Alan “Rusty” Gregory
Hall of Fame Class of 2022
ALAN ‘RUSTY’ GREGORY (Mammoth Mountain, Calif.)
A Southern California surfer and team sports star, Alan ‘Rusty’ Gregory left a football career behind to work at Mammoth Mountain in 1978, moving up from a lift worker to ultimately become CEO and owner. He went on to head up Alterra Mountain Company and played a pivotal role in its early growth and development of the Ikon pass.
Gregory is regarded by many as one of a handful of individuals whose leadership skills and entrepreneurial vision truly touched the full breadth of skiing and snowboarding in America today. He built his career under the watchful eye of the legendary Dave McCoy, eventually playing a pivotal role himself ushering the sport into a new, modern era.
Growing up in the Los Angeles area, Gregory competed in baseball and football, but also developed a passion for surfing in the nearby Balboa Islands. When his surfing friends would head up to Mammoth Mountain every winter, he was always too busy to tag along. But after a career as a University of Washington linebacker, he discovered skiing at Snoqualmie Pass and Crystal Mountain and was hooked.
After looking at professional football, he stopped by Mammoth Mountain in 1978 for a season as a lift operator, but stayed for a career. His natural talent and vibrant personality stood out to Mammoth owner McCoy, who tabbed him for expanding roles in lift management and construction. Along the way, he and friends started a heli-ski operation, and he served stints as human resources director and the resort’s chief administrator. By 1995, he was Mammoth’s CEO.
His time at Mammoth came as the industry was going through waves of acquisitions and consolidations. In 1996, he was at the helm as Intrawest acquired shares of the company and invested heavily in a Mammoth Lakes development. In 2005, Mammoth was acquired by the Starwood Group, which saw him become board chair, one of five majority shareholders and remaining as its CEO.
Gregory also led Mammoth’s efforts in 2014-15 to acquire Big Bear Mountain Resort leading to the development of Mammoth Resorts and the debut of the Calif4nia Pass. Then, just two years later, he crafted the deal that brought Mammoth Resorts into the fold with KSL Capital Partners and Aspen Skiing Company as one of the core resort groups that would form the new Alterra Mountain Company.
He was named a senior strategic advisor for Alterra, serving as a visionary in the development of the Ikon Pass and leading the charge to ensure that each Alterra resort kept its individual local brand identity. He was named CEO in 2018. He retired from the role in 2022.
Along the way, Gregory was known for his engagement with community and industry. In 2000, he joined the board of the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA). It was a vital time for NSAA during a period when original resort owners and operators were maturing and turning resorts over to the next generation. His leadership skills played a vital role in managing growth issues and transition across the industry.
Gregory led NSAA as its chair from 2005-09, representing the sport on Capitol Hill in Washington on numerous legislative hearings including the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forest and Public Lands. He helped work through many significant challenges in the ski industry particularly in growing the sport against the competition of other recreational and leisure activities, climate change, and demographic issues.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger named him in 1995 to the California Travel and Tourism Commission, eventually serving as chief financial officer and vice chair for the nonprofit whose mission was to develop marketing programs in partnership with the state’s travel industry. Gregory was also a longtime board member of the California Ski Industry Association, receiving its 2018 Award of Excellence.
He was also a longtime trustee of the Yosemite Conservancy, serving as its vice chair, working with the National Park Service to educate the next generation on the importance of the parks.
In his own community, he was also a founding board member of Mammoth Lakes Housing, a local workforce housing initiative formed in 2003. He has also been a longtime trustee of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team foundation.
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