Ski area pushes for home rentals


‘Simple way to start collecting money,’ Gregory says

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area will take a “strong stance” in support of single-family home rentals in Mammoth, ski area CEO Rusty Gregory said on Wednesday.

“We think it will add to our business,” he said. “We know it will add to our business, and if we don’t rent homes to them, they’ll go to somewhere else that rents homes—Breckinridge, South Lake Tahoe, Keystone, it’s a very long list of resorts.”

It was the first time that Gregory has taken a position on the volatile issue.

“We have been remiss by not coming in and not taking a strong stance on this,” he said.

Gregory made his remarks before a Town Council workshop previous to the council’s meeting on May 15.

His remarks were not on any related agenda item, either in the town’s budget workshop or in the town’s regular meeting.

“Wow do I feel blindsided tonight,” said Teri Stehlik, owner and manager of Seasons 4 condominiums on Lake Mary Road. “The direction you’re going right now scares the heck out of me.”

Stehlik characterized the move as a “knee-jerk reaction to our current situation.”

Gregory said he spoke not only for the ski area, but also for Sierra Nevada Resort owner Jim Demetriades and for Snowcreek Resort chieftain Chuck Landy.

“The Town of Mammoth Lakes needs to grow out of its fiscal challenges to retain its employees, its programs and put some cops back on the street,” Gregory said.

“It’s a simple way to start collecting money.  I’m very sensitive to the issue, but I don’t think you should equivocate.  I think you should provide leadership.

“The house across the street from me, there are scores of people who come and go every week in that house, and nothing’s been done.  You’re in a position where you can’t do much.

“I’m not suggesting we cram this down everyone’s throat. I’m just suggesting you take a clear stance on this and get out of the way.”