Word spread fast through Mammoth Lakes yesterday that the Ski Area had laid off many workers. Some people called it Gray Wednesday. The rumors said, half of the staff was gone. The reality was much less. 15 people lost their jobs.
MMSA CEO Rusty Gregory did confirm that there were lay-offs. He said he knows these things are a great concern. Gregory said that out of 378 positions at the Mountain, there was an elimination, through a reduction in jobs, of 15 people. He said they were either laid off or the status of their jobs was changed to seasonal, allowing them to return next year.
Gregory said that this move was a pro-active step to deal with the downturn in the economy. He called it “adapting to circumstances.” Gregory said the types of jobs eliminated are “all over the map. Mostly mid-level managers and operators.” He said the duties of those jobs will have to be picked up by current employees. Gregory repeated that he knows this turn of events hits hard on workers who have lost their jobs.
These lay-offs are part of a bigger picture of cutbacks. Gregory said $3.4 million will be cut from the summer budget. The 15 lay-offs represent $500,000 of that cutback. Other jobs will not be filled and purchases won’t be made. Money will be available, Gregory said, to support air service and marketing.
In an earlier conversation with Gregory, he said this has been a pretty good ski season but off by about 12% from projections. The CEO had said that skier demand was down and he felt the state of the economy had slowed things down somewhat.