PSHYC!! You thought June Mountain was opening today for summer operations, didn't you? That's okay, so did we... so did everyone - it was pretty well advertised as such. Well, not only did Mammoth Mountain Brass make the last minute decision to pull the plug on June Mountain summer operations but apparently they've taken the axe-wielding

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MMSA Makes BIG Cuts | June Mountain CLOSED FOREVER?! Is This For Real?!

powder skiing and snowboarding on the wall

June Mountain, a timeless tradition… Has June’s time come? photo: junemountain.com, Christian Pondella

PSYCH!! You thought June Mountain was opening today for summer operations, didn’t you? That’s okay, so did we… so did everyone – it was pretty well advertised as such. Well, not only did Mammoth Mountain Brass make the last minute decision to pull the plug on June Mountain summer operations but apparently they’ve taken the axe-wielding one giant chop further… MMSA WILL NOT BE OPERATING JUNE MOUNTAIN FOR THE UPCOMING 2012-2013 WINTER SEASON.

Here is the official statement posted today on the Mammoth Mountain Forum:

June 21, 2012

Rusty Gregory, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area Chairman and CEO, announced today the company will not operate June Mountain this summer and for the upcoming 2012-13 winter season. “June has operated at an annual deficit each year since its purchase in 1986,” said Gregory. “It is time to invest some of this subsidy into the analysis and planning required to position the resort for a sustainable future, then secure the approvals and financing required to create it.”

Mammoth purchased June Mountain in 1986 with the idea of significantly increasing the size of the resort by building new facilities, extending new runs to the June Lake Village, and fostering additional developed ski areas along the San Joaquin Ridge, resulting in a connection between Mammoth and June Mountains. For a number of reasons, these plans were never realized and June Mountain has, in turn, suffered from an identity crisis that has both stifled its ability to achieve its full potential and required substantial financial subsidy from Mammoth on an annual basis. Cessation of operations will help the company dedicate its focus to a new future for June Mountain. Mammoth will be working with its partner the U.S. Forest Service to reach the best possible result in this endeavor.

In the weeks to come, Mammoth will be working to determine if and to what extent it can absorb June’s year round workforce.

Mammoth Mountain will continue to offer world-class skiing, snowboarding and summer activities for locals and visitors to the region.

Mammoth Mountain has operated continuously under permit from the U.S. Forest Service since 1954, and operated both resorts for the past 26 years. Mammoth Mountain Ski Area also owns and operates a variety of resort businesses including recreation, hospitality, food and beverage and retail including Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Tamarack Lodge and Resort, Mammoth Snowmobile Adventures, Woolly’s Adventure Summit, Mammoth Mountain Bike Park and the Mammoth Mountain Inn. Mammoth Mountain also operates Juniper Springs Resort, the Village at Mammoth, and Sierra Star Golf Course.

j1 face powder ski and snowboard

No more “all-you-can-eat” powder turns powder days on the Face? photo: doconboards

Wow, this IS sad news. I won’t try to kid anyone (or myself for that matter), June Mountain hasn’t been a money-maker. Anyone that has visited June over the years knows the scene: chill, mellow, downright dead quiet. Think June’s making money with this level (or lack-there-of) of activity? Doubtful. Yet, that’s not the point. The mere presence of June Mountain has had huge implications for the existence and operation of big Sis’ Mammoth Mountain. June is like the “pressure release valve” for Mammoth. Want to escape the “scene” at Mammoth? June Mountain, just 20 minutes up the road… Well, not any more.

ski snowboard freeride halfpipe superpipe

No more perfectly cut half-pipe, no more “have-it-all-to-yourself” park? photo: InstinctImages

Any suggestions as to how to resolve this? What about a public buy-out of the facilities and the lease agreement with the US Forest Service? A publicly owned and operated Eastern Sierra ski area? That could be interesting.

machine groomed skiing and snowboarding

No more endless, all-day groomers? photo: junemountain.com, Christian Pondella

Many may offer that it was only a matter of time before such as drastic decision concerning the fate of June Mountain was to be handed down. Well, no matter how predictable this day may have been it seems abrupt none-the-less. The fact that June will closed for the 2012-2013 winter season doesn’t feel real at his point… Is it?

 

49 comments
  • eric

    damn… Gona miss those days when it’s windy at Mammy but just fine at June.

    Wonder if they’ll let people tour up there??

  • Andrew

    This is a tragedy! No more endless powder on the weekends! As an eastsider I totally support a community owned resort! Hell lets take it even further, enough with the scenic lift rides just to go to the antler bar lets build some mtn. bike infrastructure up there and give free peddle access or you can pay for a van shuttle. Take donations, keep the bar and restaurant running and make it a real local community hot spot!

  • brobrah

    They could do a Shames Mountain type of co-op where people join as members and collectively run the resort.

  • bishop creek boy

    June got mammothed :( sad day the powder was always lighter, the people nicer, and the smiles plentier. As an eight teen year old born and raised eastsider, June mountain is home to many of the best days of my life. I’ll never forget my first time airing out of the pipe, climbing on top of antler bar to drop into the face, and my first backcountry turns down the hour glass. The mountain where my father could take me skiing on Wednesdays because locals skied free is down, but I hope not out! I’d drop my savings for a share in a local co-op.

  • do it switch

    I wonder if june will join the old Iron mountain.. I sure hope not june is where as a kid learned to pizza and frenchfry
    I bet all the meth addicts are chomping at the bit to steal all that copper wiring at june

  • Colin

    I’d put money down that June reopens and that MMSA is going to do their damndest to get an interconnect going. They’ve been trying for decades to compete with Summit Co., the Cottonwoods, and Whistler for international tourist dollars. An interconnect with June would help them do that.

    I’m not saying that’s a good thing necessarily, but it’s certainly compelling to them if they can figure out the finances.

    • Lifty

      Damn an interconnect would be so, so sick (crossing right by the Minarets!) but apparently the bottleneck is the airport – it’s not big enough to handle big planes, the approach is sketchy and the weather closes it too often – so MMSA can’t really attract the international gapers. At least that’s what they told me when I worked there. But then again the brass at MMSA was always mega-lame, so I take that with a grain of salt.

      Sad day. I’ll always love June. On a powder day you could literally ski across the parking lot and take your skis off at your car door.

  • Jerry

    I think Mammoth just dumped this whole affair back into the laps of the USFS. I think the ultimate plan of connecting Mammoth and June is pushing this.Maybe not?

  • brian

    anyone have any inside info on the negotiations between mammoth and the usfs about connecting the two resorts?

    it would be awesome for you guys if a shames style co-op took over, but if a full sized company like mammoth couldnt deal with the annual losses anymore, it seems like financially it would be a very tough sell for locals. that idea is only supported by the fact that mammoth is the better ski option. it seems like a more likely outcome is that mammoth sells it on the cheap to some other company (with pretty deep pockets) that tries to take a stab at it

    • deaf forever

      How to become a millionaire : Start with 10 million and buy a failing ski resort.

      Voila !

      Maybe a few Aussie lotto winners could have a go at it.

    • Disgusted and Disgruntled

      First of all…do you know how far June is from Mammoth? About 20 miles…there is not going to be any connect. It’s not like Whistler and Blackcomb where they just had to put up a gondy. Too much land in between and the FS permit is not gonna happen. Also, there are NO negotiations about the permit or land between the FS and MMSA. The FS had no restrictions on the operating permit for June. MMSA literally called them on the Wednesday night before their prospective opening day on Thursday and told the FS they weren’t opening. The local spokesperson for the FS had to prepare a statement overnight. MMSA pulled the rung, not the FS. Now, MMSA might actually be in violation of their operating permit, because they are NOT operating!

  • Anonymous

    Even though Mammoth is shutting down June mountain I don’t think it is going to stop people from skiing its quiet runs and powder. Even though its “closed” you can still hike June mountain. I always have wanted to ski June mountain and even though its closed It isn’t going to stop me.

    Mammoth can take away the chairlifts, lodge, employee’s, ski patrol, and groomers They can never take away the mountain…ski it up your just gonna have to hike it.

  • Flax Fjord

    How about reducing the number of open lifts, reducing days open per week, and add some cat trips (at least do something for those that have already paid for season passes). Mammoth could then reduce the subsidy and promote the quiet and serene nature of the mountain to a more holistic demographic, thus increasing visitation.

  • Robb

    This is real. unfortunately. Rusty Gregory is a dick. The mountains will not be connected. June mtn has never turned a profit and has been kept open and ran as a local secrecy out of love for the place. Dave McCoy had plans to connect but couldn’t make it happen. I doubt anything has changed. Starwood/Intrawest/Rusty all want it closed. They would rather have huge paychecks then see a touch of red for their customers

  • Luv June

    As long time enthusiasts of June Mountain, we are so sad! With a family that has to arrange their skiing around school holidays, June has always been a sanctuary on those crazy, out of control holiday weekends at Mammy. June Mountain, with its’ Best Vibe in the Nation designation will truly leave a huge void in so many that love that Mountain. BRING JUNE BACK!!!

  • Andrea

    I agree Rusty is a dick. And as much of a “secret” June is it was ALWAYS full when it dumped. People parked and walked the whole parking lot was jammed packed. It may not have the international attraction that Mammoth has but it wasn’t desolate either. We got to the mountain when it opens to avoid the crowds. This losing money stuff is questionable. And I bought a season pass for both mountains so I EXPECT TO SKI BOTH MOUNTAINS. This is going to devastate the local town too. They were sideswiped an had no heads up. I hope this enrages others to take action! OCCUPY JUNE!

  • michael Bogash

    As a long time part time resident of June Lake, I am saddened by the news. I learned to ski at this wonderful place in 1972. My wife and children learned to ski there, we have been season pass holders for many years (not mvp). Yes, the business end of the mountain was horribly managed. It was like Mammoth purposely tried to keep it down. They did not improve, and most importantly PROMOTE the “Gem” of the Sierra. If promoted properly, and people even knew of the mountain, it would be a success. Our hearts go out to all of our friends who own the local businesses in town. Hopefully something good will become of this, like Mammoth is out and ANYBODY else is in. My family will SURELY be boycotting Mammoth. Cross Country rentals from Ernies sounds great for the next season, please support all local business.

  • Grumpy

    I’m really sorry that June Mtn is closing down. I loved to go there because it was so much less crowded. I have been able to teach many family memebers to ski and snowboard there because it wasn’t crowded. In fact, I was planning to teach my niece this coming year. I have been on the mountain when it felt like the mountain had been opened up “Just for my family, only !” That was a great feeling when we felt very special. Of course, it hadn’t been opened to just my family, it just wasn’t crowded that day ! I hope they open it back up soon. The town of June is just so cute and quaint ! I love it there !!

  • Christine

    I used to drive an extra half hour from Independence just to ski at June. I loved the uncrowdedness of it, the sound of the wind versus hideous piped music, slopes that were not littered with candy wrappers and energy bottles, the absence of drunken skiers and the absence of snow boarders flying out at you from the trees. I had great ski instructors. The closure of June means the closure of down hill skiing for me. It is very sad. I detest Mammoth. I will not go there. Way too crowded, way too dangerous because Mammoth skiers have decided they don’t have to live by safety rules or civility. I agree with the concept of making June into a coop for local use.

  • Junebug

    I just saw the announcement in the Register. I am agast! Most of my days on skies (as many as 80 a season) have been spent on June. I have always prefered June. There must be a way. If not, the east side just lost a reason for me to stay here now that I am retired.

    wd

  • skierboy

    what a great idea: it’s not making enough money, so we have to throw more at it and make it BIGGER! let’s see how that works. ya’ll should probably just set the boot pack now, it’ll make it easier this fall.

  • Alexandria

    It’s not just about a little mountain closing its going to turn June Lake into a ghost town. Families will move away due to no work, school’s will lose funding for lack of students. June mountain could be an amazing ski resort however mammoth does not give June a chance no money is put in to June! Hard for June to make money when Mammoth does not give June any to work with. Mammoth has new chairs, upgrades, marketing and advertising. Rusty said June does not make money well no kidding! The truth is Little June given a chance could give big Mammoth Mountain a run for its money.

    • Ha F'n Ha

      You are one confused Child sweety. A ‘run for its money’?

      Not a chance. even with all the upgrades you note

  • Jo

    Looks like we’ll be moving up the road to Tahoe, where the choice of ski resorts is plentiful and season passes cost 1/2 as much.

  • Krista

    Sad news. June was a great getaway from the crowds at mammoth.
    Lots of great memories at June. Hopefully something can be figured
    out. I will be praying that June will open again someday soon !!

  • BC Skier

    Everyone who is bummed because they will “have to” deal with the crowds at mammoth needs to open their eyes. There is a big world of mountains out there with no crowds. Stop complaining, and deal with it!

  • Disgusted and Disgruntled

    As a vet of the area, MMSA is full of money-hungry, ex-lifties who now run the show and don’t give a shit about their employees or the town (of Mammoth or June) so this does not come as a surprise. Why isn’t anyone talking about the hundreds – yes hundreds of people they laid off this year? People who have been working for MMSA/June for 20 years!!! Come on, let’s talk about the real issues!

    Ok, so ONE bad snow year, coming off the most EPIC year EVER! I know from experience that a “loss” is budgeted in to their operating budget, so screw them that they have to close anything. Just think of it this way…roughly, 40,000 Value Passes sold at $600ish each which is about 24 MILLION DOLLARS in April alone! That doesn’t include all the other passes they sell, the “Black Diamond Club” at like $20,000 a pop per person, lift tickets, ski school, retail, food yada, yada, yada…so I call BS on the whole “we lost money.” They prepare for this.

    Way to go Rusty for using the “bad” year to get rid of all your dead weight.

    But really – June Closing…oh well. June Lake is already a dead zone in the winter, anyone with half a wit knows it’s about summer anyway. The only people who are bummed are all the park rats and snowboarders who don’t ride big mountain. I don’t know anyone who skis big who cares about June closing (I’ll give it to the hikers, that’s it, though.) This old run-down grommet-infested, flat hill is not worth the time. An old wooden double to even get to any real hill – come on now. Real skiers who want some vert ski Mammoth.

    • Slow Ride

      Only person to get it right! June is a summer destination. Try getting a cabin or finding a fishing spot in the summer. The mt was only developed to try and make it a year round town which it didn’t even need. I loved the quiet uncrowded days of June as well but any smart person knows the mt isn’t going to pay for its self.

  • John J Nichols

    How sad! Serious skiers know how special and tough June Mountain is. I hope that MMSA knows how special June Mountain is and position it to grow in popularity. Perhaps it is a bit too far for the LA crowd who get tired just driving to Mammouth. In addition the Bay area crowd stop at the resorts in Tahoe. June needs to be a destination resort positioned for serious skiers who like steep vertical. Ah, but how do you attract the intermediates? Think about Aspen Highlands. June Mountain seems similar.

  • telemike

    Mammoth Mountain sends winter operating plan for June Mountain to forest service

    By Wendilyn Grasseschi
    wendilyn@mammothtimes.com

    October 19, 2012

    On Sept. 27, the Inyo National Forest sent a “letter of non-compliance” to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, putting the ski area on notice that leaving June Mountain closed indefinitely was not acceptable.

    The letter gave MMSA until Oct. 15 to respond. This week, it did, said Jon Reggelbrugge, the district ranger for the Mammoth and Mono Lake districts.

    “MMSA met the deadline and submitted an operating plan,” he said. “We are reviewing that plan. We may request some changes as we have some questions about some aspects.”

    The plan is about 20 pages long, he said. There are no other deadlines as to how long the forest and MMSA can take to work out the details of the plan at this time, he said.

    He added that the decision to send the letter of non-compliance is subject to appeal by MMSA, and an appeal has to be postmarked within 45 days of the date of the letter (Sept. 27).

    So far, no appeal has been filed, he said.

    Here is a list of the “corrective actions” the forest service required from MMSA in the letter it sent out:

    Provide Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta with a list of actions and a schedule by which MMSA intends to analyze and plan for the sustainable future of June Mountain Ski Area.

    Provide a 2012-2013 winter operating plan that identifies how MMSA will provide for public safety and ensure infrastructure, equipment, and supplies are secured and monitored. The plan has to address monitoring, avalanche control, signage, and emergency notification procedures.

    By June 30, 2013, provide a summary report documenting MMSA’s plan for sustainable operation of June Mountain.

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    I have submitted a FOIA request to the Inyo NF to get a copy of the operating plan and will share it with you.

    ~mike

  • Pingback: June Mountain to Re-Open For 2013-2014 Season - Unofficialnetworks.com

  • richardredhead

    Skied June regularly from from the mid 70′s to about 1990. Then moved closer to Tahoe, have been skiing there ever since. Although I haven’t given June much thought over the last 20 years, it still breaks my heart to hear this sad news. Many, many wonderful trips as newlyweds, with friends and family. Even as novice skiers in the 70′s we appreciated the uncrowded slopes, but always wondered how they could possible make a financial go of it with such small crowds….even on the weekends. If you stayed mid week, you truly “had the place to yourself” Sounds like reality has finally hit. Without the sorely needed upgrades, advertising and promotion, it was inevitable. Really sorry we never took the time to revisit the place now that we’re old codgers. Too bad. Have lots of photos, and even a few 8mm movies (!) from the old days. Will have to dig them out for a trip down memory lane…no doubt will cause a few tears to be shed.

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