Elected officials and business people have gone to a series of meetings with Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory and Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta. They hope to somehow keep June Mountain open next winter.
Earlier this month, Gregory announced closure of June Mountain due to financial considerations. Banks that hold loans for Mammoth Mountain pressed the company to tighten up finances after a bad winter and low revenue. One of the big annual losses for the past seven years was June Mountain at $1.5 million per year.
Mono Supervisors Byng Hunt and Larry Johnston confirmed that meetings and discussions are taking place. Other sources said Supervisor Vikki Bauer, Supervisor-elect Tim Alpers, and Connie Black of Double Eagle are also meeting with authorities about June Mountain.
Sources close to the situation have said the Mono County Supervisors may look at items that might encourage Rusty Gregory to keep June Mountain open. Some ideas kicked around include generating more Transient Occupancy Tax through rental of second homes in June Lake. This might also address Gregory’s concerns about not enough beds in June Lake for visitors.
Mono County might also consider granting back part of the bed tax for professional marketing of June Mountain. Residents had complained at the July 10 meeting in June Lake that Mammoth has never seriously marketed June.
Some residents also hope that the Mono Supervisors might consider re-zoning the 88 acre Rodeo Grounds land in June lake to help the marketability of this key piece of property.
Citizens recently meeting on the future of June Mountain reportedly took Forest Supervisor Armenta on a driving tour of June Lake. They pointed to the possible loss of businesses and lodging if June Mountain fails to open this winter.
Armenta had announced that the Forest Service would issue a letter of non-compliance to Mammoth Mountain for the closure of June Mountain. That letter would trigger 180 days in which Mammoth would be asked to submit an operations plan for June Mountain.