Mammoth Mountain Ski Area CEO Rusty Gregory this past week sent a memo to Mountain employees informing them of a reduction in hours to be in effect for the month of February in a cost-cutting move, but said he will re-assess the financial status on March 1.
In a lengthy memo that went to employees on Friday, Jan. 31, Gregory said Mammoth Mountain salaried employees would take five unpaid work days off, and hourly employees would cut work weeks from 40 hours to 30 hours as the ski hill continues to deal with sinking skier visits and revenues during this drought season.
“As you know, Mammoth and June Mountains are in the throes of a third consecutive year of drought,” Gregory wrote in his message.
“Snowfall on Mammoth Mountain averages about 400 inches per year. We received 263 inches of snow in 2011-12, the worst year-over-year decline in visits in ski industry history.
“The 2012-13 season saw 308 inches, and was the driest year on record for California.
“As of this morning [Jan. 31], we have received only 60 inches of snow this winter.
“The lack of snow has significantly impacted skier attendance. Skier visits are down 37 percent—193,270 from budget and the rate of decline continues to erode. Last week’s visit total for Mammoth and June combined was 19,805, less than one strong non-holiday Saturday in a normal season.
“Revenue is below budget by 29 percent—$17.1 million. We cut expenses across the board beginning in early January including seasonal employees hours and pay. Unfortunately, it is impossible to cover the revenue shortfall by expense cuts.”
Gregory ended his memo with a rallying cry.
“Just like our guests, our employees come to Mammoth in pursuit of a dream,” he wrote.
“My version of that dream brought me to Mammoth and it has sustained me for my 35 years on the mountain through countless ups and downs. It breaks my heart to be reducing your hours of work and pay.
“I hope you will fight to keep your Mammoth dream alive despite the hardship that this drought and the hard decisions I must make places upon you.
“Snow is coming. Keep the faith.”