When I think about who has the best man-made playgrounds in my life, I have to lend Walt Disney and Dave McCoy with all the entertainment. As a boy who grew up in Southern California, I went to Disneyland with my family 3-4 times a year on birthdays and special occasions.
As an adult, I started visiting the Mammoth Lakes to ski on the world-famous Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort. I only went skiing in Mammoth for a few days a season for more than 80 days a year.
I enjoy what Dave McCoy and Walt Disney did by following their interest! They were able to do it, I respect that. The other day, I was looking at a biography of Walt Disney, and I wondered how similar Walt Disney and Dave McCoy were.
Here are some similarities that came to me:
1) Both turned their passion into profit by creating a playground for the masses.
2) Demand for what they offer is growing rapidly.
3) They are respectable, God-fearing men and a family supported by kind and supportive wives.
4) They are potential thinkers who did not allow the derogatory remarks of others to discourage them from achieving their dreams. The phrase I received from Dave McCoy when I was at his house recently was: “Impossible just means it takes a little longer.”
5) Both had minimal educational and financial background.
6) Both had symbolic logos – Dave had a woolly mammoth and Walt had Mickey Mouse.
7) Both were innovators who had to develop and use new tools and machines to make their dreams come true.
8) Both men were very inspired by the workforce with their vision. Humble, Dave McCoy told me recently, “Mammoth Mountain was not built by me, but by others.” And I said, “Yes, but you inspired them!”
9) Both men learned the most about how to make a difference in their careers by “listening” to their clients. Dave McCoy told me that the reason he stood by the line, usually on the 1st seat people were loading, was because they were telling him what needed to be improved. Walt Disney basically did just that, and had its office on Main Street inside Disneyland to observe visitor behavior and see what needed to be improved. Implementing what paying customers told them helped them enhance their visitor experience to the highest level.
10) Both men left a legacy of good, clean and family fun with millions of visitors.
Dave McCoy told me that he and Walt Disney met in the early 1950s. Walt brought his family to ski on Mammoth Mountain and had a cabin near the Mammoth Mountain Inn. Walt also invited Dave and his family to a special visit to his studios in Burbank.
Walt Disney and Dave McCoy will go down in history as men who have pursued a passion for entertainment and built resorts that hundreds of thousands of visitors still enjoy daily. Unfortunately, Walt Disney left us very soon with the cancer caused by the cigarettes he started smoking in the military.
Dave McCoy is still strong and celebrated his 96th birthday last August. He is still very active in his projects. He spends his time photographing beautifully oriental Sierra, which he has loved since childhood and works on his solar / electric rhino. My favorite photos I bought from Dave McCoy Photo are:
1) Dave’s recent photo of a beautiful rainbow over Lake Gal with Carson Peak in the background.
2) The iconic photo of Dave McCoy on a ski under Gravy Chute taken by Warren Miller and standing on the wall at McCoy Station as the cable car loads.
If you love Mammoth Mountain and East Sierra, I bet you will enjoy the pictures of Dave McCoy like me. Now, Dave McCoy is even signing your photo for you, which makes it a collectible and enjoyable art!