Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Dave McCoy, Who Gave Skiers Mammoth Mountain, Dies at 104
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 years ago on
February 10, 2020

Share

BISHOP — Dave McCoy, who transformed California’s Mammoth Mountain from a remote Sierra peak into a downhill destination for skiers and snowboarders from around the world, has died at 104.
Rusty Gregory, former chief executive of the resort, said McCoy “died peacefully in his sleep” at his home in the eastern Sierra Nevada community of Bishop.
“Dave was Mammoth Mountain,” Gregory told the Los Angeles Times.
The mountain about 150 miles southeast of Sacramento was the focus of McCoy’s life for more than six decades, the newspaper said. He oversaw the resort’s growth into an operation of 3,000 workers and 4000 acres of ski trails.
A notice of McCoy’s death posted Saturday on the Mammoth website simply said, “Thank you, Dave McCoy, for everything.”
Mammoth was one of the three most-visited ski resorts in 2018, drawing about 1.21 million skiers and boarders.
McCoy first recognized the potential of the mountain the late 1930s while working as snow surveyor for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

No One but McCoy Envisioned Mammoth

In 1937, McCoy parked his Ford Model A on a snowy slope, jacked up the rear of the car and lashed one end of a rope to the back wheel and the other to a tree. He charged 50 cents a person for what became the first rope tow on the mountain.

“People told me it snowed too much. It was too stormy, too high and too far away.” — Dave McCoy
Dave married his wife, Roma, in 1941. They opened a mom-and-pop ski business, using one of his motorcycles as collateral to buy a used portable rope tow for $86.
With the help of friends, McCoy worked through blizzards, droughts and economic downturns, building increasingly sophisticated machinery to pull skiers up the mountain and groom the snow, the Times said.
McCoy secured a year-to-year permit from the U.S. Forest Service to run a portable tow across the eastern Sierra.
Still, no one but McCoy envisioned Mammoth, which then was home for no more than a dozen permanent residents, as a major resort.
“People told me it snowed too much,” he recalled in an interview with the Times. “It was too stormy, too high and too far away.”
After World War II, McCoy cleared land, laid concrete, raised ski lift towers and maneuvered cranes. Many of the operation’s special tools, cranes, rigs, engines and snow cats were built from scratch in McCoy’s garage.

Untold Numbers of People Received Employment, Financial Help, Property

In 1955, Mammoth Mountain erected a high-capacity lift with 86 double chairs that were diesel-driven and carried 900 skiers an hour — at the time, the largest of its kind in the state.
In the adjacent community of Mammoth Lakes, McCoy and his staff launched a water district, volunteer fire department, regional hospital, high school, skiing museum and college.
Untold numbers of people received employment, financial help, even property from McCoy over the years, the newspaper said.
Bob Roberts, spokesman for the California Ski Industry Association, told the newspaper that McCoy was a “visionary who was pivotal in the development of the sport in the West.”
In 1996, Vancouver-based Intrawest Corp. bought a significant stake in the operation and moved to make the area more upscale by building a Craftsman-style hub of lodging, entertainment and shopping called the Village at Mammoth.
In October 2005, McCoy announced plans to sell a controlling interest in the resort to Starwood Capital Group for $365 million — then the largest ski resort sale in history.
At one point during the signing of more than 100 pages of documents believed to have brought him $80 million, McCoy openly wept, according to the newspaper.
“We did something here that everyone said would be impossible,” he said.

DON'T MISS

The Cost to Inform California Voters? $118,000 a Page for Official Guide

DON'T MISS

Top Russian Military Officials Are Being Arrested. Why Is It Happening?

DON'T MISS

Delta Tunnel Water Project May Finally Be Nearing a Historic Decision

DON'T MISS

CA Senate Passes Hospital Seismic Compliance Bill: What’s the Impact on Local Hospitals?

DON'T MISS

Take This Memorial Day Quiz Before Warming up the Grill

DON'T MISS

Hate Wasting Money? Use These 7 Hacks to Feed Your Family for Less

DON'T MISS

NCAA and Leagues Back $2.8 Billion Settlement, Setting Stage for Current, Former Athletes to Be Paid

DON'T MISS

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

DON'T MISS

Newsom Promised 1,200 Tiny Homes for Homeless Californians. How Many Are Being Used?

DON'T MISS

Fresno Unified Unveils 5-Year Literacy Plan. What Are the Expectations?

UP NEXT

CA Senate Passes Hospital Seismic Compliance Bill: What’s the Impact on Local Hospitals?

UP NEXT

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

UP NEXT

Newsom Promised 1,200 Tiny Homes for Homeless Californians. How Many Are Being Used?

UP NEXT

UAW Files Objection to Mercedes Vote, Accuses Company of Intimidating Workers

UP NEXT

Fresno Man Charged with Throwing Meth into Mendota Prison Yard

UP NEXT

American Airlines Retreats After Blaming a 9-Year-Old for Not Seeing a Hidden Camera in a Lavatory

UP NEXT

Cal Chamber’s Job Killer List Shrinks, but Does Its Influence?

UP NEXT

California Advances Legislation Cracking Down on Stolen Goods Resellers and Auto Theft

UP NEXT

Portland Nurse Returns Home After Treating Gaza Burn Victims

UP NEXT

Search and Rescue Ongoing After Iowa Tornado; 1 Dead

CA Senate Passes Hospital Seismic Compliance Bill: What’s the Impact on Local Hospitals?

1 day ago

Take This Memorial Day Quiz Before Warming up the Grill

1 day ago

Hate Wasting Money? Use These 7 Hacks to Feed Your Family for Less

1 day ago

NCAA and Leagues Back $2.8 Billion Settlement, Setting Stage for Current, Former Athletes to Be Paid

2 days ago

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

2 days ago

Newsom Promised 1,200 Tiny Homes for Homeless Californians. How Many Are Being Used?

2 days ago

Fresno Unified Unveils 5-Year Literacy Plan. What Are the Expectations?

2 days ago

Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Teaching Bomb-Making to Person Targeting Authorities

2 days ago

UCLA Police Arrest Young Man for Alleged Felony Assault in Attack on Pro-Palestinian Encampment

2 days ago

UAW Files Objection to Mercedes Vote, Accuses Company of Intimidating Workers

2 days ago

The Cost to Inform California Voters? $118,000 a Page for Official Guide

What’s the cost of democracy in California? Sameea Kamal CalMatters If we calculate that based just on the pages informing the state’s 22...

7 hours ago

7 hours ago

The Cost to Inform California Voters? $118,000 a Page for Official Guide

7 hours ago

Top Russian Military Officials Are Being Arrested. Why Is It Happening?

7 hours ago

Delta Tunnel Water Project May Finally Be Nearing a Historic Decision

1 day ago

CA Senate Passes Hospital Seismic Compliance Bill: What’s the Impact on Local Hospitals?

1 day ago

Take This Memorial Day Quiz Before Warming up the Grill

1 day ago

Hate Wasting Money? Use These 7 Hacks to Feed Your Family for Less

2 days ago

NCAA and Leagues Back $2.8 Billion Settlement, Setting Stage for Current, Former Athletes to Be Paid

2 days ago

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend