Ski area land exchange collides with June Mountain

june_mt.jpgJune Lake residents, fearful that June Mountain will either not re-open or will fail due to lack of facilities, reached for what they think may be their only leverage – pressure on the Forest Service to make Mammoth Mountain’s land exchange at the Main Lodge contingent on a successful June Mountain. The Mono Supervisors expected to hear from residents on that Tuesday. Letters in the Board packet show that most environmental groups support the land exchange.  Citizens want the land trade contingent on the opening of a sustainable June Mountain.

The last item on the Supervisors’ agenda is a request from Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory for a letter in support for the land exchange between the US Forest Service and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. That trade has been in the works for some 15 years. In it, the Forest Service would give the Ski Area acreage at the Main Lodge in exchange for close to 100 acres around Mono Lake that the Ski Area bought from the Cunningham family.

Officials said the item was nearly pulled from the agenda because Mammoth Mountain wanted to wait for additional information. No Ski Area officials were expected at the meeting. Supervisor Tim Alpers said he will set another discussion on this issue at a meeting in April. Alpers said that the item would go forward Tuesday for public input.

The agenda packet includes letters from June Lake residents and local environmental groups. The Mono Lake Committee, Eastern Sierra Land Trust and Friends of the Inyo all support the exchange for land around Mono Lake. The environmental groups say the trade will protect natural resources in the Mono Basin. They say nothing at all about June Mountain or the June Lake community.

One environmental group, however, did support a better June Mountain. The Range of Light, Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club did support the land exchange but said a commitment from Mammoth Mountain regarding June Mountain should “involve substantially more than a vaguely expressed oral or written statement by Mammoth Mountain to do something.” The Club said Mammoth needs to upgrade June or sell it.

Some ten letters from June Lake citizens oppose the Mono Supervisors’ endorsing the Ski Area land trade and plead for support, instead, of an open and improved June Mountain. One resident, Joe Blommer, said the land exchange should be based on the “submittal, approval and public disclosure of Mammoth Mountain’s plan for June Mountain’s sustainability.”

Mammoth Mountain submitted information to show the numerous improvements in the skiing facilities that would be made on the exchanged land. The Mountain also points to a considerable tax benefit for the County, based on Main Lodge improvements.

Officials estimated that this item would come up for public input at around 2:30 Tuesday afternoon.


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47 Responses to Ski area land exchange collides with June Mountain

  1. Robin March 13, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    Joe Blommer and his wife do live in June. Their son goes to Lee Vining schools where they are active in the PTSO and Boosters. They both work either out of town, due to jobs or at home, when home. Yes, his family owns a fabulous candy company. Lets move on. Face it, June will not open under Rusty’s reign. He has wanted to close it for 8 yrs. and put it in motion then.

  2. ferdinand lopez March 7, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    im gonna buy a submarine to pull all the drunks outa june lake if they build a casino

  3. MJA March 7, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Sadly Rusty’s land exchange issue I think was only a poor excuse for closing the ski area,
    That is why he is not at the meetings.

    I think turning June into a municipal ski area is the best to Way.
    Save June!

    • Mark March 7, 2013 at 11:54 am #

      municipal ski area? lets put it up to a vote right now.

      Thumbs up = municipal ski area

      thumbs down = no municipal ski area

    • Reality Check March 7, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

      The only reason that the ski area would have to be made into a municipal ski area is that business people have done the math and discovered that June Mountain simply cannot operate at a profit. This means that it would have to be subsidized with taxpayer money.

      There is no way that the people of Mono County should, would or could subsidize June Mountain when they are having difficulty keeping their Paramedic Program running.

      Neither the Board of Supervisors or the USFS can force a private company to operate a business at a loss. It is unconstitutional.

      These are the times we live in. June Lake needs to deal with reality, or reality will deal with them.

      • MJA March 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

        Rather than public subsidies I think it could be run for cost.
        A balanced profit and loss is all it needs.


  4. Another Facility Shut Down March 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    Reminds me of when they closed the MAMMOTH Motocross track back in the early 2000. Emergency closures limit are 5 years. We are now approaching 10 years and still no Public use after the Race. Come on Mono County Supervisors talk to Armenta about a permit for both recreation facilities getting back open to the public on Public Land in Mono County limits. Don’t you think We need the T.O.T money bad? A post About Rusty getting to many favors from our Local Mono U.S.F.S John R is really starting look worth filing an investigation, and Audit both M.M.S.A and U.S.F.S books
    for special $$ favors.

  5. Big AL March 6, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    I don’t think doomed Dingo .. it may be in for a change of direction .. or change in something lol .. but it will be OK .. as most of the town is not tied to the ski area .. ya know .. people will still live there either in retirement and or vacation living.

  6. Wayne Deja March 6, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    ….Slots……Ask the residents there if they wanta turn June Lake into a gambling mecca….my guess is their answer would be a resounding no.

    • Gambling and revenue March 7, 2013 at 6:31 am #

      Wayne, If the residents are against business ventures that may attract lots of dollars (ie. Casino gambling) then they get what they deserve – a dying community. I realize this may sound cold, but no community has the luxury of being a bit too conservative, when it comes to generating dollars, today.
      But it’s up to them. I believe a casino just might be the answer.
      I understand Temecula’s project has turned that community completely around. First class dining, concerts, hollywood-style productions …

      • Native American Gaming & June Mountain March 7, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

        Tribal casinos in California generate nearly 4.8 billion dollars annually. The Native American gaming industry didn’t show the negative tendencies during and after economic crisis of 2007-2009, in contrast to Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
        After only a year or so, enough money could be generated via casino monies generated that the people of June could buy the entire mountain if they wanted to.

        • getaclue March 7, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

          Be careful what you ask for. Indian Casinos don’t have to pay State taxes only Federal and I don’t see the Feds wanting to kick anything into June Lake. Take a look at the Palace in Bishop. Do you really want this in June?

          • A mini-Lake Tahoe March 7, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

            I understand the casino in Bishop is growing by leaps and bounds and has become a local tourist destination/stop for the hoards of visitors from the south on their way to Mammoth.
            Those same visitors would most certainly do the same thing (stop and spend) in beautiful June Lake. Like a miniature Lake Tahoe June could be.

      • Wayne Deja March 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

        Gambling and Revenue…..A dying community ?…That is what people have been saying about Bridgeport for ages…and guess what ?….Bridgeport is still alive and well with LOTS to offer tourists.Same with June Lake..still lots to offer visitors.Some ,if not most of their residents don’t want to turn their quaint little town upside-down with gambling casinos,rowdy taverns and the like,hoping it generates more $$$….June Lake is going to survive…maybe I’m being old-fashion, and speaking for myself,I wouldn’t want my town growing any larger,even though it might bring in more jobs,and possibly mean more money in my pocket.Again,speaking of my situation,I lived in Lancaster for 30 years,and still have connections down there…Doing the work I do now,I could make a LOT more if I were to move back to Lancaster….but I choose not to because I like where I’m living now,and wouldn’t want to deal with that crowded,rowdy,crime-riddled city.Remember a couple years ago when “Cougar Gold” was attempting to force their mining operations onto Bridgeport and the Bodie Hills with their double-talk,and how it would generate all these jobs for the Bridgeport residents ?…..The majority of Bridgeport residents seemed like they didn’t want that to happen,even though it might have meant more $$$ and jobs for their community.I’m willing to bet the people of June Lake feel that same way about a gambling casino,and the problems that would bring into their town.

        • location, location, location March 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

          Bridgeport is entirely dependent on its being the county seat of Mono County.
          Always fearful that someday the taxpayers will get wise and insist on relocating the county seat to where it belongs – closer to the majority of the taxpayers in Mammoth Lakes.

          Oddly enough, Tim Fesko, who must commute all the way from Walker to council meetings (poor dear), is lobbying to move the entire Mono County operations to Bridgeport (Because that’s the way it’s always been).

          Love to see a referendum on THAT logic. :>

          • Wayne Deja March 7, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

            ….Here we go !!

          • erik simpson March 8, 2013 at 9:38 am #

            Aww Wayne, you’ve fired up that clown again! Be careful what you write, if you rub the wrong bottle you can summon the wrong genie.

        • Great Depression II March 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

          During the Great Depression Wayne, those in power (like today) took advantage of depreciating real estate (like today) then swooped down and bought up all the foreclosures. Buying low and selling high in the real estate market has for decades, made fortunes for many, many Californians.
          But the tide has clearly turned and though you’ll never hear this from any realtor: “I would rent if I were you” it is not at all an impractical idea.

          Personally, I would stay clear of anything that resembles a city. It’s gonna get ugly … real ugly…as we enter Great Depression II.

  7. Dingo March 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    Unfortunately, I think June Mountain Ski area is doomed. Sorry everyone.

    • Slots 'n Slopes March 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

      How about an Indian casino for June Lake?

    • Build it, they'll come March 7, 2013 at 7:28 am #

      Pechanga’s in Temecula: World class entertainment, top-notch hotel rooms, fine dining, pool, spa …

      Unfortunately you will have those that will whine: “But casinos are run by Indians! … And Indians ain’t even Americans!

  8. esfotoguy March 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    wrong!!!! I was the census taker for June Lake in 2010 they had me do it because I’ve lived here that long…. I would remember that name because its the same last name as an old friend. Once again who is this very quoted person?

    • MtnHiker March 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

      Esfotoguy, you were not the only census taker in June Lake in 2010. And 13 years is not that long to have lived in a place.

    • Junelocal March 7, 2013 at 10:35 am #

      They don’t give you the job because you have lived in the area for a long time. hahaha This is comedy. You get the job because they need someone and you apply!

  9. SierraFan March 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm #


    Let the swap go through it’s course! Like Karen says, it’s great for many other reason. And think about it… if June doesn’t open or stay open then the Forest Service will try to force the sale to an operator that will turn this piece of heaven into something more than what it has been. We need summer crowds other tun fisherman! WE appreciate them for sure but wouldn’t it be nice to create a place that’s more of a family destination with things like zip lines, etc. Go to Big Bear or Squaw Valley sometime and see what family activities there are. Heck, Mammoth doesn’t even totally get it when it comes to that!

  10. Get Real March 6, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    The June Lake community’s effort to extort a private company into running a ski resort that is not financially viable will not work out well for them. The fact that there are not any investors lining up to purchase June Mountain speaks loudly. A business that can only thrive in the best of economic times, will not be able to thrive in the economic times we live in now. Businesses all over the country that can only turn a profit when the country is in an economic boom, have closed.

    June Lake is one of the many victims of the the country’s continued belief in the Infinite Growth Paradigm.

    I truley wish June Lake and it’s people the best.

  11. Karen March 5, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    Just to clarify: the letter of support for the land exchange written by Eastern Sierra Land Trust was written in 2011, long before the closing of June Mt. and current controversy. In addition, there are properties besides the Cunningham parcel that are included in the exchange. These lands contain many important resources such as wildlife habitat and historic sites.

    • alice March 7, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

      It looks like Friends of Inyo may be reconsidering their support as well

  12. MtnHiker March 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Esfotoguy, you crack me up! You’ve lived here 13 years and you obviously don’t know everyone. Your opinion is just that – “your opinion”. And, everyone else is entitled to theirs.

  13. Mr. Potter and power March 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Like Mr. Potter in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Rusty Gregory has gone power-mad. Why not for once call Mr. Potter’s bluff when he threatens to take his ball and go home? Doubtful that he would close the mountain for any reason. This man has way too much power in Mammoth.
    Time for the citizens to unite and put pressure on the elected officials who are Gregory’s stooges.

    • Mark March 6, 2013 at 7:51 am #

      Your elected officials or stooges as you call them are no match for Mr. Gregory.

      As the saying goes “Business is Business” It won’t be the first or last time a businessman takes his investments elsewhere.

      You will never get Mr. Gregory to do anything he doesn’t think is a wise business decision.

      June Lake is dead, just like Indy and a few other towns in the Eastern Sierra. Might as well board the windows and wait for fishing season.

      • Econ 101 March 6, 2013 at 10:19 am #

        Mark –
        It’s highly doubtful that Rusty Gregory would ever close down the biggest money maker in Mono and Inyo County – Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.
        Why the town council bends to his every wish and command is a total mystery?
        Also doubtful is fishermen will be the new economy.

        • Mark March 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

          I wasn’t thinking Mammoth. I was speaking of keeping June closed, until forced to sell. Of course then there would have to be a buyer too. Perhaps he’d just remove the lifts and return the area to it’s natual state.

          The town council bends to Rusty’s every move because Rusty is bigger then God in Mono County, and council is completely out of their league when dealing with the man.

  14. esfotoguy March 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Although he is quoted in the local press a lot,I dont see him at town clean ups,We dont see him at chamber meetings, We dont see him at CAC meetings.On the mountain. IWe didnt see him at the snowfest, revitalization events, at the local eating establishments or the meeting w/ Rusty. Outsiders/newcomers are noticed pretty quick in this town .But nobody knows of him.. Is he like Mr Bogash- a second homeowner w/ a loud voice? My point being….there are many many long time locals who know the area/politics/issues who could give waaaay better knowledge and opinions to things as important as the mountain closing. WHO IS THIS GUY?

    • Benett Kessler March 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

      Why not open your mind and let people in? One of the great strengths of America is the right of free speech. Every one here has that right.
      They don’t have to attend social events to earn it. Lighten up.

      • Big AL March 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

        Yeah I read what people have to say, I admit I was not so cordial in some past dialogs I had to step back and see my emotions riding herd on the lead horse into battle. I have had to redirect the emotions and … mellow out. I try to say it in a positive way, and speak how I see it … in that same way. It’s good therapy, try it sometimes.

        • Mammothite March 6, 2013 at 7:42 am #

          Good for you, Big Al. Not everything has to be viewed as going into battle.
          People get hurt (even killed) with that sort of warfare mindset.
          Our destructive emotions are down there quite deep and sometimes surface without any awareness of them. I have found that focusing or meditating on compassion for all sentient beings works wonders. And in time, with repetitious practice, the destructive emotions that surface are just a mere nuisance and easily dismissed. We’re all in this thing together, aren’t we?

        • Say farewell to Yellow Journalism March 7, 2013 at 6:25 am #

          Big Al –
          If you (like so many people) have developed a habit of tuning into certain extreme-right talk-radio programs (ala Rush Limbaugh, 3 straight hours a day, 5 days a week and reruns on weekends) you might also want to try to scale back on that sort of divisive Yellow Journalism. I’ve known people (mostly boomers) who have done so and today freely admit they have way less anger and even hatred for Democrats.

          • Yellow Journalism defined March 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

            Yellow journalism, or the yellow press, is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news or facts and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers.Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism. By extension, the term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.

            Yellow press newspapers (I know of a local one) cover a variety of topics, such as sports, local politics and scandal, with heavy reliance on unnamed sources, and unabashed self-promotion. The term was extensively used to describe certain major New York City newspapers about 1900 as they battled for circulation.

            Frank Luther Mott (1941) defines yellow journalism in terms of five characteristics:[3]
            1.scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news
            2.lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings
            3.use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudoscience, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts
            4.emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips
            5.dramatic sympathy with the “underdog” against the system.

    • lives2ski March 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

      Blommer and his wife are NIMBY’s that built an expensive home in June a few years ago. Neither one of them are employed by local businesses. Not sure what he does, (CALTRANS?) I think she works out of the house for a company out of LA.

      Either way, everyone has a right to their opinion!

      • Big AL March 6, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

        What is a NIMBY?

      • Junelocal March 7, 2013 at 10:32 am #

        Their family has a chocolate business from what I understand. Not sure if they own it or parents or what, but the chocolate is AMAZING! Don’t be so scared of a new face in town. It can be a good thing!

  15. esfotoguy March 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    13 yrs living here in June Lake,Ive never met Joe Blommer and I dont know anyone that knows him…..Oh well. The folks in June need to stop talking about a new chair 1. With the regulations in this state, the cost, and the regulations w/ the forest service, it would take years just to get the permit process going. There has to be a approved plan submitted,engineers, an e.i.r..,and all the other hoops and politics involved in putting a new chairlift in. No plans for a new lift has been submitted.And nothing is planned.

    • MtnHiker March 5, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      He and his wife have built a house here and live here full time. They are extremely supportive of local businesses. Guess you just haven’t met them yet.

    • Big AL March 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

      Hey, I know who that Blommer guy, he’s some sort of a mountaineer from what I hear, not sure.

      • Big AL March 5, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

        Somebody said he looks like that guy on the Dos Equis commercials LOL Is that true? Said he acted like him too.


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