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June Mountain closing for summer and ski season

The closure of June Mountain will give the resort's operator time to evaluate how to make the money-losing Eastern Sierra mountain popular and profitable.

June 29, 2012|By Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times

June Mountain, the Eastern Sierra resort that has failed to make a profit in 26 years, is closing for the summer and won't reopen for the upcoming ski season, the resort operator has announced.

The closure will give the resort operator time to evaluate how to make the mountain popular and profitable again, said Rusty Gregory, chairman and chief executive of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, which operates June Mountain and the more popular Mammoth Mountain.

Mammoth Mountain, the most popular ski resort for Southern Californians, has 3,500 acres of skiable area and a summit of 11,053 feet. June Mountain, about 20 miles north of Mammoth, is known as a less-crowded, family-friendly resort, with about 500 acres of skiable area and a summit of 10,090 feet.

In a recent radio interview, Gregory said June Mountain has been operating at a deficit of $1.5 million a year.

"It doesn't make sense to continue to operate at such as loss as we have," he told KMMT-FM in Mammoth Mountain. At its peak, June Mountain drew 80,000 to 100,000 skiers a year but in recent years has been attracting only 35,000 to 45,000 skiers, Gregory said.

Gregory said he plans to keep the lease to operate the resort on U.S. Forest Service property and work on a plan to revitalize the resort.

"I'm still a big believer in June Mountain," he said.

Gregory's company has long had plans to expand June Mountain and add long runs to increase the popularity of the resort.

But the resort operator said in a statement that the plans were "never realized and June Mountain has, in turn, suffered from an identity crisis that has both stifled its ability to achieve its full potential and required substantial financial subsidy from Mammoth on an annual basis."

hugo.martin@latimes.com

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