Forums Splitboard Talk Forum June Mountain resort closed next season
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  • #577067
    jimw
    1421 Posts

    I’m sure a lot of the eastside locals and folks on this forum already know about this, but I just found out myself and didn’t see an existing thread so I thought I’d spread the news. This is a major bummer for the eastern Sierra town of June Lake. I just went there for the first time this season, and it was such a cool low-key vibe… not to mention the fact that they had a $20 one-way ticket for lift-accessed sidecountry runs in some amazing terrain! More discussion here:

    http://forums.mammothmountain.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=13693
    http://www.telemarktalk.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=83449

    #657419
    saign
    330 Posts

    I heard last week, it is sad for the town and employees. I rode that mountain for over ten year when mammoth was busy….

    On the bright side it’s gonna be wide open pow laps on the face all day, just a short skin up the cat track. You can’t ask for easier accessed steep, deep pow than that….it ‘ll be easier than the sherwins.

    I wonder if there’s going to be anyone there to stop you from bringing sleds?

    #657420
    christoph benells
    717 Posts

    the negatives are no longer sidecountry 😥

    #657421
    saign
    330 Posts

    @christoph benells wrote:

    the negatives are no longer sidecountry 😥

    Now that depends on how hard you want to work. There are still plenty of routes that wont take that much more work. The tough stuff are the routes off of j6

    #657422
    Scooby2
    620 Posts

    So, when is Alta closing down? they have great parking lots!

    #657423
    hoglord
    202 Posts

    Bummed to hear that. I really like J Mt.

    #657424
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    I’ve been really sad about it too. June is where I made my first turns ever (albiet on skis). My dad loved the smaller, family-oriented vibe and took us there instead of Mammoth at least 1/2 the time.
    Guess it was never really that viable though… I read that it hadn’t operated with a profit since 1986 or something.

    #657425
    bcd
    232 Posts

    Details are still coming out, and there’s a lot of speculation as to what this is really all about. Some seem to think it’s a scare tactic to the town of June Lake.

    A few years ago, management (Mammoth Mountain) wanted to build a hotel/village at the base of June Mountain, and the town wouldn’t allow it.

    So, some people think that this is management’s way of saying “Hey June Lake, let’s see how you feel about things after a winter without any revenue”. If that’s the case, then there is hope it will be open again in the future. Along with a nice hotel.

    But, the fact is, June Mountain has not turned a profit since 1986. So it could be as simple as that. Enough is enough, and they finally decided to just pull the plug.

    Here’s the tricky part: The lease states that if the land isn’t used for two years, they are required to return it to its natural state. That won’t be easy, or cheap to do. So if they are looking to cut their losses on June Mountain, it would probably make better financial sense to sell it for pennies than it would to remove all infrastructure. Someone will buy it, if the price is right.

    In the meantime, no one knows what this means for access next winter. But The Face could become the new sled-skiing hotspot. There’s a lot of fun terrain directly above the parking lot. And even without a snowmobile, you could probably skin to the top faster than that damn chairlift could ever take you.

    #657426
    jbaysurfer
    947 Posts

    I think this is quite simple consolidation. Mammoth didn’t want to send people to June because they get more revenue per skier at MM. I have literally recieved THOUSANDS of marketing emails from MM, and I can probably count on one hand how many of them even had the words “June Mountain” in them.

    Add up a ridiculous day pass expense, and the fact that (I believe) Mammoth has been attributing all season pass revenue to MM only (rather then at the resort the pass was used at), and you have a corporation tightening the belt and consolidating business to it’s more lucrative properties.

    I’m a long time June sidecountry rat, and I didn’t know until the day JimW referenced that June even OFFERED a $20 lift pass for BC access or I’d have been pumping my friends to come ride that awesome terrain with me way more then I have. Hell, I’d have probably taken a group out in that area for during the last eastside splitfest rather then spend Saturday on Red Cone. Just another example of failure to market by MM. Why steer people to June when it’s competing with MM for revenue? Why steer people to stay in June when the town (close partner with the mountain) of Mammoth Lakes gets TOT tax on everyone staying in Mammoth?

    This resort can be run in the black. It starts with someone who cares if it succeeds running it. MMSA is NOT that entity.

    Regarding the speculation it’s a strong arm tactic, I don’t see how that can be true when Mammoth Mountain itself has laid off 20% of their full time work force suffered from serious revenue shortfalls, and can barely make it’s debt service payments as is. The town went bankrupt a few days ago. Officially filed. The real estate development party was over in ’06 which is when Intrawest went into recievership. Starwood/MMSA (Mammoth Mountain Ski Association) has no money for a large development in June even if they COULD get it by the townspeople (they wanted a huge hi-rise that dwarfed quite literally EVERY other building in the loop btw), and lastly, the Rodeo Grounds lot (this is the lot they wanted to build on) is now on the market asking 2.9M.

    I’m not really optimistic about June getting reopened, and even if it does I have a complete lack of confidence that MMSA can run it right. They’ve already proven the opposite, and admitted it publicly.

    I seriously doubt sled access to that cat track will ever happen. Recent Forest Service statements have indicated they DO intend to see to it that MMSA keeps it’s insurance covenants on the property, and that they make provisions for access. This to me means skinning it will likely be an option, but no way their insurance policy allows random sleds to use the property.

    I’m pissed, but you know what? I’m going to enjoy the relative quiet up in Yost Meadow this season, and it won’t be the first time I’ve climbed it from the highway.

    After buying season tix for my entire family to MM every year since 1998, I feel they’ve screwed some of my close friends that live in June and rely on that business to even have the most basic facilities in the winter. 1.5 million a year in losses? According to MMSA’s own report they spent that much on the snowboard park. They took June snowmaking capacity over to MM years ago, and have left that pathetic two person chair as the ONLY way to get into the resort. People can’t even SEE what they’re buying a ticket for from the Parking Lot. UGH!!!!

    OK, yes. I’m frustrated. See me rant over at the mamoth forums if you’re interested. But I’m still going to enjoy the hell out of that terrain this winter..so there’s that.

    Happy 4th everyone! Heading up to the eastside and my beloved June Lake today!!!!

    #657427
    maxpower88
    58 Posts

    @jbaysurfer wrote:

    I’m pissed, but you know what? I’m going to enjoy the relative quiet up in Yost Meadow this season, and it won’t be the first time I’ve climbed it from the highway.

    Right on jbay, I am really excited to join you on that mission. My wife and 11 year old dog did that hike on New Years day this year and it really wasn’t difficult at all, with snow and skins it should be a breeze.

    1/1/12 Yost Lake

    What about this drainage into Fern lake, have you ever been up there when it has snow? It looks like it would be a great place for an overnight type thing and it’s super close to Yost Meadow.

    #657428
    jimw
    1421 Posts

    Knowing some folks that grew up there, I just feel bad for what this means for the locals that live there and have businesses there. Seems like a real possibility that the town could become pretty much summer-only. If for some reason they decide to also not plow the road… that would be the nail in the coffin. Dunno if that’s a possibility, who handles that currently, if it has anything to do with the ski area etc.

    #657429
    jbaysurfer
    947 Posts

    Yeah Jim, I thought of that too, but I have no idea who plows it…I’d guess caltrans though. Bear Valley east of Angels Camp (east of Stockton) is unplowed in the winter too. There’s a guy who stores and trickle charges snowmobiles for cabin owners. The upshot is that you can ski back into town from the mountain, but that’s how June is too. Bear Valley Ski Resort is open though, so that’s one difference. 😕

    MaxP:
    That’s an option too. Just over your right shoulder in that pic is the entrance to devils slide. I think there are more lap options in the Yost drainage, but you could easily climb up, drop the negatives, climb back up and drop back down to fern.

    #657430
    Ecobrad
    2068 Posts

    Hey Jaybay–Not sure where you got your info but Highway 4 is plowed to Lake Alpine, 7 or 8 miles east/past the little town of Bear Valley.

    @jbaysurfer wrote:

    Yeah Jim, I thought of that too, but I have no idea who plows it…I’d guess caltrans though. Bear Valley east of Angels Camp (east of Stockton) is unplowed in the winter too. There’s a guy who stores and trickle charges snowmobiles for cabin owners. The upshot is that you can ski back into town from the mountain, but that’s how June is too. Bear Valley Ski Resort is open though, so that’s one difference. 😕

    #657431
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Nice photo Max… Fern Lake was my first overnighter way back in teh 2nd grade. What a beautiful spot!

    #657432
    jbaysurfer
    947 Posts

    @ecobrad wrote:

    Hey Jaybay–Not sure where you got your info but Highway 4 is plowed to Lake Alpine, 7 or 8 miles east/past the little town of Bear Valley.

    @jbaysurfer wrote:

    Yeah Jim, I thought of that too, but I have no idea who plows it…I’d guess caltrans though. Bear Valley east of Angels Camp (east of Stockton) is unplowed in the winter too. There’s a guy who stores and trickle charges snowmobiles for cabin owners. The upshot is that you can ski back into town from the mountain, but that’s how June is too. Bear Valley Ski Resort is open though, so that’s one difference. 😕

    ‘Sup Brad.

    Yeah, I actually knew that, but I was referring to the town roads in the town of bear valley. I have a good buddy who has a house up there (we’re going next month actually! It’ll be my first non-winter visit to the area) and he’s the one who told me about the snowmobile storage guy. Last time I was there I met some locals at the lodge (right at the edge of town near the highway, and skinned up to a house party in town.

    I could easily see June becoming similar to that. Hopefully not, but I was a bit discouraged by the mono county board of supervisors meeting with Rusty Gregory last week.

    #657433
    Ecobrad
    2068 Posts

    Bear Valley is cool.

    #657434
    junew
    1 Posts

    @saign wrote:

    I heard last week, it is sad for the town and employees. I rode that mountain for over ten year when mammoth was busy….

    On the bright side it’s gonna be wide open pow laps on the face all day, just a short skin up the cat track. You can’t ask for easier accessed steep, deep pow than that….it ‘ll be easier than the sherwins.

    I wonder if there’s going to be anyone there to stop you from bringing sleds?

    Glad you are able to see the brighter side of the issue. 🙂 Unfortunately for me, I think I will plan my winter vacation and go to a sunnier place after hearing this news. There are some great deals at Downtown San Diego Hotels, so I think the beach will be my vacation this winter instead of the mountains.

    #657435
    maxpower88
    58 Posts

    Skinned up June last weekend and had memorable ride down. Super fresh and super fun…

    #657436
    saign
    330 Posts

    Nice! Was the face still to boney or did you get some?

    #657437
    maxpower88
    58 Posts

    @saign wrote:

    Nice! Was the face still to boney or did you get some?

    The Face was pretty much all dirt but the Canyon trail had enough snow on it to skin up & sled down, so hiking down was kept to a minimum.

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