To some, turning 60 means getting older, but in Mammoth it’s cause for celebration. Mammoth Mountain Ski Area kicks off its 2013-14 winter skiing and riding season on Nov. 7, marking the resort’s 60th anniversary (Dave McCoy built the ski lodge in 1953).
To honor the special occasion, MMSA “is introducing enhancements that cater to all levels of skiers and snowboarders as well as to visitors who simply want to relax in a spectacular winter playground,” a press release from the Mountain said.
Things start cranking on Nov. 7 as the first chairs begin to spin. Grab some cocoa or coffee at the base of Broadway while you wait to hop on your first chair of the season. Lifts start running at 8:30 a.m. The annual opening day toast will be held at 11 a.m. on the Main Lodge Sundeck. Lift tickets are $60 all weekend.
In addition to opening weekend activities, winter air service to Mammoth Lakes resumes Dec. 19. Offered by both United Airlines and Alaska Airlines, connections are available to Mammoth Yosemite Airport through Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Orange County.
The flight schedule for winter/spring 2013-14 will benefit several markets with additional daily flights, making it easier for snow enthusiasts to enjoy more time in the mountains. Daily non-stop service to and from San Diego will now be offered by Alaska with an earlier arrival scheduled for Saturday mornings. Weekend flight service on United out of Orange County will add a Monday and Thursday flight, allowing guests additional travel flexibility.
United service also includes non-stop flights daily throughout the winter from San Francisco with a second flight four days per week. Daily non-stop Alaska Airlines service from LAX will resume Nov. 15 with a second daily flight (other than Saturdays) beginning Dec. 19.
“The theme here with the added flights and adjusted times is ease. It’s easier to get here, and to spend more time on travel days on the mountain,” said Erik Forsell, Mammoth’s chief marketing officer. “Once you land, you’re basically here. The Mammoth airport is five miles outside of town, with free transport into town and it’s a small airport so lines are minimal. You can be on the chairlift within an hour of landing in Mammoth, no problem.”
Another highlight of the 2013-14 season? June Mountain is back!
June Mountain re-opens with full operations, welcoming skiers and snowboarders on Dec. 13. June will offer an experience for all levels of abilities and is particularly well suited to families and entry-level skiers and snowboarders. As in the past, Mammoth MVP pass holders for 2013-14 will also have free access to June Mountain.
New for this year, June will offer free skiing and riding for children 12 and under, every day, all season long. The move comes as the resort focuses on the beginner and intermediate experience that generations of families from California and beyond have come to know and appreciate. The resort will also offer first time beginner packages, including equipment, lift tickets and three-hour lessons, for substantial discounts, according to a press release.
“Personally, and I think I can speak for the June Lake community, in saying that we’re really excited to see those lifts turn again,” said Carl Williams, June Mountain’s General Manager. “Visitors are going to notice a couple changes, but we’re really focusing on what has always made June a special place and that’s the family experience. We have terrain for all abilities and some really great parks, but June’s charm is its accessibility. This a great place to learn, and to really be comfortable and have fun while you’re doing it.”
A discussion regarding the winter reopening plans for June Mountain will take place at the June Lake Citizens Advisory Committee meeting being held Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. at the June Lake Community Center.
Back on Mammoth Mountain, the Unbound Playgrounds and Adventure Zones will also focus on beginners by offering a comfortable introduction to terrain parks for beginners and children with some fun and approachable features with a Sesame Street theme.
In addition, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association named Mammoth Mountain as an Official Training Ground for U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Snowboarding, where the top skiers and snowboarders in the country will prepare for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. Additionally, the 2014 Olympic Snowboarding Team for halfpipe and the new slopestyle Olympic event will be announced at Mammoth during the final Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix Jan. 18-19, 2014.
Last but not least, the Mammoth Mountain Inn is undergoing a $700,000 renovation, which is expected to be complete this winter to enhance guest experience.
For more on Mammoth’s opening weekend and the 2013-14 season, visit www.mammothmountain.com.