press release


Mammoth Founder Credits "A Great Team" for Accomplishing Much

The following press release was issued by U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association:


SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 27 - Dave McCoy, who created Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and helped in so many ways to build the community which lies at its base in California's Eastern Sierra Mountains, has been named West Coast regional finalist for the Texaco Star Award for his decades of working to improve life in the area, officials said today. The 85-year-old McCoy was presented a $2,500 check to the charity of his choice during the San Francisco Ski & Snowboard Ball, on October 27, at the Ritz Carlton.

The Texaco Star Award honors community contributions by U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team alumni. Regional winners receive a $2,500 check for their favorite cause at five Ski and Snowboard Balls - October 6 in Boston, October 20 in Chicago, October 27 in San Francisco, November 1 in Denver and November 3 in Park City.

A $10,000 check will be presented November 6 in the name of the national winner to his or her favorite charity during the New York Ski & Snowboard Team Ball in Manhattan. The first Texaco Star Award winner was Jimmie Heuga, the 1964 Olympic medal-winner who - after finding he had multiple sclerosis - founded the Jimmie Heuga Center in Vail, Colo., which focuses on a person's wellness and encourages them to lead healthy, active lives. This year's regional winners and last year's winners are eligible for the $10,000 check.

"Dave was an easy choice to receive this award, based on his accomplishments and commitment to making his community a better place to live," said Polly Rua, Senior Manager of Sponsorships for Texaco. "This award was designed to symbolize Texaco's commitment to our responsibility to the communities around the world in which we live and work, and Dave exemplifies that same commitment."

McCoy was born in Los Angeles, where his father was an oil refinery worker. He was introduced to the Sierras in the Twenties when his father took a job as a highway construction contractor in the region. He was working for the City of Los Angeles - on a water aqueduct from the Sierras - in 1936 when, on his own time, McCoy erected a portable rope tow on Mammoth Mountain. After the war, he obtained a U.S. Forest Service permit and eventually put up his first rope tow at the ski area in 1955.

With McCoy - who raised four sons and two daughters with his wife Roma - as one of the main engines, the Mammoth Lakes area began to grow. People not only came to Mammoth to ski, they came to live. But McCoy didn't simply sell folks lift tickets and rent them skis; he rolled up his sleeves and began to help the town develop, too. Among two of his pet projects have been the local hospital and development of the community college.

"I first saw this area when I was 12 and knew I wanted to live here," McCoy said. "There were only six people living here in the winter - one guy ran a tavern, another did patrolling all the [summer] cabins by dog team and they took supplies into a mine that operated then. There was practically nothing here. We helped everything grow - we didn't build all of it, but we helped get things going...a lot of people have helped out all along the way."

"I'm honored to get this Texaco award, but I'm accepting for all the people who helped create all of this, who stepped forward to get things done. I never did all that; other people did it and that increased my energy to master the challenge at hand," McCoy said. The $2,500 will go to the Mammoth Lakes Foundation College Fund, which is helping support the local community college, he said.

The annual San Francisco Ski & Snowboard Ball is one of the premier fundraising events for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Foundation.

Updated: October 2000