June Mountain backers are back at it

With little or no time left on the clock, June Mountain Ski Area advocates this week continued to hammer away at finding a way to keep it open.

But after four hours of trying to find a way, June Lake residents and members of the “Keep June Mountain Open Coalition” were right back where they started.

The ski area, which closed earlier this summer amid financial shortfalls, remains closed.

If there were any new ideas at all, they came from supervisor-elect Tim Alpers, who brought up the idea of re-opening June Mountain as a kind of “ski hatchery,”—a place specifically aimed toward introducing beginners to winter alpine sport.

As interesting as that might be, however, the place still has to re-open to make it work.

Supervisors heard from residents about tweaking the area’s Transient Occupancy Tax policies, re-writing its general plan to accommodate building on the “Rodeo Grounds” development, and a host of ancillary proposals connected to those two main themes.

The coalition, meanwhile, says it knows of potential buyers of the ski operation, which is reported to have a value of $14 million.

None of those people have stepped forward, however. Even if a buyer(s) should appear, there is no reason—as yet—to expect Mammoth Mountain and CEO Rusty Gregory to sell it.

The meeting also featured a discussion of new federal legislation that could hamper fish hatchery operations, but that issue, as volatile as it is on its own, had to take a seat behind the June Mountain situation.

Neither the June Mountain issue nor the new fish regulations is likely to go away anytime soon.

The Board of Supervisors meets in regular session this coming week, and it doesn’t take a genius to know what will be on the agenda.