Gregory will go public with new leadership team for MMSA

Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory

Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory

At the last Town Council meeting and in writing to employees, Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory talked about how Mammoth and June Lake have struggled, how the financial meltdown and recession have hurt, and how the worst droughts in the region’s history have caused lost jobs and businesses. He said while he will remain CEO, a new six-member leadership team will take over operations and business duties at the Ski Area. Gregory will hold an employee meeting and introduce the new team on Wednesday.

In a memo to employees, Gregory had laid out the woes of recent years and what he says is the need for “new vision and bold action.” He called it a time to “pass the baton to a new generation of leaders who dare to have this vision and possess the audacity to take the big risk, the guts to change the old ways and the energy to do the hard work to transform the opportunities of the future into realities.”

Gregory wrote that he will remain CEO but will step away from ski area operations and other duties. The memo said he will turn his focus on “attracting and deploying the considerable resources required for the company and the community to realize its full potential.” He has been no more specific than that since issuing the memo two weeks ago.

Gregory will introduce the new team to Mammoth Mountain employees in a meeting at 3pm Wednesday. When asked if he will issue information to the public following that meeting, Gregory said he would. Mono Supervisors also confirmed that Gregory planned to introduce his new team at their meeting Tuesday around 3pm during discussion of a recreation corridor and letter to Senator Feinstein.

, , ,

29 Responses to Gregory will go public with new leadership team for MMSA

  1. Ken Warner June 19, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Open letter to Byng Hunt.

    Byng Hunt,

    I can’t believe nobody can see through the real intent of Starwood’s spokesman Rusty Gregory and the machinations they are putting MMSA through. It’s like Kabuki theater, all form and little substance. The empty promises of wealth and prosperity the new puppet management team has been instructed to present as a whole new way of doing business that has suddenly just been discovered by a nearly 60 year old ski area. And all to gain ownership of some of the most valuable property on the East Side. Sacrificing June Mountain and June Lake is well within the plus side of the cost / benefit analysis given the value of what can be gained.

    And what will Starwood do if given the property at Main Lodge in trade for virtually worthless scrub and inaccessible wilderness much of which is not even in Mono County? The obvious thing (to me) is to sell MMSA to the next developer and walk away with a nice profit without lifting a finger.

    Now I support development of the Main Lodge area. I’d like to see a huge Las Vegas style hotel with two thousand rooms, shops, eateries and year round training facilities that could be used by anybody in Mono and Inyo County. But giving title to the most valuable property in the East Side to a real estate developer with a record of buying and selling property for profit is like a bamboozled country rube buying snake oil from a traveling salesman.

    Give MMSA a long term lease — sure. Let them develop away. But don’t just give away the title to people who do not have the best interest of Mono County in mind. Lease yes — title no.

    If the intent of MMSA/Starwood is really to develop and operate a large resort at Main Lodge forever, they wouldn’t complain about a long term lease with freedom to develop what they want. If they do complain, that would be a clear signal — I think — of their true intent to sell and make a profit.

    Ken Warner

    • Benett Kessler June 19, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

      Ken, Just some additional information – Rusty Gregory said the Mountain would likely not do the development of a new hotel, etc. They would work with a developer. Financing is partly reliant on land ownership.
      This is not a defense of anyone. Just more detail.
      Benett Kessler

      • Ken Warner June 19, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

        It’s easy to believe the web of money that would be needed will be so complex that unless you are on the board of directors of Starwood, you would never completely understand.

        MMSA is just another entity that is used to move money around Starwood’s business network. You can be sure that Starwood will overlook no detail. Financing will come from a network of investors in Starwood and the developer that you’ve alluded to will be fully controlled by Starwood. They are very smart.

        When they say, “…Financing is partly reliant on land ownership….” it’s really hard to know what that really means other than a veiled threat to pull all the empty promises of prosperity if they don’t get title. And once they get title, who knows what they will do.

  2. ferdinand lopez June 19, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    who are these magical team of dream makers,headhunters or a group of scientists who can predict the future of every L.A. skiier and the economy and the weather

  3. mmmMammoth June 19, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    What facts are we waiting for? Let’s just cheer him on again. Let’s develope the base of the mountain with condos. Let’s tax our businesses (visitors) to pay for advertising for MMSA. Let’s pay for the gigantic judgement that he had “nothing” to do with. Let’s focus on enlarging the airport to fly in really big empty planes. Instead of focusing on our built in los angeles customer base, let’s subsidize those empty planes so we can get visitors to fly over places like Colorado, Utah, and Tahoe to get here, that’ll work. What facts are we waiting for. Goooooooo Rusty!!!!!! So much to root for with RG still at the helm!!!!

    • Benett Kessler June 19, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      Life is so much more interesting with an open mind to discover what’s up. No judgments all the way around, just observation.

      • alice June 19, 2013 at 10:53 am #

        I am posting this again with the hope that the prior posting was removed inadvertently. I’m reserving judgement and will be observing what happens to this effort.

        I was one of a couple of people present at the BOS meeting yesterday who is opposed to the Mammoth Base Land Exchange. My committee has a very specific reason for opposing the trade. We want to see the changes at June Mountain actualized before MMSA gets the privilege of buying a prime piece of public land.

        Rusty brought out the troops with businessmen from Mammoth all in rapture about the great things which were going to happen for Mammoth when the land exchange goes through. I think that perhaps some air went out of the room when people realized how long the exchange is going to take and how long it’s going to be before Mono County gets that property tax on its books.

        But Rusty waxed eloquently about Andrea Lawrence and the dreadful conditions at the Mammoth Inn. He didn’t say so much (anything) about the densely populated condo complex which is really the main feature of the exchange. I wonder why.

        People will be shuttled from the airport to the base, barely seeing the brand new John Muir sign. I guess all of those business types will have to rent space up at the base to access those visitors.

        But as I said, our main concern is seeing that the improvements at June come to be. We’ll be on the lookout, for sure.

        Alice Suszynski
        Committee for a Viable June Mountain

        • Benett Kessler June 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

          Alice, We don’t constantly post. I was posting and saw your earlier comment.
          Nothing unusual happened.

          Benett Kessler

          • alice June 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm #


      • Watchdog June 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

        You’re starting to sound like one of those liberals, Benett.
        Are they getting to you?

  4. MJA June 18, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    I hope he gets it right! =

    • Don Gregory June 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      Gregory is just another one of those Republicans who feels when it comes to business – anything goes.
      What comes to mind is a famous line from the Godfather – “… it’s not personal it’s just business”

  5. Steve June 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    My guess it will be more of the same. My prediction is the new management team will have impressive backgrounds and Rusty will say how greatful MMSA is to have these people and they will all get very high salaries.
    Step 1) They will start transforming Mammoth again starting with a new logo that cost a bunch of money paid to a consulting first.
    2) Customer surveys will be conducted with an outside consulting firm with a heavy price tag.
    3) they will claim to have identify the target audience and additional targets for expanding their customer base.
    4) Raise ticket prices and ask for tax dollars to implement this well studied idea.
    5) A great year in snowfall and the managment says ithe plan worked and receives a big bonus.
    6) draught year and visitation drops.
    7) Mass layoff ensue, Senior management resigns to seek other opportunities, but will stay on as an advisor and congradulated on their contribution.
    8) Start the cycle again.

    • Benett Kessler June 18, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

      Why not wait to hear some of the facts?

      • Tourbillon June 19, 2013 at 6:44 am #

        O gosh, here’s Ms. Wet Rag raining on our parade. We are Americans and totally love pitching fits about the world as we imagine it to be, and then you come along with “facts” this and “facts” that, as if empirical evidence means diddly. “Facts” are so 18th century. Geez Benett what’s next on your antiquated agenda, a return to three pointed hats?

        • Facts are BAD?!!! June 19, 2013 at 8:39 am #

          Pretty frightening when the presentation of facts (as they pertain to an argument, difference of opinion, choices, opposite of barefaced lying, etc.) are viewed as “antiquated” and meaningless.

          I guess the only “facts” important to some in our society are found on the talk-radio programs.

          • Tourbillon June 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

            Google “satire”. And thanks for the hilarity. Unintentional blunder though it was. You really are too easy, Mr. Man of Many Names.

          • Benett Kessler June 19, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

            I got it, Tourbillon.

      • Really? June 19, 2013 at 8:10 am #

        Facts like we’ve just experienced four years of drought?

        • Desert Tortoise June 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

          Seems to me just two winters ago we had epic snow packs in the Sierra Nevada.

      • enoughalready June 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

        There are facts that can be proven. Thats a fact. Then there are Rusty’s facts. Rusty sure can prove them to be true in his world. The rest of us have a hard time seeing his facts as being the truth or proven. Excuses and facts are not the same thing.

  6. Ken Warner June 18, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    All the brave words and vision cannot undue the sever drought in the West or turn a world wide recession around.

    You can’t grow out of problems when there is no potential for growth. It’s not Rusty’s fault, it just the way things are and most likely will be — with brief respites — for the foreseeable future.

    • SierraFan June 19, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      Very well said Ken!

  7. Tom O. June 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    4 seasons ago Mammoth received the most ever in a season……the next year it got even more. He keeps mentioning a long tern regional drought. More deception/blame for failed policies/marketing.

    • Ken Warner June 19, 2013 at 9:14 am #

      Here’s one site that monitors the dourght in the West.

      One local event like a lot of snow in Mammoth does not indicate regionsl trends.

      • Tony Cumia June 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

        If Mammoth gets a dump night after night for a wk like 3 seasons ago., People down south could care less about a ‘regional’ drought. The care about deep snow.

    • Things going downhill for skiing June 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

      Things are going downhill fast for the United States’s $12.2 billion snow sports industry.

      Faced with warmer winters, less snow and all around shorter ski seasons, snow sports resorts are facing serious dips in profit.

      Last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council and climate-themed winter sports group Protect Our Winters released a report outlining the potential effect of climate change on the country’s skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling industries.

      According to the report, which drew on research from the University of New Hampshire, the downhill ski industry takes in about $1 billion less revenue during a poor snow season than it does during a good one. This lack of revenue translates to a loss of anywhere between 13,000 to 27,000 jobs.

      If current weather trends continue, average temperatures are estimated to rise between 4 and 10 degrees by the end of the century, which could cut the length of the snow season in half. In the west, this could mean a decline of snow depths by 25 to 100 percent.

      Many ski resorts across the U.S. have resorted to manufacturing their own snow, but this endeavor can be costly and can result in issues of water scarcity.

      “The industry hasn’t done a good job on educating leaders on the raw science and hasn’t made enough of a public statement on climate,” Auden Schendler, vice president of sustainability at the Aspen Skiing Company resort area in Colorado told the New York Times. “It needs to ramp that up radically in the same way that the insurance industry has recognized climate change as an existential threat.”

  8. curious June 18, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    Rusty: If you had not made such huge EBIT promises to Starwood to justify their cash layout for the resort and to get backing for ventures like the Patina group restaurant remake, would you still have a job?


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.