The ski town with no ski area plans for winter

As the days move close to winter, the community of June Lake faces the fearful fate of no ski area. Citizens continue to work on plans to make their town attractive to tourists, and the issues were scheduled to come up at the Mono Supervisors’ meeting Tuesday.

The Board has proposed to send a letter to Inyo Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta regarding Mammoth Mountain Ski Area’s Special Use Permit for June Mountain. The letter that the Mono Board has proposed to approve and send to Armenta thanks him for showing interest in the June Mountain issue and asks for an update on the Mountain’s use permit.

The proposed letter says that Forest Service personnel had “indicated that they viewed the closure (of June Mountain) as a form of noncompliance with the special use permit.” The letter says that the Supervisors “understood that the Forest Service was consulting with its legal counsel but that its intention was to eventually send the permit holder, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, a formal notice of noncompliance.”

The Board’s letter said the sending of the notice would set in motion the process to either “cure the noncompliance or revoke the permit.” The Board says they are unaware of whether such a notice was ever sent. They’re asking for a copy of it if it were sent and a written update regarding the status of the June Mountain use permit.

Community members and county officials have expressed interest in finding a buyer for June Mountain if Mammoth will not re-open it. Meanwhile, a group called the June Lake Revitalization Committee and the Mono County Tourism Commission were scheduled to talk to the Supervisors about their proposed plans and budget for winter marketing and product development initiatives in June Lake.

The Mono Board had already approved $100,000 of county funds for marketing June Lake. The Revitalization Committee has talked about plans for special events, new recreation opportunities and a shuttle service between June Lake and Mammoth Lakes.


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45 Responses to The ski town with no ski area plans for winter

  1. US is for the rich October 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    This country is becoming designed for the very rich.
    The disparity is obvious.
    The rich want it all.
    Unfortunately, the rich prefer all-inclusive settings.
    And Mammoth is the setting.
    Accept this fact.

    • Trouble October 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

      Us is for the rich- you are right on the money with your statement, but I refuse to believe it will continue on this way.

    • Jeremiah's Alter Ego October 2, 2012 at 7:39 am #

      I fully agree, if we were to look at graphs of the disparity of income from the top, middle, to the bottom looks exactly like it did before the great depression! Our system is rigged in the top 2% favor, there is no denying that.
      It is too bad the Occupy movement didn’t get the proper publicity from mainstream news media, cause when you look at the graphs of how the money moved after key supreme court rulings in 76′, and 78′ which gave corporations first amendment right you will see that worker productivity and worker compensation were neck and neck until that court ruling. Right around 1980 worker productivity kept climbing at it’s normal rate but worker compensation stopped climbing on the graph and that explains record profits for these big time corporate organizations!
      When you see it in that light a vote for Mr. “corporations are people my friend” is way out of the picture!
      When or if you see this constitutional amendment you better hope that a majority of our representatives are behind it cause if we want to fix this legal corruption that runs rampant in our political and justice system, so we must support what is in this:

      Our Proposed Amendment.
      “Corporations are not People. They have none of the constitutional rights of human beings. Corporations are not allowed to give money to any politician, directly or indirectly. No politician can raise over $100 from any person or entity. All elections must be publicly financed.”

      If we want our democracy back from this mega rich takeover, and they will then no longer be able to buy our politicians and the peoples best interest!
      And yes of course you don’t hear this type of stuff on mainstream news media cause they are bought off as well!

      • Bob October 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

        “Corporations are not people. They have none of the constitutional rights of human beings.” Really? Follow your argument to its logical conclusion, and see where you end up.

        Enjoy going to the movies? You will no longer see graphic violence, nudity, simulated sexual acts, or hear inappropriate language, since virtually all movie copyrights are owned by corporations. These types of artistic expression would no longer have any legal protection. Same goes for music and video games.

        Want to see newspapers endorse candidates, print arrest reports, or report on suspected wrondoing by elected officials or corporations? Won’t happen. Without first amendment protections, there is too great a risk of lawsuits for libel and slander.

        You can’t cherry-pick how the first amendment applies to corporations, so be careful what you ask for. In your haste to punish the big, bad, evil corporations, you risk destroying almost all wide-spread freedom of speech. Is that really what you want?

        • Benett Kessler October 2, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

          Corporations do not need to be considered people in order to have liability insurance. Before the Supreme Court decision that declared corporations as equal to a human being, businesses took care of all their needs and protections and expressed artistically in the way they wanted and in the way they felt would make the most money. News media do not need their corporate owners to be declared a person in order to do their jobs.

          Not quite sure what your point is, but I do know that corporations have way too much power in our society and they don’t need to be morphed into human beings to compete against each one of us when it comes to influence in our government and society.

          Benett Kessler

          • Political science October 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

            The haves know all the ways to have even more.
            Such is the nature of capitalism.

          • MJA October 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

            So if corporations have liability insurance then surely the incorporated towns like Mammoth do too, doesn’t it?


          • Bob October 4, 2012 at 7:11 am #

            My point is very simple. Most of what people consider to be “free speech” is actually produced/published by corporations. If you declare them to no longer be covered by constitutional protections, you the entertainment and news industries at risk.

            I fully agree that corporations and big money interests have far too much influence in politics and our daily lives. But you have to be careful that you don’t make the cure worse than the disease.

          • Benett Kessler October 4, 2012 at 9:18 am #

            Not calling a corporation a person does not deprive news organizations from living out the First Amendment. The individual reporters, producers, news writers and CEOs have a duty to defend the First Amendment.
            Benett Kessler

        • Jeremiah's Alter Ego October 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

          You made my point corporations have made their grasp further then they need to.
          I want to see the people endorse the candidates with the peoples best interest on the reps agenda not the sell out agenda.
          If any of you have the time watch this, it is worth your time:

          Like I said before, the stuff mainstream news media doesn’t feel it is important to tell us!!

  2. Don October 1, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    My wife and I go to Mammoth from time to time and have had a wonderful time and
    we are by no means rich… I pray June Lakes opens as is harmful to all parties
    involved if this recreational area is closed… I must be missing something as I
    have not seen much about Mammoth reaching out to partners to keep June
    Lakes open for the Winter… Don…

  3. Scott Ehrlich October 2, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    For 10-20 years, June Lake residents and businesses fought against housing construction — but were surprised and amazed when Mammoth Mountain pulled the plug on the ski area because of lack of skier visits. Now, the same residents and businesses demand that the Forest Service require that Mammoth Mountain “cure the noncompliance or revoke the permit”. Oh, that makes a lot of sense. Rather than working with Mammoth Mountain to construct a feasible plan for the commercial operation of a ski mountain, these residents and businesses want what they’ve always wanted: a pristine, undeveloped town, with a world class ski resort just for them and their renters. What makes these people think that any other company would buy the mountain and operate a ski resort? Most commercial operators would have shuttered June Mountain 10 years ago. The only chance of reopening June Mountain is to make it commercially viable. The only way that will happen is to work with Mammoth Mountain — not threaten them.

    • esfotoguy October 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

      Scott you are wrong. For almost [2 terms]10 yrs the town has supported a ‘pro rodeo grounds’ candidate….Vikki Bauer.
      Her Platform was promoting/supporting it.
      How did she get all that support?
      Like many people that offer opinions that live far away and you have no clue to what your saying.The main reason the Rodeo Grounds development was shelved besides the economy, was the fact that the county zoners were not satisfied w/ the variances [hights, densitys ect] Stop generalizing….it makes you look ill informed.

      • Scott Ehrlich October 4, 2012 at 7:23 am #

        Here’s a link to the March 2005 June Lakes Advocates newsletter: In the Newsletter, the opponents of development at the Rodeo Grounds gloat over the fact that they enrolled the Standford Environmental Law Clinic, and retained an expensive San Francisco law firm, to oppose development of the Intrawest project at the Rodeo Grounds. Is that what you mean when you say I’m “ill-informed” about June Lake opposition to development? Don’t try to revise history, it doesn’t work.

        • Chippa October 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

          Hey Scott, they had a loud voice but no power..The website has not been updated in over 6 yrs…what does that tell you? Once again…THE TOWN VOTED IN A VERY PRO RODEO GROUND SUPERVISOR…..What does that tell you?…Dorothy was her opponent…She did not have good numbers. I was at the meetings……the county economic development director said it was zoning issues that put the plan on hold.Then the economy tanked . Were you there at those meetings?? WERE YOU LISTENING? Not trying to revise history…but living here for 12 yrs, I think I know a lil more than you.

          • Scott Ehrlich October 5, 2012 at 8:40 am #

            Sorry to upset you. I know not everyone in June Lake fought against development but many (most?) did and then the recession hit in 2007-2008. Let’s put history aside for a moment and think ahead. If you really want June Ski area to re-open, it’s NOT going to be a result of using the Forest Service to THREATEN to yank the lease for June Ski area from Mammoth Mountain. Realistically, you’ll never find another ski operator for June Lake other than Mammoth Mountain. If you force Mammoth to choose between giving up the license for June Ski area and losing a few million dollars a year, what do you think they will do? Calm down, think clearly, and do something constructive (rather than destructive) if you want your June Mountain open again.

    • Trouble October 2, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

      Scott- just becuase Mammoth mountain said they didn’t make a profit with June , does not make it true. Especially now days. Look at the Dodgers last 5 years of history. They claimed they were broke and worthless, then walked away with billions. With no competition Mammoth Mountain is worth a lot more now. Hell they even get to write off June as a loss , when in truth, they are worth mega millions more now. It’s legalized fraud.

  4. John Delgado October 2, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Accept the Fact, people… June Mtn. Ski Resort will NEVER EVER open for business Again, 🙁 The Dave Mcoy era is Over Gone !!

    • Trouble October 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

      John- Never say never.

  5. JeanGenie October 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Make June a publicly owned ski area, it can be done and be profitable enough to be self supporting. Put the sport back in skiing. There are plenty of people who don’t ski now because its too pricey, but they would if it was affordable, local, and no frills.

    • Mark October 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

      I’ll have to challange the success of a publicly owned ski area.

      I’m sure Rusty got a laugh out of your comment.

    • Go after the rich October 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

      The middle class is rapidly disappearing. The poor can’t afford to ski. The rich want the Deer Valley experience where snowboarders are prohibited (snowboarders per se don’t have any money).
      Open the resort. Prohibit the wild and crazy snowboarders. And see if the resort will attract the rich.

      • Reality Check October 5, 2012 at 10:49 am #

        June Mountain simply does not have the terrain to bring in the rich or the more accomplised skiers. It’s a very nice family resort and the families June Lake markets to are trying to make ends meet, keep their homes, and put food on the table. Things are not getting any better in this country. If they were, we would not need QE3.

  6. enoughalready October 2, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Just wondering….. if…..if we get a heavy snow year. Who will take care of the avalanche control work on the Face of June. The slide paths do not care who is in compliance. The avalanche danger will only increase left uncontrolled and without the skier compaction.Just wondering….

    • esfotoguy October 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

      the Ski Patrollers will do it…just like the season when they closed after 3 wks[2006?]

  7. Chippa October 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Leavenworth Washington…look it up. Read the history.Its a town of 1200 that attracts 1.5 million visitors a year….w/ no ski area.I looks very similar to the June loop. It is something that is totally possible in this town. The town needs to think beyond the mountain. It needs to separate itself from the control of the 4th floor at MMSA. June is closed and is not going to open in the near future.True revitalization require a honest change in thinking. Vikki is right, a bunch of lights in front of the Tiger Bar will only been seen by the locals that are still here. The town needs a major face lift…it is not attractive to people that come here in the winter and have money to spend.Some people call it ‘charm’. Run down motels and properties are what keep the folks w/ money away and its not ‘charm’. Yes there are many shops and motels that have taken care and have done the upkeep to look good and provide a good experience to guests. They are the successful ones. Those are the places that are filled up on the weekends.The rest could care less but want the money that the tourists bring. The people in ‘charge’ of this town for so many years are the same ones that have let the town go to crap.New thinking has to be done to ‘move forward’ and relying on Rusty Gregory’s word isn’t gonna cut it. Whats going to happen when the 100,000$$ is spent on out of town consultants and vendors? Now what?Who will you blame?
    One thing I have seen in the 12 yrs of living in the area is that the locals really don’t care about getting involved in community functions that improve the town.Example: we had 10 people show up to the clean up the town day. Not one person who drove over to Mammoth to participate in the SAVE JUNE MOUNTAIN protest showed up at the town clean up day.BUT THEY CARE ABOUT JUNE RIGHT?.. when it comes to declining property values, suddenly people care. Its all bass ackwards and it has been for at least 30 yrs….Lets be honest here, the young ones care more about losing their personal/private playground[June Mountain] more than anything.I doubt its the 9.00 hr/5 hour day that they miss working for the company store[J.M.]. Its time for the ‘leaders’to get out of the sandbox and let the kids[w/ different vision] play.

    • kaat October 2, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      Leavenworth Washington…’s a great town and worth the drive from Seattle. The town it beautiful, the shops nice, the customer service is top notch….yes, June should look into how they do things there! Great idea!

      • SierraFan October 3, 2012 at 11:25 am #

        These are all true statements but the thing we have to remember is that June is 5 to 6 hours from the populous LA, Orange And San Diego (our main visitors) and not a few hours in a leisurely drive. In order to bring his crowd up here, we need something for them to do so the trip is worth it. We know the surrounding mountains, lakes, stream, etc are incredible but that’s not always enough! We need more substance!! Any idea’s???

        For instance, Big Bear thrives nearly every week of the year because they’re with in an hour or two from most of their visitors. What can we do besides world class skiing to attract these folks? It doesn’t seem that we talk about the beautiful summers or the things besides fishing that our lakes are great for like SUP, Kayaking, etc. We need to create momentum in activities like these and others that put June Lake on the map. We already have the negative publicity going for us so let’s see what we can do to ride that wave!

        • Benett Kessler October 3, 2012 at 11:54 am #

          Suggestion. More world class food and restaurants. More attractive shops. Travelers love to spend time eating, shopping and just walking around and enjoying beautiful
          places. I’m thinking of Mendocino. There is some boating and ocean diving there, but mostly people love to walk around the quaint town, go into shops, buy things and dine
          in a variety of interesting and delicious restaurants and hotels. They can drive along the ocean and take in the beautiful scenery and fresh air. People will drive five or six hours
          for that.


          • Target audience is rich October 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

            June Lake is a ski town, Benett.
            Not a Mendocino by the ocean.
            The party is over for most Americans who have been on the gravy trained post-World War II. Everybody will be better off accepting the reality.
            Deer Valley knows their target audience – those still on that gravy train.
            The Bon Vivant set. The rich.
            The ski-lift people at Deer Valley hand the people a kleenex before they get on the lift to ski down the packed and groomed snowboard-prohibited slopes.
            Our area appeals to families, snowboarders, and those watching their budget. And even this group is finding it tougher and tougher to make ends meet.
            And therein lies the problem.

          • Benett Kessler October 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

            Yes, June Lake is not Mendocino. But when it comes time to face survival mode, the creative process can come in to re-develop for success.
            It’s always worth a try. Maybe the $100,000 from the county would be better spent re-designing some of the business facades and menus.
            People love to eat and look at beauty. The wealthy would figure out where to go. Just an idea.

          • Ken Warner October 3, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

            A “Quaint” village can’t be constructed to be “Quaint” Quaint happens over time. It happens from having many, many people contribute to it in an organic fashion.

            That one can just construct a quaint village is the myth that the big developers create and spread to convince people to let them have their way.

            The Village here in Mammoth is a perfect example. It’s supposed to be a replica of an Alpine Village. All it really is is a glorified, mixed use strip mall that maximized the profit from real estate sales.

            And people are not going to drive 600 miles to shop for the same cheap Chinese goods and eat the same Sysco and Yum brands supplied foods that they can get in their local mall.

            Whatever June and Mammoth have that’s unique is what people come here for. And if that unique disappears — so will the people.

          • Benett Kessler October 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

            I agree, but you have to start somewhere. Leadership is required to inspire those in June Lake to somehow upgrade a bit to make the town itself more attractive to visitors.
            Then, with the additional sports amenities, it might work. Just brainstorming. Benett

          • SierraFan October 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm #


            You’re right about that but in order to bring the investment needed or folks willing to invest then we need to be known as a place to go. I’m pretty certain we’ll have skiing here again but for the mean time we need to build June up and market what we have. This $100,000 that’s been given will hopefully be used for the marketing of what we have but if the residents and surrounding res’s are interested in making June Lakes what it should be then we need to advertise it as such.

            Maybe we should have Snowman from the Mammoth Lakes area or someone like him create a blog and/ or website that creates a buzz and follow through with the buzz that we have. Any idea’s folks?? I know the talk of CC skiing, dog sledding, ice skating, etc. have been mentioned and a good start that is but for the spring, summer and fall months, we should heavily create and market to that crowd as well.

            This area is beautiful!!! But most of the LA crowd really only knows about Mammoth Mountain and the Mammoth Lakes area. Even they need to do a better job of selling what they have for those months other than music festivals! Let’s do this folks!!

          • SierraFan October 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

            We should be setting up at the ski show for the summer maybe and any other outdoor trade show that’s in our zone. Sell what we have for now and build on that. Rome wasn’t built in a day nor will June lake be. June lake is completely capable of removing itself from the heels of Mammoth if it chooses to. So take the marketing dollars, business owners, home owners and create a wonderland for all seasons. Fishing, water sports (the fisherman may not like that part), horse back riding, rodeo’s, music, upscale places to go along with the every day stores. It’s a mindset change more than anything.

        • Ken Warner October 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

          Maybe it’s time to look beyond tourism and think of more productive endeavors.

          I often wonder why there is no fine art/photography school somewhere up here on the East Side. What a fine place to be a photographer or painter or potter. The inspiration of the environment is unique. Just living here changes one’s perspective and art is all about perspective.

          Just an idea…..

          • Ken Warner October 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

            Benett, you mentioned “leadership” Quite rare here on the East Side. Most just do what has been done over and over again.

            Another aspect of “quaint” is that whatever is done, has to be done with honest love of the effort. False effort produces the “quaint” equivalent of a McBurger.

            Think about the Watt’s Towers. Crude yet unique and powerful because it was done with love of effort.

            Now think about the Mammoth Lakes Ice Rink. Done with no concern or passion about the result. It was created to have something to point at in a brochure. That’s the difference.

            To experience that love of effort is what brings people. It’s indefinable — non quantifiable — you can’t say in words what brings you to it but you can feel it like a warm wind in your face.

          • Benett Kessler October 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

            I completely know what you mean. I guess that’s why I like Mendocino so much. It’s been developed over time. Individual shop owners love what they do and it shows.
            It’s a kind of magical formula. I just know it when I see it and feel it.

          • SierraFan October 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

            True Ken! Very true!!! WE also need to market to corporations for their corporate events, team building events and different things like that. But to do that both June and Mammoth need the beds in one location. There’s a ton of ideas that can be had but the marketing, cooperation, etc. need to come from MMSA and the town.

          • Redneck influence October 3, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

            Your idea is a good one.
            Unfortunately, there is a redneck mentality here (especially from Mono County North) that will fight you all the way on the art thing.
            They want fishin’, huntin’, and campin’ …
            and that’s that!

  8. Don October 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Just a quick question, if the letter from the USFS re noncompliance for the June Lakes Pemited operation, how would this non-compliance (non-operation) effect the USFS Permited
    operation of Mammoth Mountain by the parent company (who ever that may be)… How are
    these operations linked? Just an old miner, and sometimes skier… Don,,,

  9. Upgrade? Don't bet on it October 3, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Here’s how Robert Redford does it:

    But methinks Rusty Gregory likes things just the way they are.
    If trouble hits – just lay people off.
    He knows the usual suspects will drive all the way from L.A. as they’ve been doing for years.
    100K from the county? A drop in the bucket. Maybe tons of $$$ should go to Bridgeport where
    people love to eat and look at beauty. (wink)

  10. MJA October 4, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    I think I’ll hike and ski June this year,
    Remember when Lincoln Mtn. was that Way?
    Just cause Rusty aint charging an arm and a leg don’t mean we can’t ski it.
    Turn em and burn em,
    Let it snow!


  11. ONE voice October 4, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    MJA ~

    Sounds like a lot of Fun, count me in !!!

  12. Ken Warner October 5, 2012 at 3:18 am #

    “Unfortunately, there is a redneck mentality here (especially from Mono County North) that will fight you all the way on the art thing.”

    I understand where you are coming from but there doesn’t have to be a conflict.

    There are many great Western artists. Ansel Adams was an environmentalist and outdoorsman. Think about Country and Western Music — good stuff — real people playing real instruments. Think about Western Painters — like Remington. A Remington sculpture will give you the chills it so powerful. Native American pottery is beautiful. What about the illustrations of John James Audubon? Beautiful art and science. How about cowboy poetry?

    “Some folks just can’t see the beauty around
    They crave the buildings and bright lights of town
    They call rimrock and sagebrush just ugly and waste
    Never seeing the beauty God put in that place
    They never saw the things I got to see
    Growing up wild in the old Owyhee”

    There doesn’t have to be a conflict.


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