The following letter was sent out this week to Mammoth Mountain employees by CEO Rusty Gregory.
A letter from Rusty
The company has completed its most successful Christmas and New Year holiday period in my 34 years on the mountain. Never in our history have we hosted so many guests with so little natural snow and produced such a high quality experience on and off the mountain.
I had the opportunity to talk to scores of guests over the last 2 weeks. They were universally effusive about how much fun they were having and couldn’t believe that Mammoth had top-to-bottom skiing, the Unbound pipe and parks were going off, June was open, Woolly’s Adventure Summit had snow for the tubers, and that we even had cross country skiing up to Minaret Summit. They were wowed by the fireworks at Night of Lights and on New Year’s Eve, and had a blast at the concerts and DJ events. The Village rocked and they loved that we opened a day care and brought Sushi Rei back.
Many of our guests came to Mammoth from Northern California for the first time because the Tahoe resorts’ lower elevation and limited snowmaking capabilities only allowed the operation of a small fraction of the terrain and services Mammoth provided. A significant number chose Mammoth over their usual winter vacation spots in Colorado and Utah. You all worked very hard and performed wonderfully. From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of our guests and a grateful community, thank you very much.
But now, the crowds are returning home, the temperatures are warming and the weather is forecast to provide more sun than snow in the days to come. I know that all of you are wondering how the company intends to deal with the less than optimistic outlook going forward.
Here is what I know:
So far, this winter is the driest on record since the 1800s. I’ve talked to the heads of major resorts in California, Utah and Colorado. Each of them are cutting back on lifts, terrain and staffing to save money. Many think that the winter of 2011-12 will never really get started and the weeks and months to come will just bring more of the same.
Here is what I believe:
We operate the best mountain in the country and we run it better than other resorts run theirs. Skiers want to ski and boarders want to ride. This yearning and the demand it produces doesn’t go away just because Mother Nature isn’t cooperative. Mammoth is the skier and rider’s mountain. When it snows, they will come. In my 34 years on the mountain, I’ve seen several severe drought years with little or no snow in October, November or December. It snowed by mid-January in each of those years.
Here is what we are going to do:
We are going to do the opposite of what other resorts are doing. We are not going to cut services to save money. We are going to keep everything open – Eagle, Canyon, the Village, all the current lifts and all the terrain possible. If temperatures allow snowmaking, we will add more runs and lifts as soon as we can, even if it’s during the middle of the week when crowds are light. We are going to keep our seasonal and year-round employees. If hours of work get too thin for some, we will feed each of them every night to make it possible for them to stay in town. We will continue to operate all our shops and restaurants everyday on the regular winter schedule. Our rental shops will be renting all categories of skis and boards including demos, everyday.
We are going to do just what we did over the holiday, giving our guests way more than they expect, and way more than our competition. We will do it the Mammoth Way with big smiles, a positive vibe and the informal, authentically sincere service we are famous for. Our guests will love us for it and they will come back.
I don’t want anyone to underestimate the company’s commitment to the quality of our guest’s experience or misunderstand their individual role in delivering it.
I wish each of you, your family and friends a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
Rusty Gregory, CEO
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
For the Nordic record
An article published in the Dec. 17 issue shed some bright, positive light on the steady evolution of the Nordic scene in our community.
Competitive Nordic programs developed and provided by Eastern Sierra Nordic Ski Association have garnered the attention of Mammoth Mountain’s Race Department and are benefiting greatly as a result of their involvement and support. The Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation is also providing scholarships to offset team fees, travel costs, and education expenses based on need and performance. This type of significant support is crucial to the present and future success of local programs geared towards raising the caliber of homegrown, competitive Nordic talent.
The article also inadvertently compared the work of Mammoth Nordic with MLTPA. Given the recent scrutiny initiated by Sandy Hogan regarding the Town’s administration of Measure R and MLTPA, I believe it is important to note how distinctly different the missions and objectives of our respective non-profits are:
Mammoth Nordic supports, develops and promotes Nordic Recreation. We are an all-volunteer, non-profit organization providing a high quality, groomed Nordic Trail System free to our locals and visitors alike. Our Club is funded by contributions from our members, local business owners, second homeowners and visitors who value the experience we provide.
MLTPA is a well-compensated, taxpayer-funded consultant to the Town that advocates for trails and public access, fosters stewardship, and convenes and facilitates community participation. MLTPA is currently seeking to secure their operational financial stability over the next five years with a guaranteed $1.5 million dollar commitment from taxpayer-funded Measure R. Suffice to say, Mammoth Nordic supports Ms. Hogan and others who believe the relationship between the Town, MLTPA and the administration of Measure R is in need of an open and transparent review.