Contrary to what Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory stated to The Sheet a few weeks ago (“Spades Called,” Oct. 6 issue), it seems that there is indeed an expiration date on MMSA’s Right of First Refusal Agreement for the Rodeo Grounds property in June Lake.
The property, owned by Intrawest, is currently for sale, and according to Dan Scidmore, a member of the brokerage team at Daum Commercial retained in June by Intrawest to sell the property, the Right of First Refusal (ROFR) Agreement expires in March 2013.
Scidmore’s partner is Gavin Denniston, son of Mammoth Mountain’s former President of Real Estate, Peter Denniston. Gavin’s client list, according to daumcommercial.com, also includes CNL, which currently owns the commercial units at the Village at Mammoth.
Mono County Supervisor Vikki Bauer first brought up the ROFR expiration at the Oct. 2 Board of Supervisors meeting.
“The terms of the ROFR agreement do not allow MMSA to extend the expiration date,” Scidmore said via email. “The ROFR agreement gives MMSA the option to match any deal Intrawest may agree to. This gives MMSA a certain level of control over who purchases the property. If the ROFR agreement expires, MMSA would lose this control and Intrawest could sell the property without notification.”
The Sheet obtained a copy of the Agreement between Intrawest and Intrastar Mammoth, LLC (aka MMSA) regarding the ROFR for the Rodeo Grounds. The document is dated March 15, 2006. The Agreement states, “If, at any time after the Effective Date [March 15, 2006] and continuing until the earlier to occur (A) ninety (90) days after the date that the Entitlement Conditions have occurred, (B) the seventh anniversary of the Effective Date and (C) the earlier termination of this Agreement pursuant to the terms of section 5 [which states that Intrawest can sell if Intrastar decides not to partake in its ROFR] hereof (herein the earlier of the events described in clauses (B) and (C) is referred to herein as the ‘Termination Date’) Grantor [Intrawest] receives a bona fide offer from any party that is not an Affiliate of Grantor … Grantor shall give written notice thereof to Grantee [MMSA] promptly …”
March 15, 2013 will be the seventh anniversary of the Effective Date.
Without the ROFR in place, anyone interested in purchasing the Rodeo Grounds would be able to do so free and clear.
“The problem has always been that there were two different owners, one owned the land and the other the ski resort,” Bauer said. “Yet they need each other to make June Mountain and June Lake economically viable. Most potential buyers of June Mountain would want the Rodeo Grounds also.
“So now if anyone out there is thinking about ownership of June Mountain, they can see a clear way to own the land parcel also. MMSA does not have the last word on what happens there. A new owner of the land parcel might have some terrific ideas of what niche June Mountain might fill, in the arena of California ski areas. A different view perhaps than MMSA might have. It opens up new possibilities for the entire community to work with a new partner. “
The Rodeo Grounds has been a contentious property in June Lake since Intrawest first submitted its Specific Plan for the project to Mono County in 2004. Intrawest had hoped to develop 900 units and 50,000 square feet of commercial development on the 90 acre-parcel, according to www.junelakeadvocates.com.
The point was to have the development complement operations at June Mountain.
Issues, including the availability of water for a project of that magnitude, plus a general lack of support from the community regarding, at the very least, the initial proposed height of the project kept it from ever getting off the ground.