June Mountain, R.I.P.

The venerable but money-losing June Mountain Ski Area will not operate this summer and, more pointedly, will not have a ski season this coming winter. The future beyond that was left unclear by today's announcement. June Mountain had been scheduled to open today for summer visitors to the Eastern Sierra.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, which operates nearby June, said the facility has lost money every year since Mammoth took over the ski area in 1986. Some employees of June will be absorbed into the larger staff, but Mammoth Mountain already laid off 75 permanent employees this year, citing a steep drop in visitors.

"Mammoth is the far larger and more popular of the two resorts, but June was perceived by many to be a more remote gem for skiers and snowboarders who liked the smaller crowds and a change of scenery and terrain after skiing and riding at Mammoth," says outdoors writer Peter Thomas, who admits to fond memories of the less-populated ski slopes at June Mountain.

"With 2,590 feet of vertical drop and about 500 acres of terrain for all levels, though, it was not a particularly small resort," Thomas writes. "After Mammoth purchased June it planned significant expansion, but for various reasons that goal was never realized."

June Mountain is located above the town of June Lake in the Eastern Sierra, about 20 miles further up U.S. 395 than Mammoth Lakes.

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