bill would move ahead.