As the Mammoth Town Council settled in for a long discussion on the new Tourism Business Improvement District Wednesday night, Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory stood up to encourage support of the TBID. With little explanation, Gregory said, “In two or three weeks I’ll be announcing who will run Mammoth Mountain Ski Area next. Mammoth Mountain,” he said, “will not be run by me.”
Slight applause from the full audience followed. Gregory gave no more explanation for this pivotal moment. He only said that he had promised in November of last year that “I would get out of the way.” After saying he would not be running the Mountain, Gregory said, “We’re making a lot of changes organizationally that are difficult to make because for us to do things in the future, we can’t do things the same way harder and faster and expect a different result.”
The long-time CEO called it a very important time for the Town and the community. He said Mammoth would be required in the future to do things differently than comfortably done in the past. He repeated that “Mammoth Mountain has made a lot of changes – some public, some not.” He pointed to Howard Pickett. Gregory said, “He has done a great job as Chief Marketing Officer of Mammoth Mountain. He will remain with the Company in the foreseeable future. We need special help to work with the TBID if it passes so we can take our marketing effort and fold it into their effort.
Gregory said of the TBID, “We believe it is the only growth strategy for the future. We need a growth strategy.” He said the TBID will lead to improvements of the Town’s budget and ability to provide services like police. He advised those in the room to remember that it’s a natural tendency to “snap back to what we’ve been doing. What we’re comfortable with in the past is not the right answer for the future,” said Gregory
The CEO repeated that “We think this does represent a growth strategy for the future. Please look very carefully t it. We’ll do our best to comply,” he said.
Left with this stunning revelation – an apparent shift of what’s going on in the heart of the Eastern Sierra economy – Mammoth Mountain – the Council went on to hear other public comments. We placed calls to Rusty Gregory to learn more about who will run Mammoth Mountain and what these “organizational changes” are all about.