BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (AP) — Two Southern California ski resorts that draw visitors from around the world have a new owner.
The operators of Mammoth Mountain have signed a $38 million deal to acquire the company that runs Bear Mountain and Snow Summit in the San Bernardino Mountains, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday (http://lat.ms/1vbuw90 ).
The deal for Snow Summit Ski Corp. includes a golf course, driving range and several parking lots — as well as rights to 438 acres of skiable land owned by the U.S. Forest Service.
It puts Mammoth Mountain in control of more than 4,000 acres of skiable land in California, visited by about 2 million skiers and snowboarders a year.
The move comes in the midst of a historic drought.
"My father used to say, 'In business, you want to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing,'" said Rusty Gregory, chief executive of Mammoth Mountain. "This does look like a questionable time to buy a ski resort operation."
However, the slopes might not be the main focus of the deal, according to the Times. Mammoth Mountain's biggest investors are resort developers who already have plans to build on the land around Bear Mountain and Snow Summit.
"In the next few months, expect announcements on developments and expansion plans for all four of our resorts," Gregory said, referring to Mammoth Mountain; its smaller sister resort in the Sierra, June Mountain; plus Bear Mountain and Snow Summit east of Los Angeles.
Mammoth Mountain plans to begin this weekend to sell an annual pass that gives snow enthusiasts access to Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain, plus Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, for $689, he said. That's the same price that Mammoth Mountain charged for its annual pass last year.
Skiers and snowboarders who have already bought the Mammoth Mountain pass for this coming season will be allowed to use the pass at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, Gregory said.
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com