MMSA CEO will meet in June Lake over June Mountain closure

June Mountain has been losing money for the past six or seven years, according to MMSA CEO Rusty Gregory.

Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory will face the people of June Lake tonight in a special meeting of the Board of Supervisors held to discuss the closure of June Mountain Ski Area.

On June 20th, Gregory announced that June Mountain would close immediately and remain closed next ski season. In days after that news, Gregory said that June Mountain had continued to lose $1.5 million per year. It was a loss Mammoth Mountain could not afford, he said. Gregory also made it clear that he has no plans to sell June Mountain.

After the startling news of closure, residents in the area began to speculate on who might buy June and make it a go. Gregory said no one could right now. He described the drop in skier visits to June Mountain from 100,000 down to around 45,000. He said the last six or seven years have seen deficits at June.

In earlier years, Gregory had talked to the June Lake community about the need for a bigger bed base to attract more visitors and the need for more amenities. These plans never took place.

The CEO said that he will meet with the Forest Service to develop a “sustainable vision” for June Mountain’s future. Inyo Forest Public Information Officer Nancy Upham had said toward the end of June that “The Forest Service dos not take this decision by Mammoth Mountain Ski Area lightly, and we will work with the Mountain officials regarding the terms of their permit.” Upham said the Forest Service is interested in a “long-term sustainable operation.”

A special meeting of the Mono Board of Supervisors is scheduled for  Tuesday at 7pm at the June Lake Community Center at 90 West Granite Avenue.

 

20 Responses to MMSA CEO will meet in June Lake over June Mountain closure

  1. enoughalready July 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Its a great time to develope a “sustainable vision”. Like I’ve stated before – always behind the eight ball, always playing catch up. I’m sure Rusty’s presents at the meeting will give it a real personal touch. Shed a few tears for them. Play it up. Don’t forget your smoke and mirrors.

     
  2. Tourbillon July 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    Rusty’s going to June. In his own skin and name. Not sure I like everything he does but he’s there, front and center. How about you “Enough”? Why don’t you go and talk smack to his face?

     
  3. Wilderbeast July 9, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    There’s a saying on the fire department about the Monday Morning Quarterbacks….”Anyone can be a general in a time of peace.”

    Ol’ enoughalready talks a tough game but when it comes to the decisions CEO’s like Gregory are paid to make….he doesn’t have any answers other then snide remarks hidden in anonymity. How many years should they keep sustaining losses, Oh wise one and where does the money come to pay the payroll each week?

     
  4. enoughalready July 10, 2012 at 5:22 am #

    I already have. He does not listen very well.

     
  5. Trouble July 10, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    I’ll give Rusty credit for having guts, no sense of right and wrong, but guts for walking into the lions den. I hope June Lake eats him up.

     
  6. Eastern Sierra local July 10, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    The Forest Service is interested in a “long-term sustainable operation?”

    Then why does the USFS Permit for June Mountain require that the the resort close by April15 of every year regardless of snow conditions? A couple of years ago some of the best snow storms occurred after April 15; there was June Mtn. sitting closed while they had 4-5 feet of new snow in late April/May!

    Why was the USFS in such opposition to the “June Lake Village” proposal back in 2002/2003?

    It sounds to me like complete and utter lip-service, the Inyo National Forest is not working towards their Mission statement of “Working for the Great Outdoors!”

     
    • JeanGenie July 11, 2012 at 11:11 am #

      Local, April 15 closure has been required due to spring deer migration in that area.

       
    • mtnmahogany July 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

      I don’t know how it became “common knowledge” that the USFS dictates opening and closing dates, but I believe it to be false. If you research this I believe you will find that the Forest Service permit does not actually restrict the opening and closing dates for June Mountain. I may be wrong but I would invite anyone to check on this.
      The late opening and early closing of June Mountain is a business decision made by MMSA based on profitablility, just like the closing of Canyon and Eagle Lodges, right after the Spring Holidays.

       
  7. sierragrl July 10, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Ok, it’s been over a week…can our elected officials get some real information out there…What exactly does the USFS permit say? That is the key point here. The County has legal staff to interpret it. The best alternative here is for Mammoth Mtn to sell the rights to skiing on June Mountain…I’m sure Vail Resorts would love to get a foot in the door in Eastern California…That would pretty much be a win-win solution of all involved. Vail Resort skiers could come to our area and ski 2 days at June and then cough up the bucks to try Mammoth for a day. We;d get a whole new group of skiers exposed to Mammoth and the eastern sierra.
    Having two different ski resorts in the area would create some competition for the local market, like they have in Tahoe where locals get great ski pass deals. (Unlike here where we pay the same as everybody else, with the exception of school kids, they get a great deal). Locals bring their out of town friends to the mountain they have a pass at, hence the motivation to get the locals to own your pass.
    Once the conditions of the permit are understood, county officials need to reach out to Vail. And MMSA IF YOU’RE NOT GOING TO RUN IT, THEN AT LEAST HAVE THE BALLS TO SELL IT!!!!

     
  8. It's about the stockholders July 10, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    This meeting is just a PR deal. What does Gregory care? He could very well say:
    “Look, the citizens should be paying for the empty seats on the plane – not the mountain. My partners and I would rather fly than drive to L.A. The ski industry doesn’t look good right now so I’m shutting down June to keep my stockholders happy. And Measure U should go towards paying for those empty seats on the plane. And if you don’t like it – I’ll shut down Mammoth.
    So … SHUT UP!
    … and get away with it.

     
  9. steve July 10, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    If MMSA can’t run June at a profit the sell it to somebody else. Maybe they can show Mammoth how to run a resort. By closing June and holding onto an desserted ski resort is very monoplistic. Rusty going to speak about June and talk to residence will not change a thing and June will still be closed for the 12/13 season.

     
  10. JeanGenie July 10, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    June has been advertised as a family resort, easy runs, etc. except that first you have to get up the Face, and Rusty and Mammoth have done absolutely nothing to upgrade that situation. An ancient center pole chair where you can’t even hold onto the kids to help them get off? Come on! Skier visits are down? Yeah, the kids are afraid to go there after that.

     
    • esfotoguy July 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

      Oh stop. Its not that bad…I know lots of kids/familys that love that chair…plus they put a cross bar on it 2 seasons ago

       
      • JeanGenie July 11, 2012 at 11:13 am #

        Depends how little the kids are and how much experience they have.

         
      • SierraFan July 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

        esfotoguy,

        I think her point was that they’re pretty much not investing in June… at all! They should have replaced that old lift with something that doesn’t look like it’s 100 years old.

         
  11. Jeff July 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Maybe if they would have different lift ticket prices for each mtn. More would make the drive to June. At least it would be a start

     
  12. Lance Pifer July 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    they should just sell June as Mammoth just doesn’t support June as a whole.. Basically mammoth is like Starbucks and June is like Stella Brew or Trout Town Joes. So why market June mountain when Gregory would rather have everyone stay in Mammoth and ride Mammoth you know ASPEN OF THE WEST.. Just shut it JUNE down. Last Season Mammoth pulled alll of June Mtns snowmaking equipment so they could not compete with Mammoth. Yes, Gregory has to make tough decisions so sell it and let June compete. Overall, I will never ride at Mammoth again period or spend a cent in the town of Mammoth. If June opens again I will be back. Until then Breck just became my local mountain and I will continue to fly fish the sierra range but I never will I set foot in Mammoth.

     
  13. Just the facts July 11, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    I was in attendance to last night’s meeting.
    The only solution offered to June’s woes was a Native American lady who suggested the mountain open up negotiations with the Paiute or other tribe (who have money) and put up a casino to draw people to the area. Slots and Slopes sound okay by me. I hear the Paiute Palace is just humming right along – bad times or not.
    Otherwise the meeting was a thinly disguised number-crunching sales pitch by Gregory obsessed with the notion that the solution to all problems is increased air service. He also looked less than his usual unflappable self when the subject of drought came up.

     
  14. No filled planes July 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    June does not have runs that are anywhere near what one might call exhilirating or challenging. It’s understandable how Gregory wants to maintain a Luxury Adventure experience for The Mountain. As money dries up, those that have it want it all: luxury accomodations, choice of multiple restaurants, theatre, movies, art, music …
    However, no matter how ferocious Gregory is about increased (and subsidized) air service, the planes to Mammoth are seldom full even during the peak winter season. He’s beating a dead horse. Methinks Gregory is starting to panic as his 15% slips away to …

     
  15. Lance Pifer July 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    You know if I had the money I would buy June and keep it open forever. (IF being the key word.) I’ve been skiing and snowboarding there for about 30 years now and I would bring back the snowboard comps and open it up to mountain biking in the summer as well as market all the other things which makes June unique. Mountain Climbing, Snow shoeing, Ice Climbing, Fishing, Camping, Trout Town, Joes. Ernie’s Tackle and Ski Shop, Tiger Bar (even the 86 list is awesome there), Gull Lake Lodge on and on..

    Hopefully someone will come in and make this happen.. In the end it is about the town/people of June Lake so a percentage of sales should go back to the people who matter most.

    My wife and I were up there this winter on a powder day (yes this winter had untracked powder too) and watched a pair of bald eagles fly over the chair just before we dropped into a perfect session. I have been there in the summer hiked, biked and fly fished. Fall is just amazing on the loop so you are really missing out if you are not there during every season. Winter is just a small part of what June Lake and the eastern sierra is all about. My family and I will spend as much time at June as possible which is about 30 times a year, Can’t say enough great things about the extremely wonderful people who make June Lake a special place.

     

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