June Mountain Ski Resort Closes

After 50 years of continuous service, on June 21, 2012, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (MMSA) and Starwood Capital Group LLC, announced that they will close June Mountain ski area for the 2012 summer season and 2012/2013 winter ski season. Because June Mountain has been operating at a deficit since MMSA purchased the resort in 1986, the decision was made to suspend operations in order to properly plan for the reorganization and restructuring of the resort.

MMSA had originally planned to expand the Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain ski resorts by building additional ski areas along the San Joaquin Ridge, which would connect both resorts. Due to many unknown reasons, this vision never materialized.Intrawest had great plans to build a mixed-use development at the base of June Mountain ski area referred to as the “Rodeo Grounds”. This would have included approximately 400,000 square feet of new residential space, and 25,000 square feet of commercial space.

Clearly, over the past several years, there has been a strong anti-development group in June Lake, who didn’t want a “world class ski resort” in their backyard. This vocal anti-development group, who proudly displayed bumper stickers saying “Don’t Mammoth June”, has jeopardized the economic stability and future of a resort that relies solely on tourism to survive.

It is my opinion that if Intrawest would have been welcomed with their development ideas and gotten approvals to expand the resort area, the June Mountain ski area may have possibly survived the current economic downturn as well as last winter’s lack of snow. There appears to be an obvious connection between the timing of Intrawest’s abandonment of the June Mountain development plans and MMSA’s subsequent decision to close the ski area.

It was a difficult decision for MMSA, as it will impact the lives of the local residents, businesses and workforce. However, it’s all about dollars and cents. MMSA couldn’t continue to hemorrhage cash into an outdated operation. The development of the June Mountain ski area would have promoted tourism and maintained interest in this resort area. The resort needed to grow in order to have a sustainable future. ”If you build it, they will come”.

There is a lot of competition for today’s tourism dollar. The residents of the June Lake Village have to decide whether they want a thriving resort destination, and partner with development, or become the second ghost town in Mono County.

Verena Robinson, Broker/Owner
CA BRE License #01512209
Mammoth Lakes Resort Realty
tel. (760) 924-8521

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