MMSA employees report layoff of 75

mmsaAs snow finally fell heavily on Mammoth Lakes, so did the axe at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.  The serious drop in skier numbers and in revenue this season led to a reported layoff of as many as 75 permanent employees.

Word began circulating this morning that the lay-offs were underway.  Employees who heard the bitter news made phone calls to media and friends. Others entered posts on Facebook. Sierra Wave has calls in to Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory for more detail.

Last week, Gregory told us that the low snow year and the perception that winter had never really arrived seriously hurt ski resorts across the country.  At Mammoth, Gregory said revenues had dropped by 30% and skier visits by 36% from projections.  Gregory responded with 10% reductions in salaries and cuts for year-round hourly employees.  Gregory cut his own pay by 15%.

Last week, Gregory said he and department heads were managing things day by day.  The Mountain employee grapevine predicted layoffs eventually. They have apparently come sooner than later. Confirmation that layoffs had arrived appeared in phone calls and Facebook posts.  Some reports said there were long-time employees among those who no longer have jobs.

In terms of dollars and people, the 30% revenue drop amounts to $22 million of the usual $140 million annual Ski Area revenue.  The 36% drop in skier visits amounts to around 240,000 fewer visits.

The layoffs followed much earlier cuts in expenses, salary and hour cuts. This news added to the gloomy picture in Mammoth Lakes – Serious pressures on businesses that rely on tourists, loss of private sector jobs, loss of revenue to Town government and now a loss of Ski Area jobs.

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broke skier
broke skier
10 years ago

Also, what did upthecreek mean about Balboa? Does someone up there own a home on Balboa Island?

upthecreek
upthecreek
10 years ago
Reply to  broke skier

You got it.
And a nice big home on top of it.
Enjoy the nice weather Rusty

Wilderbeast
Wilderbeast
10 years ago
Reply to  upthecreek

I think we need upthecreek to apply for Mammoth town manager or run for city council. He has all the answers to the difficult questions and isn’t afraid to voice his opinion….

as long as he can do it under the cloak of anonymity.

truthbtold
truthbtold
10 years ago
Reply to  Wilderbeast

As far as I know, he never has any answers for anything, just his meaningless quips about much to do about nothing….

brokeskier
brokeskier
10 years ago
Reply to  upthecreek

Oh yeah, I think I know where its at.

broke skier
broke skier
10 years ago

Whats the deal with the ski area paying for the memorial for the Guy that was was accused of inappropriate behavior with the girl from Santa Barbara?

justalocal
justalocal
10 years ago

@Trouble – You are plain ignorant. Look at the facts. Don’t just spout off at the mouth. Have fun skiing Big Bear. We won’t even miss your type up here.

Trouble
Trouble
10 years ago
Reply to  justalocal

Justalocal- if you want to support a company that just let go 70 of your neighbors, go right ahead. But don’t rag on me for not supporting that company.

Rob
Rob
10 years ago
Reply to  justalocal

Justalocal – Any local that tells a SoCal skier they won’t be missed in Mammoth is a complete fool.

lbskier
lbskier
10 years ago
Reply to  Rob

Right on, Rob. It would seem that a lack of people from mainly SoCal is why MM is in this current situation. I’ve heard that sort of talk from quite a few locals, and it’s why I don’t visit anymore.

Trouble
Trouble
10 years ago

I for one will not go back to Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort or buy any of their stuff. Their just like the Dodgers owner, all bull. They’ll make their money ,while the working class get criticized for having to go on unemployment.

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Right on Trouble, you got that right, and i understand your thoughts, you’re so right about the working class taking it as usual. But we all take it in a situation like this. I like that you didn’t include the BS there, hehe. justlocal showed the ignorance that time, lol… Read more »

Dave
Dave
10 years ago

Remember back when Barry Sternlicht and Starwood Capitol purchased MMSA? There was this big buzz when he first came to town, wearing his quaint Norwegian knitted sweater. Upon first entering town, he reportedly was very underwhelmed by the lack of pizzazz, sophistication, and awe-inspiring architecture of our funky little 70’s… Read more »

CL
CL
10 years ago

Rusty posted a copy of the walking letter he gave out to the unlucky 75 employees on the mammoth forums if anyone is interested. “I’m crying as I write this” he says. Whatever Rusty, keep your tears, you let us all down. You ruined a really good company and you… Read more »

longtime local
longtime local
10 years ago

RECIPE FOR HEARTACHE Combine: 1 cup of lies – “There will never be another Black Monday…” “…the best Christmas ever…” with 1 cup of secrecy – Exactly what is MJSA’s ongoing budget and its guiding principles & goals? Why are the profits mismanaged to a point that the seemingly almighty… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  longtime local

Amen longtime local. It is just one more glimpse of how our society is falling apart, what made us great as a nation and a people is progressively evaporating. Care Companies and individuals do not care about employees so much any more. It is all about making money at all… Read more »

longtime loca
longtime loca
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Thanks, Big Al, for this response. My 17 year old son says much the same as you just did about our country, and that is sad. Yet, as you remind us, there is always hope for change, and there must be people who will stand up and cry out when… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  longtime loca

Yes amen

Former Employee
Former Employee
10 years ago

As a former mmsa employee who was laid off two years ago (remember 2009) this event does not surprise me one bit. Mammoth wanted to transform itself into a destination resort like Aspen and Whistler. They brought in top executives and top managers with six figure jobs to transform the… Read more »

Grrrr!
Grrrr!
10 years ago

Not enough, sad to say…

Shea
Shea
10 years ago

Sad that that it’s come to layoffs. I’ve been coming to Mammoth all my life but I won’t ski there again; prices are too high! Lift tickets are the highest anywhere. I can fly to Salt Lake, get a whole package with better condos/hotels for far less than it costs… Read more »

Marc
Marc
10 years ago
Reply to  Shea

Sorry but not only are Mammoth’s full price tickets not close to the “highest anywhere” bur Mammoth has sold virtually all lift tickets this season at $89 or less. Today they are $69 for a mountain that, unlike many of the higher priced ones, is 100% open.

Alanmademedoit
Alanmademedoit
10 years ago
Reply to  Marc

Clausen, is that you?

Hater
Hater
10 years ago

Well if you all want to know the real reason for all of this, it’s the fact that Rusty and Mark Clausen took out a bunch in loans (or refinanced their debt) with promises to the bank that they would better last season (a record breaking season) with thier EBITA.… Read more »

Steve
Steve
10 years ago
Reply to  Hater

I didn’t know banks still have “liar loans”

MeadowGal
MeadowGal
10 years ago
Reply to  Hater

Chop ended up coming out ok, thank goodness! He’s already working another job. At least he had the opportunity to find a new job. Seventy five others likely won’t.

Harry
Harry
10 years ago
Reply to  Hater

The bet was not on another record season, snow or guests. When trying to predict the future one looks at the past and the past has not been bad, steady growth.

Dave
Dave
10 years ago

Sad day in Mammoth for sure. Greed is destroying this country and this town. When is enough $$ just simply enough $$. Corporate greed and abuse of power always breaks the backs of the working and middle class of this country as soon as profits diminish in the short term.… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  Dave

There is nothing mystical about it. Much of the money the mountain takes in from all sources leaves town to finance other projects of Starwood Capital and Fortress Investments. And their agents manipulate and lie to our town leaders and get them to do stupid things like fund the airport… Read more »

MJA
MJA
10 years ago

Let them have it,
Who wants to work anyway,
Time to play,
Cheers,

Da Ski Bum

=

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
10 years ago
Reply to  MJA

MJA……Exactally how a LOT of people think when they can draw unemployment benefits for close to 2 years now….The name that you use says it all……..

MJA
MJA
10 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Thats what i would do, take a couple of years off!
Now get back to work.

=

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
10 years ago
Reply to  MJA

MJA………Problem with that is unemployment benefits are a lot less than you were making at the job you no longer”have” to go to.Which means your “time to play” isn’t nearly as much fun.And if your a bread winner with a family it also could mean some type of public assistance… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Oh yeah, the life of luxury on California with a maximum benefit of $450 a week. Let’s see — rent and utilities $800 a month — that leaves a wopping $400-$500 a month to live like a king on — as long as you don’t get sick or have car… Read more »

CHUNKY
CHUNKY
10 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Well, since tha govt. steals part of our hard earned money, every pay-check, WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE ENTITLED… to get everything and more BACK that WE CAN, Yes We Can… That’s What CHUNKY Thinks 🙂

jose chavez
jose chavez
10 years ago

while livng in mammoth, many yeas ago, there were droughts as well, the town some how managed to thrive!. yet in recent years, all i read is……”money, give me your money, how can we take tourist and home owners money….” you all get my point. I have no personal ties… Read more »

j-spoon
j-spoon
10 years ago

Yep. looks like Mammoth Mountain Ski Area… ” IS DONE SON “… any questions….!

Norman Clyde or regular guy
Norman Clyde or regular guy
10 years ago

My heart felt sympathy to all of the families that have worked as many as 20+ years for Mammoth Mountain. This is another great example of multi-national corporate greed that has torn this country apart including the small communities of the Eastern Sierra…the mountain has made record breaking profit for… Read more »

winnerwinnerchickendinner
winnerwinnerchickendinner
10 years ago

How to run a business – Mammoth 101 Phase 1 1) Have record breaking monetary season 2) Spend money on unnecessary improvements 3) Designate portion of profits for bonuses 4) Pay employees bonuses in funny money; passcash for pennies on the dollar 5) Keep lions share 6) Brag about donating… Read more »

boywhite
boywhite
10 years ago

Add to this list- Great Ideas/Mammoth Style 1-Village 1a-Gondola to a lodge that is closed most the year. 2.Patina Group/Etc…..Really? The food is horrible and overpriced. 3. Yoddler makeover(S)-The one place that was packed is now a boring cavern. 4. Chair 9 upgrade? 5. Chair 5 upgrade? 6. RFID? WTF-good… Read more »

Harry
Harry
10 years ago
Reply to  boywhite

Winnerwinnerchickendinner and boywhite, If Dave didn’t have financing backing his dream never would have come true. If the risks had not been taken and continuous improvements, addition/replacement of old lifts, building new lodges and other improvements there wouldn’t be the Mammoth Mountain we know and love today. All surface tows… Read more »

Stephoosh15
Stephoosh15
10 years ago

Wow…shades of 1991….I was laid off on President’s Day from June Mtn. and they shut the whole place down. I remember asthere were lots of long time year round employees laid off as well, one I remember had worked for Dave for 20+ years. I was rehired a week and… Read more »

Dave
Dave
10 years ago
Reply to  Stephoosh15

Thanks Steph for your story and insight and work w/ Park n Rec. There are people in this community who do appreciate your work and value to the town. Our town really needs some positive mojo right now. Can all the pessimists please go and toil in their own misery… Read more »

upthecreek
upthecreek
10 years ago
Reply to  Dave

So Tell me Dave
Just How many Town Managers does the TOML really need?

The FAT starts at the top.. Not the bottom

ggw

Dave
Dave
10 years ago
Reply to  upthecreek

How about you offer your services in the next town council election. You seem to have pretty strong conviction in your opinions on how gov should be run.

DisgruntledGovDrone
DisgruntledGovDrone
10 years ago
Reply to  Stephoosh15

Good for you Steph, Parks and Rec is actually one of the things that government does that is really for the people.
Sorry for everyone from the mountain that lost their jobs i hope things get better for you. Good luck

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Stephoosh15

Good post Steph.

Stinks
Stinks
10 years ago

Pretty much stinks…but the real question is “how is that hope and change” working out for you? 01/12/13

steve
steve
10 years ago

I hope TOML and MMSA does declear bankruptcy, wipe the slate clean from all the excess that once ruled over the Mountain community. Bring this community back down to earth and cater to the masses instead of the classes. This wanna be Aspen business model is a huge failure so… Read more »

boywhite
boywhite
10 years ago
Reply to  steve

funny thing is you bash/use aspen as your argument for??? There are tons of jobs tons of tourists in Aspen. Actually there is also great food and service. The service industry there is always hiring? So WTF is the bias? Are you mad because they always make money? Are you… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago

Repeat after me: The mountain is not for skiing — it’s to attract buyers for Starwood’s and Fortress’s property development. One should not expect to have a lifetime job working for a loss leader promotional device used to sell condos. It’s only a ski hill in the brochures.

enoughalready
enoughalready
10 years ago

Rusty, you told us “There will never be another Black Monday as long as I’m running the show” Well Rusty, we laughed then and we knew what you meant – there were still 6 days left in the week for you to work with. You picked a good day to… Read more »

longtimesierralocal
longtimesierralocal
10 years ago

Is Bankruptcy next ???

CHUNKY
CHUNKY
10 years ago

Yes Yes BANKRUPTCY BANKRUPTCY Is Next, Yes Lord let it be BANKRUPTCY praise jesus… That’s What CHUNKY Thinks 🙂

boywhite
boywhite
10 years ago

pretty F’ing Pathetic. The whole pedophile thing is just a weird side show. The weirder thing is that Rusty went out of his way to post his response to the upset resident that sent him that letter @ his work ? Why does everybody tell me that Rusty is really… Read more »

Harry
Harry
10 years ago
Reply to  boywhite

Chair 5 was something guests have asked to be changed to a high speed detachable for years. The RFID is the way of the future and makes sense, if parents separated from a child the last chair used by both can quickly be determined greatly reducing the child search area… Read more »

andrew
andrew
10 years ago

Take one for the team..Rusty

Bret M
Bret M
10 years ago

You know the sad part is most of the people laid off are NOT the upper management or the “highly regarded” SMG group. The ones on top who make the bad decisions of raising lift ticket prices beyond the average skier can afford or not storing the surplus profits from… Read more »

upthecreek
upthecreek
10 years ago

A sad day for mammoth..

GGW

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
10 years ago
Reply to  upthecreek

A sad day….but something they should have seen coming years and years ago,when the town first started caring about only one thing…and nothing else….MONEY….namely tourist money.

Hater
Hater
10 years ago

They have been laying people off since before the season even started. Lots of year round employees gone and with todays cuts, employees who have 25-30 years of service now gone. Thanks for the loyalty. Guess Rusty has totally gone back on his word about no layoffs. Good thing they… Read more »

Steve
Steve
10 years ago
Reply to  Hater

In a way you really don’t need such a huge staff to sell a product, have you been to MMSA’s website to see how many director/ head of / coordinator / manager positions there are. Talk about top heavy. Also look at the number of products they offer on their… Read more »

upthecreek
upthecreek
10 years ago
Reply to  Steve

The one thing we need to KNOW.

Rusty… How is the weather in Balboa?

gib corwin
gib corwin
10 years ago
Reply to  upthecreek

Do you mean Balboa Island?

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Steve

LOL good post Steve right on.

Harry
Harry
10 years ago
Reply to  Hater

Appropriate name, good choice, you know what you are.