Mammoth Mountain sailed through the holidays just fine, according to ski area CEO Rusty Gregory.
In a carefully-worded memorandum to employees, dated Jan. 1, Gregory said this holiday period the ski area â€ścompleted its most successful and New Year holiday period in my 34 years on the mountain.â€ť
Um, well, sort of.
Gregory said in an interview this week that the ski areaâ€™s â€śsuccessâ€ť is in context with other dry holiday periods in the ski areaâ€™s historyâ€”not an all-inclusive, year-by-year breakdown.
â€śIâ€™m sorry if some people misread that,â€ť he said. â€śI wasnâ€™t trying to hide anything, or anything like that.â€ť
Rather, the memo had as much to do with other ski resorts throughout California, the Mountain West and New England/Upstate New York.
â€śIâ€™ve never seen a season that has been this dry everywhere in the country,â€ť he said.
Mostly, he said, the memo was meant to reassure employees that their jobs were safe and that the ski area would do everything it can to keep all three lodgesâ€”Main, Canyon and Eagleâ€”open.
He did not mention the future of June Mountain Ski Area.
â€śI know that all of you are wondering how the company intends to deal with the less than optimistic outlook going forward,â€ť he wrote.
â€śHere is what I know: So far, this winter is the driest on record since the 1800s. Iâ€™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.
â€śHere is what I believe: We operate the best mountain in the country and we run it better than our friends at other resorts run theirs.
â€śSkiers want to ski and boarders want to ride.Â This yearning and the demand it produces doesnâ€™t go away just because Mother Nature isnâ€™t cooperative.
â€śMammoth is the skierâ€™s and riderâ€™s mountain. When it snows, they will come. In my 34 years on the mountain, Iâ€™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.â€ť
Gregory continued with a â€śWin One for the Gipperâ€ť screed:
â€śHere 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 or service to save money.
â€śWe are going to keep everything openâ€”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 itâ€™s during the middle of the week when crowds are light.
â€śWe are going to keep our seasonal employees 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.
â€śWe will continue to operate all our shops and restaurants every day on the regular winter schedule. Our rental shops will be renting all categories of skis and boards including demos, every day.
â€śWe are going to do just what we did over the holiday.Â We are going to give our guests way more than they expect, and way more than our competition.
â€śWe 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.â€ť