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Four-Mountain Pass Created As Mammoth Buys SoCal's Bear Mountain, Snow Summit

Bear Mt.

The CEO of Mammoth Mountain said the purchase of Big Bear Resorts will produce a “synergy” for Southern California skiers and snowboarders. That synergy is spotlighted in a joint season pass.

Mammoth immediately rolled out a four-mountain season pass (including Mammoth-owned June Mountain) for $689 after announcing Wednesday (Sept. 24) that it has bought Bear Mountain and Snow Summit for $38 million. That's the same as skiers and riders paid for a Mammoth-only season pass last season 

“People now have option to drive up to Bear Mountain and Snow Summit for a  day trip or take an extended vacation at Mammoth, all  under the same ticket,” Mammoth CEO Rusty Gregory told SnoCountry.com. “Depending upon how much time you have, you can always get in some skiing and riding.”

Gregory pointed to the loyalty that skiers and snowboarders have for the two day-trip resorts above Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino mountains that are about 100 miles from the Los Angeles basin. Some 800,000 hit the 1,000 skiable acres at Bear and Snow Summit every season, he said, and now they will have the chance to check out Mammoth’s 3,500 acres at no extra cost.

“Bear and Snow Summit have been iconic experiences for Southern Californians,” said Gregory. “Our experience with June Mountain as a feeder for Mammoth fits right into this new opportunity.” 

With the consolidation, terrain park enthusiasts instantly have a whole new vista of rails and jibs and jumps available to them. Bear Mountain and Snow Summit attract the skateboard crowd from Los Angeles to their extensive terrain parks, while Mammoth boasts two half-pipes and multiple parks around the mountain.

Gregory sees that beginning skiers and riders will cut their teeth at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit and then head out to the more challenging terrain at Mammoth, just as many have done at June Mountain, which is about a 30-minute drive from Mammoth.

“It’s a natural progression,” Gregory said. “We can build business through this synergy.”

For this season, Mammoth’s CEO said skiers and riders should expect to see some upgrades at the après-ski scene at base area of Snow Summit to produce a more “festive atmosphere.” While limited by permit boundaries in the National Forest, Gregory said improvements to infrastructure and facilities at both smaller resorts are in the plans. Gregory said officials are working to find additional water sources for June Mountain’s snowmaking system.

With Mammoth’s 1.2 million annual skier-visits – third highest in the country – the acquisition now puts some two million skiers and riders under the control of Mammoth’s operators. 

The CEO admits that the timing for adding two mountains to Mammoth’s portfolio in times of climate uncertainty seems counterintuitive, but he’s optimistic.

“We’re in the ski business so we have to take risks,” Gregory said. “But people like to see us on the move, and we think the blend of options for our visitors, especially from Southern California, just makes sense."

Photo: More jumps for SoCal skiers and riders with resort consolidation (Bear Mt./Facebook) 

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