June Mountain Ski Area (JMSA) will open for the 2013/14-ski snowboard season on Dec. 14, according to JMSA General Manager Carl Williams.
Williams made this announcement at Tuesday’s June Lake Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting. The ski area, which was closed last season due to financial hardship experienced by Mammoth Mountain Ski Area during the 2011-2012 season, will operate seven days a week.
According to Williams, the operating plan for JMSA was submitted to the Forest Service, with whom JMSA is permitted, several weeks ago and has been approved.
The Mono County Board of Supervisors, as well as members of the public, has been interested in reviewing that operating plan for some time.
Earlier in the day at its regular meeting, the Mono County Board of Supervisors had briefly discussed the topic.
Supervisor Larry Johnston said he had spoken with Forest Service District Ranger Jon Regelbrugge who had confirmed that the June Mountain opening was continuing to move forward.
Supervisor Fred Stump, who has repeatedly asked to see the operating plan, asked for it again.
At the CAC meeting Tuesday night, Williams said the plan was available for anyone to review, including the supervisors. He extended an invitation to come read it at his office or to obtain a copy from the Forest Service, but warned that it was boring reading.
“All it says is you will operating lifts at such and such time, in case of emergency call this person, etc.,” Williams said.
Still, Supervisor Tim Alpers who was in attendance at the CAC meeting said the Board would welcome the opportunity to sift through the tedious document.
When asked by community members about any further planning and ideas stemming from the Peer Resort Tour that occurred in February, Williams said that the document coming out of that trip had been put on hold.
“It’s a busy time of year and everyone is focusing on making money,” he said. There is such as small window of time to make money that further discussions from the tour would have to wait at least until shoulder season.
In the meantime, the community will continue to focus on events and development outside of the ski area in efforts to develop a more sustainable June Lake. Closure of the mountain last season left the community scrambling to survive and it vowed it wouldn’t be put in that position again. It plans to hold the events developed last winter again this year and has set the dates for the Triple Threat Winter Triathlon (Jan. 25, 2014), the Snowmobile Rally (Feb. 28-March 1, 2014), plus new events such as the June Lake Autumn Beer Festival scheduled for Oct. 5.
At Tuesday’s CAC meeting, June Lake Revitalization Committee member Connie Black explained to the public that the Committee would be asking for financial support from Mono County again this year. Last winter, the Mono County Board of Supervisors gave $100,000 to the June Lake community to help it through the winter.
Black pointed out that June Lake creates approximately $1 million in Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) for the County each year, so it should continue to see some kickback in County support.
“We need to get funding from the Board of Supervisors to keep this moving forward,” Black said, referring to the activities and promotions.
According to Supervisor Alpers, TOT in June Lake only went down $3,000 with JMSA closed last season.
In other June Lake news, The Sheet reported last week that the Rodeo Grounds, the 87-acre parcel just across the street from JMSA, had been sold to Edward P. Roski, Jr. for $2 million. There was a brief discussion about this at Tuesday’s CAC meeting, but Roski’s future plans were not known to anyone, yet.
“I don’t have any definitive information on what the next step is, but he [Roski] has a heart for June Lake,” said Black, who has been talking with him since November 2012.
“I do believe it’s their [the Roski family] intention to develop, but I don’t know what,” she said.
Supervisor Alpers, who knows the Roski family, as they have been second homeowners in June Lake for several generations, added, “Edward is quite the philanthropist, too. He will be a real player within the community.”
Mono County Community Development Director Scott Burns, who traveled to Southern California with Alpers several weeks ago just prior to Roski opening escrow, said he had been in attendance at meetings with Roski to answer any development questions the multi-billionaire might have.
“I told him we were updating the June Lake Area Plan and invited him to participate, but it’s not like he is looking for any [developer] concessions,” Burns said. “This is small potatoes for him.”