Dave McCoy Tribute Close to Fruition

Inyo County logos and supervisor names

                              Title and photo of State Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil

Family, Community Leaders Grateful to Senator Alvarado-Gil


A grassroots effort to have a portion of U.S. 395 named after late Mammoth Mountain Ski Area founder Dave McCoy is closer to becoming a reality.


Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 102 on January 18, to designate U.S. 395 from the junction with the Mammoth Lakes turnoff to Convict Lake Road as the “Dave McCoy Memorial Highway.” The stretch of highway was one of two areas proposed by proponents, with the other starting outside of Bishop and ending at Mill Creek Road.


The tribute was spearheaded by Bishop resident Randy Short and shepherded through the legislative process with the assistance and support of Inyo County Supervisor Jeff Griffiths, the California State Association of Counties (where Griffiths serves as 1st Vice President), and Senator Alvarado-Gil’s staff.


The Boards of Supervisors from Inyo and Mono counties approved their own resolutions in May in support of the memorial for McCoy, who passed away in 2020 at the age of 104. He was famous for creating the world-class ski resort in Mammoth and also widely respected for his many philanthropic efforts.


“ … Mr. McCoy is the epitome of an icon – someone whose incredible vision and drive have made Mammoth Mountain a world-famous destination and whose name has become synonymous with hard work and success,” Inyo County’s Resolution No. 2023-16 reads in part. “… Mr. McCoy’s legacy includes helping to shape the entire Eastern Sierra into what it is today and his contributions and accomplishments will forever be remembered and celebrated by those who call this area home and those who enjoy recreating here.”


According to Senator Alvarado-Gil’s office, the resolution should be approved in the next month or so, with signs installed by spring.


“Dave McCoy was a beacon of outdoor recreation for the Eastern Sierra who brought his love of skiing to create generations of avid skiers from across the state, and the world. His contributions to Inyo and Mono counties are to be celebrated and remembered by all who visit Mammoth Mountain, Mammoth Lakes, and California’s Great Beyond,” the Senator said. “Dedicating this portion of Highway 395 to Dave McCoy – a man who connected Californians to nature’s beauty – is a fitting tribute. We honor his profound vision which serves as a direct reminder that anything is possible.”


The signs and installation will be covered by private donations from Short and others. For Short, it’s beyond money well spent – it’s an investment in the Eastern Sierra legacy.


 “The Eastern Sierra provides the best outdoor recreation opportunities in the country and Dave enhanced many of them,” Short said. “Oh yeah – then there was the great ski area he built too. This (honor) is for all of the people that never want to forget what this great man did for all of us.”


The memorial highway idea received widespread support throughout the Eastern Sierra, including from the Bishop Paiute Tribe.  


McCoy’s daughter, Penny McCoy, is honored by the tribute and reminded of the selfless, fun-loving man behind the successful entrepreneur.


“Life was never about Dad. Nothing ever really was; nor was true wealth the pursuit of fame and fortune. It was about serving others,” she said. “His destiny was about family and friends, fun, and the re-creation of lives and the pioneer spirit within. Ultimately, Dad was about love.”


Supervisor Griffiths said he is proud to have been part of the project and noted that it only enhanced his perspective on the commitment McCoy and his wife, Roma, showed their community.


“Naming this beautiful stretch of Highway 395 after Dave McCoy is such a fitting way to honor his legacy in the Eastern Sierra,” Griffiths said. “Working with Randy and Penny, I have learned even more about the many wonderful ways that Dave and Roma impacted our community. I am grateful for Senator Alvarado-Gil’s leadership in making this project a reality.”