What Were Dillon and Keystone Resort Like Before the Great Recession?

The Uncorked Mountain Wine Festival at Keystone, Colo features delicious wines, award winning jazz, and a juried fine art show in River Run.

 

Photo credit: reid.neureiter on Best Running / CC BY-NC-SA
Mountain Operations: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly and which includes lift ticket, ski & snowboard school, dining, retail and rental businesses

 

Part Two:  What Were Frisco and Copper Mountain Like Before the Great Recession?

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

An excerpt from Book Three in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams.

5-Year Time Frames — 2003 – 2008

Only five miles separate Dillon and Keystone Resort on US 6.

Roughly the same amount of travel time and distance that separates Dillon from Frisco.

Location At-A-Glance

Region: Western United States

Dillon and Keystone, Colorado Zip Code 80435 Google Maps

State: Colorado

Travel Region: Northwestern Colorado

County: Summit County

Patchwork County: Monied Burbs

Town: Dillon– Keystone, Keystone Resort

Population Density: Town and Country

Real Estate Phase: Innov Towns

Zip Codes: 80435

Ski Area Citizens Scorecards:

(C) Keystone Ski Resort 53.3% (Fall 2008)

(B) Keystone Ski Resort 76.0%  (Winter 2013 – 2014)

Profile At-A-Glance (Summer 2008)

Life Stages: Singles, Couples, Mid Life, Empty Nests, Baby Boomers

Ages: 20-29, 25-54, 30-44, 45-65

Community Neighbors:

Wireless Resorters

Premier Resorts – WRPR (Declined, Evolved or Moved)

09M1T1, Big Fish Small Pond, 45+, Couples, Affluent Empty Nests, Accumulated Wealth, Landed Gentry (Mammoth Lakes, CA)

Maturing Resorts — WRMR

11Y1T1, God’s Country, 30-44, Couples, Midlife Success, Landed Gentry (Boulder, CO)

23Y2T2, Greenbelt Sports, 25-54, Mainstream Singles, Country Comfort (Aspen, CO)

Distant Exurbans – WRDE (Declined, Evolved or Moved)

48Y3T4, Young and Rustic, 20-29, Striving Singles, Rustic Living (ParkCity, UT)

Community Neighbors:

High Country Eagles

Rural Cowboys– HCERC

45Y3T3, Blue Highways, 20-29, Striving Singles, Middle America (Dillon, CO)

For those BOFs with 09M1T1 lifestyles flying from Whitefish, Montana, and touching down in Summit County they may have felt right at home.

Three Wireless Resorter communities welcomed new nesters.

The 09M1T1 Premier Resort lifestyle, two lifestyles living in Maturing Resorts and the third rustic living Distant Exurbans.

Except, something happened along the way.

Half of Dillon’s Wireless Resort lifestyles turned over.

Including the Premier Resorts 09M1T1 and Distant Exurbans Young Rustics.

The same lifestyle that left Copper Mountain and Frisco.

More on that a little later.

What happened?

Let’s take a look at the “before.”

Highlights and Headlines.

Winter 2007 – 2008

Opening Race

Photo credit: reid.neureiter on Best Running / CC BY-NC-SA

Nor Am Cup Giant Slalom Season

GIANT SLALOM. Colorado. Keystone Travis Ganong wrote the following column Nov. 25 while waiting for his delayed flight to Colorado for the opening race of the Nor Am Cup season – a giant slalom at Keystone Resort on Monday.

Tree Hugging Know Your Limits

Collision ABC Correspondent John McWethy

TREE COLLISION. Colorado. Keystone. A coroner says the skier who died after hitting a tree at Keystone Ski Resort Wednesday morning was former ABC correspondent John McWethy.

Vail Resorts Redevelopment Proposals

Redevelopment Of The Mountain House Base Area

Photo credit: reid.neureiter on Best Running / CC BY-NC-SA

If you’re not moving forward, you’re going backwards” Building heights, employee housing and parking were listed as key issues during a recent review of a Vail Resorts proposal to redevelop the Mountain House base area at Keystone.

State-of-the-Art Amenities

World-Class Motorcycling Destinations

Located approximately 90 minutes west of Denver, Keystone’s state-of-the-art amenities and infrastructure, as well as its proximity to world-class motorcycling destinations within Colorado’s Rocky Mountain …

Spring 2008

Sustainable Commitments

100% Certified Organic Starbucks Coffee And Fair-Trade Espresso

MOUNTAINS. Colorado. Vail. Vail Resorts is expanding that commitment, by pledging to only serve 100 percent Certified Organic Starbucks coffee and Fair-Trade espresso and to eliminate the use of all artificial Trans Fat at its 90 dining facilities at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, eight RockResort properties and at the Company’s other restaurants beginning with the 2008-2009 ski season.

Fire Threat Removals

Photo credit: elgringospain on Best Running / CC BY-NC-ND

Western Slope Beetle-Killed Trees Removal

Gov. Bill Ritter signed a half-dozen forest-health bills into law at Keystone Wednesday to help communities on the Western Slope remove beetle-killed trees that pose a fire threat to neighborhoods, water ..

Keystone Leadership Conference

Annual Leadership Conference

GOALS Move the annual Leadership Conference from February back to August, to more

Summer 2008

35-acre Fishhook Parcel

Scenic Access Snake River near Summit Cove

Hikers and anglers will have access to a scenic section of the Snake River near Summit Cove under a new management plan for the 35-acre Fishhook parcel.

Photo: Visual Hunt

Jazz, Art and Tastings

The Uncorked Mountain Wine Festival

The Uncorked Mountain Wine Festival at Keystone, Colo is August 22-24 and features delicious wines, award winning jazz, and a juried fine art show in River Run.

Annual Sign-Ons

SingleSign-On and The OpenSSO Team

The OpenSSO team are in Keystone, CO this week for the first annual SingleSign-On Summit.

Leader and Speaker Series

Emerging Summit County Leaders

Photo: Visual Hunt

Leadership Summit is a nine-month adult-leadership training program offered through The Keystone Center that equips emerging Summit County leaders with the skills and relationships necessary to lead …

Mountain Speaker Series

The Keystone Science School is starting a mountain speaker series in benefit of the Student Scholarship Fund.

Fall 2008

Vail Resorts in Colorado and California

The Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition. Vail Resorts. Colorado. California.

Average Resort Score: 50.4%

1 Heavenly Mountain Resort 51.3% (C)

2 Beaver Creek Resort 58.7% (C)

3 Breckenridge Ski Resort 36.1% (F)

4 Keystone Ski Resort 53.3% (C)

5 Vail Ski Resort 52.7% (C)

Vail Resorts

Photo credit: Thad Roan – Bridgepix on Best Running / CC BY

is a vertically integrated operation that controls many of the companies that service resort visitors in their respective markets. Its 3 primary operational units are the Mountain unit which owns and operates

Mountain Unit: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly

Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly and which includes lift ticket, ski & snowboard school, dining, retail and rental businesses;

Vail Resorts Hospitality and Vail Resorts Development Company

Vail Resorts Hospitality which owns and/or manages a portfolio of luxury hotels under the RockResorts brand (which consists of 8 properties located in both ski and beach destinations and an additional 6 properties currently being developed, 7 hotels and condominiums located in proximity to the company’s ski resorts, 3 resorts at Grand Teton National Park and 6 golf courses); and Vail Resorts Development Company

Time to see for ourselves.

Soak up what the mountain resorts have to offer.

Relax.

And, get answers to our questions.

What’s been going on?

Steps:

25) Compare what “life” was like in those communities before the Great Recession, how resilient each was during the economic downturn, and to what degree did each bounce back after with any “economic hangover.” 

28) Which lifestyles profiled in the western resort towns during 2008 – 2009 remained five years later in 2013-2014?  Which disappeared entirely? Why? Which new lifestyles emerged, grew or moved in to shift the neighborhood mix? Have longtime locals been forced out by escalating property 

30) Review headlines and relevant news as far back as you can find online to surface each community’s unique pulse and identify information necessary to make your decision. Is there a “ticking time bomb” issue you may uncover that eliminates the resort from your bucket list? Search on topix.com.

What Were Frisco and Copper Mountain Like Before the Great Recession?

Part One: Summit

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

An excerpt from Book Three in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams.

5-Year Time Frames — 2003 – 2008

What about Frisco and Copper Mountain Resort?

Comparing lifestyle changes over the next five year period, what happened?

Shouldn’t you expect a similar abrupt change in community neighborhoods?

Source: Google Maps

First of all the Dillon Reservoir separates Dillon and Frisco by 6 miles and the route takes under 15 minutes to drive.

But the distance between Breckenridge and Copper Mountain resorts, 21 miles by car on 1-70 and CO 9, may take 30 to 40 minutes depending on traffic and road conditions.

Getting there takes time, but if you could travel as a crow flies, you’d soon discover their ski runs share opposite sides of mountain peaks  fairly close together.

I-70 delivers you within minutes of Copper’s entrance.

Will that fact make a difference over the ensuing five years?

Location At-A-Glance

Region: Western United States

Google Maps

State: Colorado

Travel Region: Northwestern Colorado

County: Summit County

Patchwork County: Monied Burbs

Town: Frisco — Copper Mountain, Copper Mountain Resort

Population Density: Town and Country

Real Estate Phase: Early-Maturity

Zip Codes: 80443

Profile At-A-Glance (Summer 2008)

Life Stages: Singles, Couples, Families, BabyBoomers, EmptyNests, Midlife,

Ages: 20-29, 25-54, 30-44, 45+, 45-65

Community Neighbors:

Wireless Resorters

Premier Resorts – WRPR

09M1T1, Big Fish Small Pond, 45+, Couples, Affluent Empty Nests, Accumulated Wealth, Landed Gentry (Mammoth Lakes, CA)

05F1T1, Country Squires, 45+, Family, Accumulated Wealth, Landed Gentry (Lake Arrowhead, CA)

Maturing Resorts — WRMR

11Y1T1, God’s Country, 30-44, Couples, Midlife Success, Landed Gentry (Boulder, CO)

23Y2T2, Greenbelt Sports, 25-54, Mainstream Singles, Country Comfort (Aspen, CO)

Distant Exurbans – WRDE (Declined, Evolved or Moved)

48Y3T4, Young and Rustic, 20-29, Striving Singles, Rustic Living (ParkCity, UT)

You’ll find out a little later that Frisco and Copper Mountain “lost” their only Distant Exurban lifestyle.

Those 20-29 year old singles used to rustic living – 48Y3T4 “flew” to Breckenridge and Durango in Colorado,  Incline Village in Nevada, Truckee, South Lake Tahoe, Bishop in California and to Whitefish in Montana.

Not only that, unlike Breckenridge, two community neighbors with four core lifestyles did not change.

Why?

Or why not?

Did the Great Recession treat the mountain communities differently?

Highlights and Headlines.

Winter 2007 – 2008

Arresting Development Copper Style

Photo: Visual Hunt

Snowball Trial

SNOWBALL. FIGHT. ARREST. Colorado. Copper Mountain. A seasonal worker from Australia is scheduled to go on trial Thursday for allegedly injuring an acquaintance when he launched a snowball at her last season at Copper Mountain.

High Alpine Bowls, Not Enough?

Backside Of The Mountain Preserved For Wildlife

MOUNTAINS.WILDLIFE. Colorado.  Copper Mountain Resort has begun to open portions of their high alpine bowls on the backside of the mountain preserved for wildlife.

Environmental Report Card vs. Development

Photo: Pixabay

Copper and Breck on Bottom of Environmental Report

Top 10 ski resort scores, by score 1. Aspen Mountain Ski Resort – Colo. A 88.9 2. Buttermilk Mountain Ski Resort – Colo.

IntraWest owns Whistler, Copper and Steamboat.

MOUNTAINS. VAIL RESORTS. INTRAWEST. Colorado. Vail.  Bill Jensen, the top executive at Vail Mountain and president of its mountain division, is leaving Vail Resorts to work for rival ski company Intrawest that owns Whistler, Copper and Steamboat.

Base Area Redevelopment Plan

Density, parking and transportation will be some of the key topics as the Board of County Commissioners starts to scrutinize Copper Mountain Resort’s latest base area redevelopment plan at a 1:30 p.m. work …

10-Story Hotel

Copper Mountain’s proposal to concentrate density in the core of the resort includes preliminary plans for a 10-story hotel on the site of the existing Chapel parking …

Leadville to Minturn

Photo: Visual Hunt

Interstate 70 Is Closed At MM 195

Westbound Interstate 70 is closed at MM 195 due to multiple accidents. An alternate route is to use Highway 91 from Copper Mountain to Leadville and then take Highway 24 to Minturn.

Leapers and Super Pipes

Photo: Visual Hunt

Main Vein Super Pipe

Copper Mountain’s Main Vein Super pipe will be closed Monday, Feb. 25, re-opening Friday, Feb.

Leap Day Take The Day Off And Ski And Ride Day

Today, leap day, Copper Mountain Resort is holding their first annual National take the day off and ski and ride day or N.T.T.D.O.A.S.A.R.D. Leapers get to ski for free, while everyone else just gets to play

Summit County Community

Summit High School Alpine Team

Coach Tory Hauser was pleased with the Summit High School alpine team’s performance in Friday’s giant slalom at Copper Mountain, even though the Tigers were unable to top the podium.

Fundraising For Summit Community Care Clinic

Summit Community Care Clinic will be holding its first ever major fundraising event on March 8 from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Copper Mountain Conference Center.

Spring 2008

Season Passes Lowest Possible Prices

Season passes for three of Colorado’s favorite resorts –

” Winter Park, Copper Mountain and Steamboat, all of which have enjoyed incredible snow this season – ” are available for the lowest possible prices …

Which is Worse?

Photo: Visual Hunt

Bicycling Accidents, Snowboarding Emergency-Room Visits

Not counting bicycling accidents, snowboarding injuries accounted for a quarter of all emergency-room visits related to outdoor sports injuries in 2005-2005, according to a new federal report.

What’s Right Around the Corner?

Summer Music Acts, Cycling, And Running Events

Copper’s Summer schedule features national music acts, cycling, and running events.

Summer 2008

Run the Rockies

Colorado. Copper Mountain.  Frisco.

Photo: Visual Hunt

Johannes Rudolph celebrated his 43rd anniversary of being alive by winning Run the Rockies Saturday in Frisco with a time of 1 …

Half-Marathon Is 75 Percent Downhill

COLORADO. MOUNTAINS. SKI-TOWNS.  Colorado. Copper Mountain. The half-marathon is 75 percent downhill and the Tenmile Creek is 100 percent downhill.

Just Like That

Surprise Road Closure

Denver Water closed our road without communicating with anyone in Summit County, the towns of Breckenridge, Frisco, Silverthorne, Dillon, Montezuma and the Keystone community.

Cross Promotion Beery Good

Promotional Use Of The Resorts’ Logos By MillerCoors

MillerCoors LLC has reached a joint marketing deal with Colorado’s Copper Mountain and Winter Park ski resorts that includes event sponsorship and promotional use of the resorts’ logos by the brewer.

Master Plan Development

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Copper Mountain’s Development Proposal

Tenmile Planning Commission hearings on Copper Mountain’s development proposal When: Wednesday and Thursday, 5:30 p.m. Where: Ptarmigan Room, Copper Mountain Conference Center.

Master Plan With 600 New Residential Units

The Tenmile Planning Commission gave Copper Mountain Resort the green light to build nearly 600 new residential units under a reconfigured master plan.

Fall 2008

What About Jobs?

Local Job Fair

The Frisco Workforce Center and the Town of Silverthorne will host a free job fair this Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. ‘We had a steady group of …

Reduce and Realign

Photo: Visual Hunt

Intrawest Will ‘Reduce And Realign’ Its Workforce

MOUNTAINS. Colorado. Copper Mountain. Intrawest announced Wednesday that it will ‘reduce and realign’ its workforce, but the Canadian-based resort company did not specify if any of the cuts would be felt at Copper Mountain.

Intrawest – Think Global, Act Local

10 Ski Resorts In Canada And The United States

Intrawest owns or manages 10 ski resorts in Canada and the United States, 16 resorts and “villages” in Canada, the United States and France and both Canadian Mountain Holidays Heli Skiing and Whistler Heli Skiing.

Solitude, Squaw Valley, Mammoth Keystone, Copper and Winter Park

Intrawest is best known as the developer of mountain villages in Whistler BC, Panorama BC, Blue Mountain ON, Mt. Tremblant QC, Stratton VT, Mountain Creek NJ, Snowshoe WV, Solitude UT, Squaw Valley CA, Mammoth Lakes CA, Keystone CO, Copper Mountain CO, Winter Park CO and Arc 1950 France.

Developing Or Re-Developing “Villages” June Lake And Steamboat Springs

Intrawest is also currently developing or re-developing “villages” at June Lake CA, Steamboat Springs CO

Mountain Resorts By The Numbers

The Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition Rates 53 Of The 83 Resorts

MOUNTAINS. SUSTAINABILITY SCORECARD. Colorado. Utah. The Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition says that region-wide, 53 of the 83 resorts it reviewed this year boosted their scores, but seven received failing grades.

Colorado Copper Mountain’s “F,” Expansion And Real Estate Development

The resort with the lowest score was Colorado’s Copper Mountain, which ranked at 31.9 points for an “F,” the coalition said. Copper Mountain’s score was almost entirely due to an expansion of terrain and real estate development, coalition research director Hunter Sykes said.

Colorado’s “A” Aspen Mountain to “F” Copper Mountain

# Name Grade

1 (A) Aspen Mountain Ski Resort 85.7%

20 (F) Copper Mountain Ski Resort 31.9%

The Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition. Intrawest Ski Areas

# Criteria Maximum Points Awarded Points

10 ski areas totaling 21,913 acres of skiable terrain.

# Name Grade

1 Copper Mountain Ski Resort 31.9% (F)

2 Steamboat Ski & Resort 61.1% (C)

3 Winter Park Resort 48.9% (D)

Winter 2008 – 2009

Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Business Could Drop Between 5 And 15% This Season

The leadership of the Aspen Skiing Co. anticipates business could drop between 5 and 15 percent this season.

Practice, Practice, Practice

U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix

MOUNTAINS. SNOWBOARDING GRAND PRIX. Colorado. Copper Mountain. Halfpipe superstars from across the globe have descended upon Copper Mountain this week in preparation for the season’s first U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix coming up …

Part Three:

Steps:

25) Compare what “life” was like in those communities before the Great Recession, how resilient each was during the economic downturn, and to what degree did each bounce back after with any “economic hangover.” 

28) Which lifestyles profiled in the western resort towns during 2008 – 2009 remained five years later in 2013-2014?  Which disappeared entirely? Why? Which new lifestyles emerged, grew or moved in to shift the neighborhood mix? Have longtime locals been forced out by escalating property 

30) Review headlines and relevant news as far back as you can find online to surface each community’s unique pulse and identify information necessary to make your decision. Is there a “ticking time bomb” issue you may uncover that eliminates the resort from your bucket list? Search on topix.com.

 

 

Summit

Monied ‘Burbs, Celebrities, Ski Resorts: Pre-Great Recession Lifestyles Profiles-At-A-Glance

Photo: Visual Hunt
This contours along the “Continental Divide, an imaginary line that marks the flow of precipitation. Rain falling on the west of the Divide makes its way to the Pacific Ocean. Rain on the east makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.”

 

An excerpt from Book Three in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams.

Rocky Mountain Region. WikiTravel

As you leave Telluride, the next travel region on your BOF bucket list takes you to Northwestern Colorado.  

Where is it?

South of the Wyoming state line. 

Along the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, but east of Utah state line. 

It includes Mesa, Pitkin and Summit counties.  

If you are like most people you’d recognize the region in relation to Interstate 70.  

Well, draw a line 50 to 100 miles south and you’ve found its southern border.

Follow I-70 from the western portal of the Eisenhower Tunnel in the east to the Utah state line in the west and you’ve got it covered. 

Wikitravel describes the region this way:

Splitting the Difference at the Continental Divide – WikiTravel

This contours along the Continental Divide, an imaginary line that marks the flow of precipitation. 

Rain falling on the west of the Divide makes its way to the Pacific Ocean. 

Rain on the east makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. 

Exploring Summit County first, makes the most sense, because more resort towns ranging from innovation to early maturity can be visited in fewer vacation days.  

And, guess what?  

Patchwork Nation says Summit County can be added to the “Monied Burbs List.”

Across the county you’ll discover 8 or 9 towns that might capture your imagination.  

In fact you’d probably recognize the names of the four major ski and snowboarding resort areas already.

And, you’ll find out that two reservoirs store water for local recreation and home owners as far away as Denver. 

Summit County, Colorado. Source: Google Maps

And as you learn later, the Summit Daily News features news and information about the towns and resorts.

To be honest Summit County confused me years ago when we began our coverage.  

Here’s why.  

Zip Codes.

Oh, and in my knowledge base, I discovered more confusion.

Just like Santa Cruz County in California and Santa Cruz County in Arizona, there are other Summit Counties in other western states.

One closer by in Utah.

So let’s start with the least confusing. 

Breckenridge. 

Some like to call the most popular ski resort in the U.S. 

Probably their Chamber of Commerce, right?

Unlike Durango, Breckenridge citizens live within one zip code, 80424.

Location At-A-Glance 

Region: Western United States, Rocky Mountain Region

Colorado Regions. WikiTravel

State: Colorado 

Travel Region: Northwestern Colorado

County: Summit County

Patchwork County:  Monied Burbs 

Town: Breckenridge

Population Density: Town and Country

Real Estate Phase: Early-Maturity

Ski Area Citizens Scorecards: 

(F) Breckenridge Ski Resort 36.1%  (Fall 2008)

(D) Breckenridge Ski Resort 41.5% (Winter 2009 -2010)

(C) Breckenridge Ski Resort 65.2% (Fall 2013)

5-Year Time Frames — 2003 – 2008

Breckenridge, CO Zip Code 80424 – Google Maps

 

Profile At-A-Glance (Summer 2008)

Zip Codes: 80424

Life Stages: Singles, Couples, Families, Midlife, Empty Nests, Baby Boomers

Ages: 20-29, 25-54, 30-44, 55+

Community Neighbors: 

Wireless Resorters 

Maturing Resorts — WRMR

11Y1T1, God’s Country, 30-44, Couples, Midlife Success, Landed Gentry, WRMR Maturing Resorts, Wireless Resorters  (Declined, Evolved or Moved to Boulder, CO)

23Y2T2, Greenbelt Sports, 25-54, Mainstream Singles, Country Comfort, WRMR Maturing Resorts, Wireless Resorters (Aspen, CO)

33F3T2, Big Sky Families, 25-54, Mainstream Families, Country Comfort, WRMR Maturing Resorts, Wireless Resorters (Declined, Evolved or Moved to Park City, UT)

28M2T2, Traditional Times, Empty Nests, 55+, Couples, Country Comfort, WRMR Maturing Resorts, Wireless Resorters (St. Helena, CA)

Distant Exurbans – WRDE (Declined, Evolved or Moved)

56Y3T4, Crossroads Villagers, 20-29, Striving Singles,Rustic Living, WRDE Distant Exurbans, Wireless Resorters  (Declined, Evolved or Moved to Telluride, CO)

Community Neighbors: 

High Country Eagles

Rural Cowboys– HCERC

45Y3T3, Blue Highways, 20-29, Striving Singles, Middle America HCERC Rural Cowboy, High Country Eagles (Dillon, CO)

Over the next five years Breckenridge changed the most.  

Compared to the other Summit County mountain resort towns. 

Of the four Maturing Resorts community lifestyles only two remained.  

And, the lone representative of the Distant Exurbans vanished as well.

Breckenridge said goodbye to couples, families, and mid lifers in the 30-44 age range. 

Three “anchor lifestyles” remained – singles, empty nesters and Baby Boomers ages 20-29, 25-54 and 55+.

Why?

To find out, let’s start with how things were in 2008.

And, with the December, 2007 to February 2008 ski and snowboard season.

Highlights and Headlines. 

Winter 2007 – 2008

History and Holiday Arts

Breckenridge Heritage Alliance and the Summit Historical Society 

Edwin Carter Log Cabin Naturalist Museum Source – Wikipedia

“It’s one of few of its kind that exists.” The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance and the Summit Historical Society recently announced that the William W. Boyd Horseshoe Collection will be on display at the Edwin Carter Museum in Breckenridge.

Third Annual Arts District Holiday Party 

The third annual Arts District Holiday Party is Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. at the Breckenridge Theatre at 121 S.

Providing Medical Services

Level V Trauma Center Breckenridge Medical Clinic 

Breckenridge Medical Clinic recently passed a re-certification test to stay a Level V Trauma Center with a perfect score from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Trauma Services Division.

Land and Water Conservation

Plan For Carter Park 

“This probably represents more of a compromise” Following a recent presentation about a plan for Carter Park designed by a community advisory group and recommended by the majority of citizens who got involved, Breckenridge Town Council gave the go-ahead.

We’re Protecting The Land And The Water

Photo: Visual Hunt

“I’m representing the people of the state of Colorado to make sure we’re protecting the land and the water” The massive budget bill passed by the U.S. Congress this week includes nearly a $1 million in federal funds for the Highway 9 widening project bet

Mining Town to Destination Resort

One Of America’s Favorite Alpine Destinations 

Breckenridge, Colorado is one of America’s favorite alpine destinations. Breckenridge was founded over 140 years ago as a mining town.

Photo: Visual Hunt

2nd-Home Market In Old-Style Victorian Mining Town

“This is really a 2nd-home market” The holiday rush may be over, but January and February don’t slow down in Breckenridge, Colorado, an old-style Victorian mining town turned modern ski mecca.

Films, Festivals and Fun

Mountainfilm in Telluride 

Mountainfilm in Telluride, a festival of adventure, cultural and environmental films, is partnering with Breckenridge’s nonprofit Mountain to Mountain by bringing three nights of film to the Speakeasy. MountainFilm support and attendance helped CRMS Thank you to all who supported and attended the Colorado Rocky Mountain School’s presentation of Telluride MountainFilm on Tour this year.

North American Open Freeskiing Videos

Christopher Blunck. Photo: Visual Hunt

Watch freeskiing videos from this weekends North American Open in Breckenridge, hosted by Simon Dumont and Jon Olsson.

Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships 

For the 18th year, Breckenridge is hosting the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge.

Celebrities  and Salaries

Keeping Up with the Kardashians 

Photo: Visual Hunt

Breckenridge, Colorado is among the hot spots to be featured on the new season of E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Salaries Of The Breckenridge Town Council Members 

An ordinance that will increase the salaries of the Breckenridge Town council members elected this spring recently passed the second reading with a 5-to-1 vote.

Spring 2008

Hut, Hut, Hut …

Backcountry Shelter Considered By Summit Huts Association 

The Summit Huts Association is considering several spots near Breckenridge for a new backcountry shelter, but proponents are wary of environmental concerns that scuttled the last effort.

Summer 2008

Early Signals?

Hotel Occupancy In Vail, Aspen And Breckenridge

Whatever the cause, hotel occupancy this year in Vail, Aspen and Breckenridge is down slightly this year from the first six months of 2007.

Victorian Historic District

Eco-Friendly Solar Panels Into The Town’s Historic District 

Photo: Visual Hunt

Colorado – Breckenridge officials are grappling with how to usher eco-friendly solar panels into the town’s historic district while preserving its renowned Victorian charm.

First Documented Gold Strike On The Western Slope 

Breckenridge is home to the first documented gold strike on the Western Slope, but the story as told may be inaccurate.

Foundation Endowment

$100,000 to the Summit Foundation 

The Grand Lodge on Peak 7 recently gave $100,000 to the Summit Foundation for an endowment through which the donors can designate the specific beneficiaries.

Local Celebrity

Breckenridge Snowborder

DeAnna Pappas is down to two final bachelors on this season of ABC-TV’s “The Bachelorette.”

Festivals and Celebrations

Summer Festival of Film 

The Breckenridge Festival of Film, which took place June 5-8, 2008 has announced its choices for best of this year’s festival.

28th Annual Breckenridge Festival Of Film 

High drama, suspense and political intrigue drew audiences from the four corners of the nation for the World Premiere of “Washington, You’re Fired” at this year’s 28th annual Breckenridge Festival of Film.

Parade Down Main Street 

The fun begins on July 4th, with a parade down Main Street.

Second Annual Kingdom Days Celebration 

Mobile outhouses, mine tours and gunfights aim to lure folks to Breckenridge this weekend for the second annual Kingdom Days celebration.

Kickoff Of The Up With People 

Special to the Daily FARMER’S KORNER – Lovisa Cehlin traveled from her home country of Sweden to Breckenridge for the kickoff of the Up With People …

Quaint Shops

Photo: Visual Hunt

New Tin Shop Artists Arrive

The Arts District of Breckenridge’s Tin Shop is located at 117 E.

Hamlet’s Bookshoppe 

“While vacationing in Breckenridge, Colorado, over the Fourth of July weekend, I stopped by a quaint little bookstore in town called Hamlet’s Bookshoppe,” emails publicist Amber Childres.

Retreats

Signature Health And Wellness Retreats 

Sacred Tree, a holistic health and wellness center in Breckenridge, is launching a line of signature health and wellness retreats.

Mountain-Pine Beetle Aftermath

Turned From Removal To Replanting 

The Breckenridge mountain-pine beetle program’s emphasis has turned from removal to replanting.

Music, Touring and Walking

Blue River Series at the Riverwalk Center 

The Breckenridge Music Festival will present Cowboy Junkies with special guest Monahans as part of the Blue River Series at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The Cowboy Junkies were …

Continental Divide Land Trust Walking Tour

A walking tour of Breckenridge highlighting what remains of the wildflowers and native landscapes indigenous to our area will be offered on Saturday, August 2, by Continental Divide Land Trust.

Photo: Visual Hunt

Ride The Rockies Bicycle Tour 

After seven days and 435 miles, over 2,000 cyclists will cross the finish line in Breckenridge Saturday for this year’s Ride the Rockies bicycle tour.

On and Off the Road

A Dozen Thefts Of High-End Road Bikes 

Breckenridge police believe thieves are targeting high-end road bikes after a dozen thefts since June.

Surprise Road Closure

Denver Water closed our road without communicating with anyone in Summit County, the towns of Breckenridge, Frisco, Silverthorne, Dillon, Montezuma and the Keystone community.

Breckenridge Free Ride’s New Diesel-Hybrid Bus 

A bright grin under a white bucket hat and Wayfarer-style shades greeted riders boarding Breckenridge Free Ride’s new diesel-hybrid bus Friday.

Fall 2008

Early Start to New Season

Making Snow After First Big Winter Storm 

The first big winter storm allowed the resort at Breckenridge, Colorado to start making snow.

Photo: Visual Hunt

Top 10 Resorts

7. Breckenridge, Colorado and Whistler, British Columbia, 

18 – 20 Inches of Base Depth

As I write this, nothing but sun is falling anywhere in the Western U.S., but in the last few days and weeks snow has begun to accumulate. In Colorado, Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge, Loveland, Copper, and Wolf Creek are open and reporting a base depth of 18 to 20 inches.

Snowboarder Tara Weldon 

After a taste of Breckenridge for an episode of MTV’s ‘Made,’ aspiring competitive snowboarder Tara Weldon is devouring the whole meal.

What’s So Funny About That?

First Laughs And Lifts Comedy Festival 

If you’re all smiles today with Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper mountains opening for the season, the good vibe continues into the night and weekend with the first Laughs and Lifts Comedy Festival in Breck.

Putting the Twang in Country and the Cult in Culture

three20south in Breckenridge 

Bringing a mix of country, rock and a little bit of twang, the Colorado band Great American Taxi is bringing its self-proclaimed ‘Americana without borders’ sound to three20south in Breckenridge on Saturday.

‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’

In Breckenridge, will show the 1975 cult classic, ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’, on Friday and Saturday at 6:45 p.m. and 9 p.m. on both days.

Where to Go for Drugs

New Owners Of The Drug Store In Breckenridge 

Mark and Mary Waldman recently purchased the Drug Store in Breckenridge and say they plan to build on the Drug Store’s tradition of service and convenience. The Waldmans will host a grand opening at the Drug …

Getting Around Past and Present

Photo: Visual Hunt

Historic Locomotive 

Breckenridge town council on Tuesday gave the nod – by a 4-3 decision – to install historic Locomotive No. 

Modification Of Breckenridge Freeride Routes 

Breckenridge Freeride routes have been modified for this winter to accommodate the community and its visitors more efficiently

An Explosive Situation Leading to Stress Reduction

Dynamite Found in Frisco

What’s selling, who’s buying, who’s selling.

Tibetan Massage Therapy 

A man who lived three years in a cave, escaped China on foot and nearly passed out in the trunk of a taxi now practices Tibetan massage therapy in Breckenridge.

Keep in Clean Now

Cleaning Up The Water In Breckenridge 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is helping clean up the water in Breckenridge.

What about Frisco and Copper Mountain Resort?

Part Two:  What Were Frisco and Copper Mountain Like Before the Great Recession?

Steps:

25) Compare what “life” was like in those communities before the Great Recession, how resilient each was during the economic downturn, and to what degree did each bounce back after with any “economic hangover.” 

28) Which lifestyles profiled in the western resort towns during 2008 – 2009 remained five years later in 2013-2014?  Which disappeared entirely? Why? Which new lifestyles emerged, grew or moved in to shift the neighborhood mix? Have longtime locals been forced out by escalating property 

30) Review headlines and relevant news as far back as you can find online to surface each community’s unique pulse and identify information necessary to make your decision. Is there a “ticking time bomb” issue you may uncover that eliminates the resort from your bucket list? Search on topix.com.

Mammoth Lakes: From Hardships to Hope

Then in June, management at Mammoth Mountain, the resort that dominates the town, trimmed staff, cut salaries and announced the shuttering of its June Mountain ski operation.

 

Photo: Visual Hunt
By the Winter of 2013 -2014 the first Premier Resort lifestyle segment flew into the scene –  midlife families on the fast-track taking advantage of the real estate deals.

 

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Final Installment in a Seven Part Series:

Part One:  Mammoth

Part Two: What Was Mammoth Like Before the Great Recession?

Part Three: Chains that Bind – Bankruptcy, Foreclosures and No Snow

Part Four: Stuck in the Middle with You

Part Five: Breathtaking Mountain Panoramas and Bullet Holes

Part Six: Temple of Folly, Clocks Cleaned and Repaired

Highlights and Headlines

5-Year Time Frames  2009 – 2014

Winter 2012 – 2013

Hoping for a better future

How Bad Things Have Been This Year

Before we get to the early snow, the new businesses, the zipping skiers and beaming boarders at Mammoth Lakes, let’s remember how bad things have been this year for this corner of the Eastern Sierra.

Photo: Stephen G. Howard

How bad was it?

Scant Snow In The 2011-12 Season Shuttering Of Its June Mountain

First, Mother Nature delivered scant snow in the 2011-12 season, driving tourism down just as the larger economy seemed to be recovering. Then in June, management at Mammoth Mountain, the resort that dominates the town, trimmed staff, cut salaries and announced the shuttering of its June Mountain ski operation — a painful blow to the tiny mountain community of June Lake, 20 miles north of Mammoth.

Photo: Visual Hunt

Financial Hardships

Mammoth Lakes Declared Bankruptcy

Oh, and in July the town of Mammoth Lakes declared bankruptcy after it lost a breach-of-contract lawsuit. Recovery, town officials said, would depend on layoffs, pay cuts and a plan to make debt payments of $2 million a year for 23 years.

June Lake Local Businesses Are Doing Without

These have been hard times, especially in June Lake, where local businesses are doing without their own ski mountain for the first time in decades.

Deals to bring skiers and boarders back for new season

Westin Monache Resort Mammoth

Westin Monache Resort Mammoth, 50 Hillside Drive, Mammoth Lakes; (760) 934-0400, http://www.westinmammoth.com. Some 230 rooms (all with kitchenettes) in contemporary style, with Whitebark restaurant downstairs. Winter rates $299-$599 for most rooms, more during peak time.

Photo: Visual Hunt

Village Lodge

Village Lodge, 1111 Forest Trail, Mammoth Lakes; (800) 626-6684, http://www.thevillagelodgemammoth.com. Vacation condos. Winter rates $289-$669 for a one-bedroom condo, plus $20-a-night resort fee.

Swiss Chalet Bed & Breakfast Inn

Swiss Chalet Bed & Breakfast Inn, 101 Hill Street, Mammoth Lakes; (760) 914-3452, http://www.swisschalet-mammoth.com. Opened this summer, the inn has two rooms with private baths in a modern log home with a spacious great room, picture windows and a deck with whirlpool. Winter rates typically $200-$275.

Mammoth Mountain Inn

Mammoth Mountain Inn, 10001 Minaret Road, Mammoth Lakes; (800) 626-6684, http://www.themammothmountaininn.com. A short walk from the lift lines, but gets mixed marks on TripAdvisor. Some 217 rooms. Winter rates $129-$398

Our second profile glance picked up some of changes to Mammoth’s community.

Profile At-A-Glance (Winter 2013-2014)

Life Stages: Singles, Families, Baby Boomers, Empty Nests

Ages: 25-54, 35-54, 55+

Community Neighbors:

Wireless Resorters

Premier Resorts – WRPR

20F2T1, Fast-Track Families, 35-54, Families, Young Accumulators, Landed Gentry, WRPR Premier Resorts, Wireless Resorters

Maturing Resorts — WRMR


23Y2T2, Greenbelt Sports, 25-54, Mainstream Singles, Country Comfort, WRMR Maturing Resorts, Wireless Resorters

28M2T2, Traditional Times, Empty Nests, 55+, Couples, Conservative Classics, WRMR Maturing Resorts, Wireless Resorters

32F3T2, New Homesteaders, 25-54, Mainstream Families, Country Comfort, WRMR Maturing Resorts, Wireless Resorters

33F3T2, Big Sky Families, 25-54, Mainstream Families, Country Comfort, WRMR Maturing Resorts, Wireless Resorters

By Winter of 2013 -2014 the first Premier Resort lifestyle segment flew into the scene –  midlife families on the fast-track taking advantage of the real estate deals.

Two of the WRMR – Maturing Resort – lifestyles, 55+ age Empty Nests and Mainstream Families depart.

But, another Mainstream Family, age 25-54, moves in.

In 2008 Mammoth said goodbye to the younger 20-29 Millennials.

Now, two Baby Boomer lifestyles fly away.

The first, 32F3T2 families, like in South Lake Tahoe, disappear from all the California, Nevada and Colorado mountain towns we visited.

Photo: Visual Hunt

But, the second, 28M2T2 Empty Nesters, show up in almost all of the those towns surrounding Lake Tahoe.

As well as in these Colorado towns:

And, then in California:

Like snow flurries that fall and don’t stick, at the end of the season in spring, Mammoth said hello and then goodbye to its only Premier Resort, Fast Track family lifestyle.

They, the 35-54 year old Young Accumulators (20F2T1), moved on to Olympic Valley – Squaw Valley.

Reading some of the 2013 headlines, in hindsight, you can notice some new opportunities and something positive was in the air.

Were things returning to normal?

Three seasons of highlights and headlines provide some clues.

Highlights and Headlines

5-Year Time Frames  2009 — 2014

Spring 2013

Extending Spring Snow Conditions

Tons Of Snow And Will Be Open Through Memorial Day

Photo: Visual Hunt

But not to worry, the resort has tons of snow and will be open through Memorial Day; In the meantime, it’s using those balmy temperatures as part of this quirky lodging deal:

Thriving in Lifestyle Businesses

Howard Sheckter, The Weather Sage Of The Eastern Sierra

A hailstorm ignited Howard Sheckter’s obsession with the elements. For three decades, the real estate agent has doubled as the weather sage of the eastern Sierra.

Range in Temperatures

Daily High Temperature At Main Lodge

Officials said the daily high temperature is based on the high temperature at Main Lodge recorded on the ski patrol website. To book, go to mammothmountain.com/VacationPlanning/Deals/.

Deals and Incentives

Discounts For Two Or More Nights

If you stay two or more nights at Mammoth from Saturday to May 23, you will receive a nightly discount based on the high temperature for the previous day. That means if it’s 50 degrees, you’ll get a $100 discount upon checkout for your two-day stay.

Summer 2013

June Mountain Season Passes https://www.junemountain.com/winter/plan-a-vacation/plan-a-vacation/deals-packages

Open for Family Fun

Reopening Of June Mountain In Winter

This coming season also marks the reopening of June Mountain, the family friendly neighbor that closed last season. At Mammoth, meanwhile, Unbound Playgrounds and Adventure Zones, which offer a go-slow introduction to terrain parks for beginners and children, will have some additional interactive elements this winter.

Water Rights Settlement

LADWP Drops Two Lawsuits For $5.8 Million

In return for $5.8 million, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power drops two lawsuits. Each agrees not to challenge the other’s water rights.

Snowboarding Training and Contests

U.S. Olympians Training Ground

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Assn. has chosen Mammoth Mountain as an official training ground for U.S. Olympians in freeskiing and snowboarding. Mammoth Mountain, celebrating its 60th season this year, will help them prepare for upcoming Winter games in Sochi, Russia, which start in early February.

Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix

Around since the late ’90s, freeskiing involves jumps and tricks on terrain park features usually reserved for snowboarders. Additionally, the 2014 snowboarding team for halfpipe will be announced at Mammoth during the final Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix Jan. 18 and 19.

Fall 2013

Fall Colors in Creeks and Canyons

Quick Trip To Mammoth For Brilliant Fall Colors

California: Near Mammoth, fall color starts to creep in. Don’t believe California has fall color? Neither did a Vermont friend, so I took her on a quick trip to Mammoth last year so she could see for herself. She was surprised.

Photo by Stephen G. Howard

Rock Creek May Be At Its Brilliant Best This Weekend

Timing and elevation are everything, of course, so if you’re planning a trip this year, know that colors are beginning to appear at higher elevations. In fact, Rock Creek may be at its brilliant best this weekend.

Lundy Canyon, Bishop Creek and Rock Creek Canyon

From our trip last year, here’s what we saw along with some early color reports from this month. Just north of Lee Vining is Lundy Canyon, identified by California’s Eastern Sierra Color Guide and Map as one of the best places to see color (we also chose Bishop Creek and Rock Creek Canyon).

Waterfalls And Trails, Vistas And Forests

None of the drives was more than about 40 minutes from Mammoth. Lundy Canyon and Lake is beautiful any time of year, with waterfalls and trails, vistas and forests, but fall is special.

Photo by Stephen G. Howard

Color Has Now Descended To The 7,000 Feet In Elevation

Color spotter Christie Osborne reports in CaliforniaFallColor.com that color has now descended to the 7,000 feet in elevation and is approaching full peak at Mammoth Lakes, five hours away from L.A.

60s Daytime Temps Nights In The 20s And 30s

Poimiroo says daytime temps have been in the 60s with no wind. Nights remain cool in the 20s and 30s, providing optimal conditions for fall colors to intensify. The canyon roads west of Mammoth are always aflame in October, and the June Lake Loop is a can’t-miss destination.

Deer Spotting

Feeding Deer at June Lake, Past Village, Down Along Silver Lake

Best June Lake stretch is just past the village and down along Silver Lake, where tunnels of aspen line the road and deer come out to feed just before dusk. Bring a book, a camera, a camp chair and something to sip. Leave the rest to Mother Nature.

Steps:

25) Compare what “life” was like in those communities before the Great Recession, how resilient each was during the economic downturn, and to what degree did each bounce back after with any “economic hangover.” 

28) Which lifestyles profiled in the western resort towns during 2008 – 2009 remained five years later in 2013-2014?  Which disappeared entirely? Why? Which new lifestyles emerged, grew or moved in to shift the neighborhood mix? Have longtime locals been forced out by escalating property 

30) Review headlines and relevant news as far back as you can find online to surface each community’s unique pulse and identify information necessary to make your decision. Is there a “ticking time bomb” issue you may uncover that eliminates the resort from your bucket list? Search on topix.com.

Temple of Folly, Clocks Cleaned and Repaired

The hype of working the “largest bonanza outside of Virginia City” sparked a two-year long gold rush stampede of roughly 2500 miners to Mammoth.

 

There’s an enduring quality and allure to the Eastern Sierra mountain range, Mammoth Mountain and Mammoth Lakes area that attracted people throughout the ages.

 

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Part One:  Mammoth

Part Two: What Was Mammoth Like Before the Great Recession?

Part Three: Chains that Bind – Bankruptcy, Foreclosures and No Snow

Part Four: Stuck in the Middle with You

Part Five: Breathtaking Mountain Panoramas and Bullet Holes

Photo by Stephen G. Howard

Newer decorations in Aspen Creek condo tweaked my interest, and with very little snow again covering the grounds around our condo and the roads in Mammoth Lakes, I felt a burning desire to find Lake Mary.

Old-time black and white photos triggered my curiosity.

One titled, “Stamp Mill, Mammoth Lakes” in hand printed white letters at the bottom edge.

In it two buildings occupy the lower third, a tall building resembling a two-story barn only partially in the photo, and the second a single story log cabin with shingles.

Behind both you can make out a much taller hill rising out of the frame to the right with loose rocks sliding down its slope.

With two trees in the foreground and a dilapidated building almost sliding down a hill from right to left  you view the “Mammoth Mining Company.”

Decaying wood rubbish piles nearer to the viewer and a wooden wagon wheel lean against a tall pine tree.

Almost all of the wood siding has been salvaged or fell off over time to expose the structural bones.

Maybe the most arresting photo shows four wooden store front buildings with a long wooden walkway or porch connecting all of them.

Similar to the one at Tom’s Place with the less than true sign proclaiming, “Tom’s Place Since 1917.”

In these photos, you can only take an educated guess — at the end of the 1880s – possibly 1888?

Posed in front standing on the dirt street you can count ten males and two dogs – one spotted and the other with dark fur.

Zooming in on the right side of the panoramic shot you capture six males and dog one.

One guy sports a white hat and dark pants, vest and over coat.

A gold watch chain dangles just below his left hand that grasps the lapel of his coat.

Like several others he has grown a long mustache.

He’s the only one standing on an irregular white stone step in front of the porch.

Next to him on our left and standing in the street you see another citizen sporting a long beard in a rumpled lighter-shade three-piece suit

He poses with both hands clasped behind his back.

The next citizen on display poses in a black western hat, dark coat and white working pants with dirty knees.

He’s wearing dark black gloves, the color of his hat.

Look, the photo’s in black and white, so go with me on this detail, okay?

A trio stand in the opposite corner to the right of the gold chained dandy.

Just above them hangs a sign, “Clocks Cleaned. Repaired”

All three lean against a posts or each other with legs crossed.

They’ve pulled their hats back on their heads to better reveal their faces.

They’re younger with dark mustaches.

They’re not in their “Sunday Best.”

They’ve made no attempt at matching their clothes.

The one in the middle wears his jeans tucked into his boots.

The spotted dog one sits at the feet of the third man in dark hat and dark coat with his hand resting on the shoulder of one in the middle.

Dog one stares alertly down the street to the remaining two males and a dark fur dog laying in the street looking back.

The largest sign in the picture says, “Temple of Folly.”

  • A saloon?
  • A community gathering hole?
  • A general store extending credit to miners down on their luck?
  • Or, on close inspection a barber shop with two striped poles near the door with six glass panes?

Directly in front of possibly a second establishment set back a few feet stands a smallish, younger man dressed in a vest, tie and more stylish hat.

  • Was he the barber?
  • Or the bartender?
  • Or, the shop keeper prospering while the older, punchy, white-bearded customer near by stood loosely  at parade rest?

In contrast, with his top button fastened (maybe the only one left) on his dark coat revealed  paunchy’s pot belly hanging over rumpled jeans.

Where can I find remains of the ghost town?

With a good wireless connection and a coffee table piled high with Mammoth magazines, brochures, fliers, local directories and books bits and pieces of the story about the photos emerged.

There’s an enduring quality and allure to the Eastern Sierra mountain range, Mammoth Mountain and Mammoth Lakes area that attracted people throughout the ages.

Who were they and when did they populate Mammoth Lakes?

Courtesy Mammoth Lakes Foundation

In fact the history of Mammoth Lakes didn’t start with Dave McCoy in 1941.

According to our condo’s coffee table and wireless connection, if you consider the Native American heritage it starts hundreds of years before European’s arrived in 1877.

Four prospectors wanting to strike it rich ignited a frenzy.

They staked a claim south of the current town of Mammoth Lakes on Mineral Hill by Old Mammoth Road.

The gold rush was on.

Near Lake Mary those early miners organized the “Lakes Mining District.”

Rumors about a strike – the largest outside of Virginia City, known for the Comstock Lode and made famous years later by Mark Twain in “Roughing It” – drew a stampede of miners in 1877.

Photo – Geni

In 1878 the famous Union Pacific Railroad tycoon and Civil War General George Dodge bought the group of claims.

He organized the Mammoth Mining Company to, well, mine Mineral Hill.

Roughly 1500 wannabe miners flooded the Mammoth Area by the end of 1878 alone.

Aurora Ghost Town

According to “Mammoth Properties Guest Services Directory” for two decades gold and silver fever fueled get rich dreams.

As silver discoveries at Aurora and Bodie led to ever more prospecting.

The hype of working the “largest bonanza outside of Virginia City” sparked a two-year long gold rush stampede of roughly 2500 miners to Mammoth.

Photo – cityconcierge.com

The burgeoning mining camp changed its name to Mammoth City and was poised to produce wealth all around.

But, the dream died in 1880, just three years later when reality failed to live up to the propaganda.

The company ceased operations.

Eight years later the population severely declined from a peak of around 2500 to less than 10.

So, was that photo documenting the only remaining survivors?

According to Wikipedia:

“By the early 1900s, the town of Mammoth was informally established near Mammoth Creek.”

And, the Mammoth Properties Directory tells the official story — two decades later Old Mammoth Village formed to accommodate the pioneers drawn to the area to enjoy fishing, hunting, photography, camping, hiking, and horseback riding.

That’s the story that repeated itself across the West.

Most miners remained flat broke while the real money flowed to the merchants, tools and transportation providers.

Even Twain gave up to write and soak up the scenic wonders on vacations in his spare time.

Times had  been tough at Mammoth more recently, as we already knew.

Part Seven:

Steps:

25) Compare what “life” was like in those communities before the Great Recession, how resilient each was during the economic downturn, and to what degree did each bounce back after with any “economic hangover.” 

28) Which lifestyles profiled in the western resort towns during 2008 – 2009 remained five years later in 2013-2014?  Which disappeared entirely? Why? Which new lifestyles emerged, grew or moved in to shift the neighborhood mix? Have longtime locals been forced out by escalating property 

30) Review headlines and relevant news as far back as you can find online to surface each community’s unique pulse and identify information necessary to make your decision. Is there a “ticking time bomb” issue you may uncover that eliminates the resort from your bucket list? Search on topix.com.

Breathtaking Mountain Panoramas and Bullet Holes

Up close you could see its wounds. Torn limb from limb and dented and twisted. For some reason there weren’t two of anything.

Photo by Stephen G. Howard
We snapped photos. How could we not with such a panoramic view looking off in a distance from our gray dirt and blond foliage-lined plateau?

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Part One:  Mammoth

Part Two: What Was Mammoth Like Before the Great Recession?

Part Three: Chains that Bind – Bankruptcy, Foreclosures and No Snow

Part Four: Stuck in the Middle with You

It worked.

On a more level terrain with more room and no hidden rocks, logs or deep trenches, we were able to take about a dozen small, tight back and forth turns to flip around and trace our path back.

Photo by Stephen G. Howard

To the very same turnouts we had originally declined for lack of snow on the way up.

We parked.

We hiked.

We snapped photos.

Photo by Stephen G. Howard

How could we not with such a panoramic view looking off in a distance from our gray dirt and blond foliage-lined plateau?

Across the tops of dark green pine trees on our side to the Mammoth mountain range covered in white gleaming snow.

Photo by Stephen G. Howard

Out in the open with darker whites and light blues reflecting the deep, high altitude blue sky, and black sprinkles in the canyons and shoots cascading from the crest.

Another overlooking the Mammoth power plant.

It looks like a rectangle box with two sets of three or four rows of power generating units bordering the length reflecting sunlight glare so they look round at their tops.

Photo by Stephen G. Howard

And metal roofed structures with pipes and tubes and other equipment connecting the two sets.

Finally, and the least expected – what’s left of a rusted brown, reddish Ford Model-T?

From a distance it looked like as if the tires and under carriage were buried up to the running board.

Photo by Stephen G. Howard

Only it sat on dirt, not deep piles of snow.

Up close you could see its wounds.

Torn limb from limb and dented and twisted.

For some reason there weren’t two of anything.

One door, the passenger.

One head lamp.

But, no engine block, hood or any sign of them.

Rusted steel violently fell close by.

How did it get there?

How long has it been there?

Was it pushed off some cliff?

Wait we’re not anywhere near a cliff.

And who shot it full of bullet holes?

Two years later during our next winter reunion a second mystery consumed me.

Part Six: Temple of Folly, Clocks Cleaned and Repaired

Steps:

25) Compare what “life” was like in those communities before the Great Recession, how resilient each was during the economic downturn, and to what degree did each bounce back after with any “economic hangover.” 

28) Which lifestyles profiled in the western resort towns during 2008 – 2009 remained five years later in 2013-2014?  Which disappeared entirely? Why? Which new lifestyles emerged, grew or moved in to shift the neighborhood mix? Have longtime locals been forced out by escalating property 

30) Review headlines and relevant news as far back as you can find online to surface each community’s unique pulse and identify information necessary to make your decision. Is there a “ticking time bomb” issue you may uncover that eliminates the resort from your bucket list? Search on topix.com.

Stuck in the Middle with You

We wanted to take a sharp left turn around a substantial tree and climb a steep incline about 20 yards long in deep snow onto the next plateau.

Photo: Visual Hunt
Which is why as soon as my sons passed their drivers test I had them gun our SUV in the empty parking lot at the base of the mountain on the next Mammoth trip.

 

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Part One:  Mammoth

Part Two: What Was Mammoth Like Before the Great Recession?

Part Three: Chains that Bind – Bankruptcy, Foreclosures and No Snow

That was then, this was now.

Photo by Stephen G.Howard

Driving through the intersection on CA 203 we found Old Mammoth Road, running parallel to US 395 and took a right instead of driving on Substation Road to Mammoth’s power plant.

Then we looked for ways into patchy white wilderness foothills.

But, we had to drive a ways on dirt roads almost identical to those we explored at Rock Creek Lodge and Tom’s Place to find any more than patches of snow.

Photo by Stephen G. Howard

In areas where snow had just melted the color of the path was darker – slightly muddier.

With persistence we found fresh snow and we made the first tire tracks.

Not quite as epic as snowboarding through the trees on fresh powder, but fun anyway.

We had to guess how deep the fluffy white drifts were and where the dirt trail underneath actually was.

Leafless scrub brush broke through intermittently.

Photo by Stephen G. Howard

So did large rocks.

We kept vigilant for deep ruts.

The kind that could trap us.

Then it happened.

We wanted to take a sharp left turn around a substantial tree and climb a steep incline about 20 yards long in deep snow onto the next plateau.

We slipped.

We slid sideways.

We momentarily got hung up in a trench.

Full disclosure?

I experienced a flashback.

No, not that kind.

But further back to the winter in high school merely months after getting my driver’s license.

Photo: Visual Hunt

Having grown up in a suburb of Cincinnati when every season between December and January or February several storms would drop inches maybe a foot or more of snow.

More than on the ground this trip in the Sierras, and probably with a layer of ice underneath.

My father had taken me out to the vacant church parking lot covered in about 6 inches of snow, told me to slide behind the wheel and gun it.

Do what?

That’s right, punch it he told me.

Twin emotions overcame me.

Sheer fear and sheer joy.

We slipped and slid all over the place.

Photo: Visual Hunt

I turned the wrong way and accelerated the sideways loss of control, fearing I’d bang into something solid.

But, soon enough I got the hang of it.

Turning into the direction of the skid.

Except for that one time.

It was my mother’s brand new station wagon.

Her new baby.

Still had that new car smell.

I had pleaded my case.

Dad certified I knew how to successfully tackle every challenge a winter snow storm could provide.

Photo: Visual Hunt

Except this one time.

Like all mom’s do.

She probably experienced an intuition that this wouldn’t turn out well.

But, she was my mom.

She let go.

She let me go.

Anxious about what would happen next.

Driving down the steep hill and making a hard right hand turn onto the street leading to my best friend’s house, tucked away in the woods, was a little sketchy.

But, I mastered it.

I smiled from ear to ear.

Until.

Photo: Visual Hunt

My best friend’s driveway unfolded on three different levels with three different turns.

Piece of cake I thought.

Until I tried to navigate the drop from the top-level to the middle with a left hand turn.

I could have sworn, and did later to my mother, that no one could have anticipated where the turn began.

Or, that slipping off the driveway and sliding towards the trees could have turned out worse.

No, I didn’t hit the biggest one head on.

I swerved out of it’s way.

Photo: Visual Hunt

But it creased her passenger side from just behind the front wheel all the way back to back seat door.

Which is why as soon as my sons passed their drivers test I had them gun our SUV in the empty parking lot at the base of the mountain on the next Mammoth trip.

But, snapping out of the flashback, we still were stuck.

We rocked forward and backward to get traction.

I got out and pushed.

Nothing worked.

No cell service.

No AAA road service.

Photo: Stephen G. Howard

If we could just free ourself and get a running start while I pushed maybe, just maybe we could take the incline to the top.

We really didn’t have much choice, since the path was too narrow and tree-lined to risk turning around on the lower level.

We tried another trick I learned from my Dad years earlier.

We let a little air out of the tires for more traction.

Kept our fingers crossed.

Part Five:

Steps:

25) Compare what “life” was like in those communities before the Great Recession, how resilient each was during the economic downturn, and to what degree did each bounce back after with any “economic hangover.” 

28) Which lifestyles profiled in the western resort towns during 2008 – 2009 remained five years later in 2013-2014?  Which disappeared entirely? Why? Which new lifestyles emerged, grew or moved in to shift the neighborhood mix? Have longtime locals been forced out by escalating property 

30) Review headlines and relevant news as far back as you can find online to surface each community’s unique pulse and identify information necessary to make your decision. Is there a “ticking time bomb” issue you may uncover that eliminates the resort from your bucket list? Search on topix.com.

Chains that Bind – Bankruptcy, Foreclosures and No Snow

It verified the drip, drip, of snow melting and sliding off brown wood shingles would not turn into ice cycles any time soon.

 

Winter Road Trip in the Easter Sierras
But one year, the highway patrol flagged you down at a blinking yellow light to check out your chains with one of those abnormally long flashlights they always carry.

 

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Part One:  Mammoth

Part Two: What Was Mammoth Like Before the Great Recession?

5-Year Time Frames

2009-2014

By the fall of 2010, with the help of local business owners, the Village had seen a resurgence of new restaurants and stores.

But, if you and the Swall Meadows family had Googled “Mammoth Real Estate Market” in 2011, you would have come across links to realtor blogs discussing foreclosures and distressed properties.

In August Jeff Warwick reported on the sales of bank-owned (REOs), foreclosures, pre-foreclosures and short sales.

  • Of all those closed 2011 sales, 89 of them were distressed (REO’s or Short Sale) transactions.
  • 43.4% of all 2011 fell into the distressed real estate category.
  • He pointed out that only 5% of the listings are distressed, but 43% of closed sales are distressed.
  • And nearly 1/3 of all closed sales were cash buyers — a market indicator that the investor-buyer accounted for a stronger component.

Wikipedia picks up the story thread:

The California Court of Appeal, Third District, affirmed the judgment in December 2010, and the California Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal on March 23, 2011.

On Monday July 2, 2012, Mammoth Lakes filed for bankruptcy in the face of the judgement.

Later the same year, the bankruptcy was dismissed as a result of a settlement between the town and their largest creditor.

Having guessed right all those years, maybe we were due for a Thanksgiving-like winter in February of 2012.

Bad news for the rest of the family, but not so bad for me because I hadn’t fully recovered from my skiing accident surgery.

Sure, I’m easy with solitude, but even I can catch cabin fever.

Upstairs there’s a loft between the third bedroom and second bathroom.

Where the bunk beds accommodate the younger and single family members

Usually you can look directly out through the top window across from the bunk beds to see snow laden fir trees giving way to streams of snow blowing off the mountain peak.

Only this year, not so much.

Yes, lots of snow packed the upper third of the mountain.

But in town not so much.

Even the black pavement, often treacherous at night with black ice patches, dried to gray.

There’s a huge round thermometer in the glassed in porch overlooking the hot tub where we dip into a winters supply of firewood,.

It verified the drip, drip, of snow melting and sliding off brown wood shingles would not turn into ice cycles any time soon.

You couldn’t grab the green disc or red plastic sled out of the closet to slide in the deep snow   on the two stage slope along the side of the condo complex.

Well you could, but you wouldn’t make much progress.

Unless you slid a foot, hopped up and ran to the next patch sat with your feet and knees pulled up for the next two feet, and so on and so on.

But the lack of deep snow meant one thing.

Another off road adventure exploring the area on the opposite side of the turnoff to Mammoth Lakes.

We backtracked on Meridian Blvd to where it dumped into CA 203 (or Main Street in town) turned right and drove to US 395 intersection.

Winter Road Trip in the Easter Sierras

In years past we collectively held our breath, arriving near or past midnight in our SUV at that intersection.

During a normal snow season roadside signs told you you needed to put on your chains before you could climb the final hill into the town and your condo.

We wanted to take our chances each time.

But one year, the highway patrol flagged you down at a blinking yellow light to check out your chains with one of those abnormally long flashlights they always carry.

Reluctantly I flipped open the hatchback.

Grabbed some gloves and a flashlight.

Pulled out the rear tire chains and fumbled for 45 minutes fastening them.

Not noticing that the blinking yellow check point closed.

Oh well.

Other years, having learned from my ordeal, we’d shell out the going rate to locals for installing our chains, while we stayed warm inside listening to the final songs on our road trip playlist.

But enough about that.

Part Four:  Stuck in the Middle with You

Steps:

25) Compare what “life” was like in those communities before the Great Recession, how resilient each was during the economic downturn, and to what degree did each bounce back after with any “economic hangover.” 

28) Which lifestyles profiled in the western resort towns during 2008 – 2009 remained five years later in 2013-2014?  Which disappeared entirely? Why? Which new lifestyles emerged, grew or moved in to shift the neighborhood mix? Have longtime locals been forced out by escalating property 

30) Review headlines and relevant news as far back as you can find online to surface each community’s unique pulse and identify information necessary to make your decision. Is there a “ticking time bomb” issue you may uncover that eliminates the resort from your bucket list? Search on topix.com.

 

What Was Mammoth Like Before the Great Recession?

We began coverage of Mammoth Lakes during the Summer of 2008.

Across mountain towns in California (Mammoth), Montana (Whitefish) and Colorado (Pagosa Springs, Durango and Silverton) the younger Distant Exurbans those 56Y3T4 Millennials disappeared.

 

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Part One:  Mammoth

We began coverage of Mammoth Lakes during the Summer of 2008.

Location At-A-Glance

Region: Western United States,

State: California

Travel Region: Sierra Nevada Region; Eastern Sierra

County: Mono County

Patchwork County: Immigration Nation

Town: Mammoth Lakes, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

Population Density: Town and Country

Real Estate Phase: Early Maturity

Zip Codes: 93546

Ski Area Citizens Scorecards:

(B) Mammoth Mountain Ski Area 69.1% (Fall 2008)

(B) Mammoth Mountain Ski Area 71.8% (Fall 2012)

City Data filled in a more complete picture.

Nearest zip codes: 93634, 93529, 93512, 93514, 93541, 93605.

Nearest cities:

  • June Lake, CA 3.3 miles,
  • McGee Creek, CA 3.3 miles,
  • Crowley Lake, CA 3.7 miles,
  • Aspen Springs, CA 4.0 miles,
  • Sunny Slopes, CA 4.2 miles,
  • Swall Meadows, CA 4.5 miles,
  • Lee Vining, CA 4.8 miles, and
  • Round Valley, CA 5.1 miles.

Many tourists playing in the Eastern Sierra adventure communities may believe that Mammoth Lakes would be similar to Bishop.

Bishop’s Patchwork County (Inyo County) description after all is “Service Worker Centers.”

“Midsize and small towns with economies fueled by hotels, stores and restaurants and lower-than-average median household income by county.”

The more in-depth description provides clues.

“Some of the Service Worker Centers are small-town vacation communities along the coasts or near inland lakes that get a boost through tourism.

Residents make their money working at cafés, restaurants and curio shops, while the local governments draw revenue from hotel taxes.

Others are simply local commerce hubs for the scattered populations around them, places to buy necessities or do business with local government.

These are not places you go to do high-end shopping.

Bishop, California

The Service Worker Centers generally holds places with one main street or main intersection that is more designed around needs than wants – diners more than four-star restaurants.

There is a strain conservatism that runs through these counties, largely arising out of distrust of big city wealth and big government, but those conservative leanings do not have the same social conservative undertones to them.”

However, for Mono County, the Patchwork Nation Profile is “Immigration Nation”

“Communities with large Latino populations and lower-than-average incomes, typically clustered in the South and Southwest.”

The more in-depth description doesn’t seem to ring true, may be emerging or overlooked by  vacationers like us.

“These places are not necessarily overwhelmingly or even majority Hispanic, rather they are places with large Hispanic populations where there tends to be a strong divide in the community between Hispanics and Anglos.

Immigration Nation counties often hold communities within communities – one where almost all business and conversation is done in English and one where Spanish dominates.

Walk or drive a few blocks and you might find not only different kinds of grocery stores and different languages are the registers, but different products on the shelves.

The different ethnicities and backgrounds of the people in these counties can cause increased tensions from both sides.

In some communities these tensions can lead to dysfunctional relationships and governance.”

With so much change at hand, we take three glances at the Mammoth Lakes profiles.

  • One during the summer of 2008 which serves as a baseline.
  • The second during one of our winter ski and snowboarding holiday trips at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014.
  • And the third eight years after Mammoth’s baseline during the summer of 2016.

Let’s start with the beginning baseline.

Profile At-A-Glance (Summer 2008)

Life Stages: Singles, Couples, Families, Baby Boomers, Empty Nests

Ages: 20-29, 25-54, 55+

Community Neighbors:

Wireless Resorters

Maturing Resorts — WRMR

23Y2T2, Greenbelt Sports, 25-54, Mainstream Singles, Country Comfort

28M2T2,Traditional Times, Empty Nests, 55+ Baby Boomers, Country Comfort

32F3T2, New Homesteaders, 55+Boomer, Mainstream Families, Country Comfort

Resort Suburbans — WRRS

42Y3T3, Red White Blues, 20-29, Striving Singles, Middle America

Distant Exurbans — WRDE

56Y3T4, Crossroads Villagers, 20-29, Striving Singles, Rustic Living

Over the following five years the 20-29 Singles leave by the winter of 2013 – 2014 eliminating two segments of Wireless Resorter lifestyles – Resort Suburbans and Distant Exurbans.

The WRRS Resort Suburbans vacated rentals on the edge of town, while the WRDE Distant Exurbans moved away from their more rustic living digs.

Three long time neighborhood lifestyles commonly associated with Maturing Resort communities remained.

Older Mainstream Singles, Empty Nesters, and Mainstream Families.

Most likely those who could wait out the worst that 2009 to 2014 would bring.

While Mammoth, like Whitefish, Montana, said goodbye to the 42Y3T3, Striving Single, 20-29 year olds, the zip code surrounding Tahoe City and Sunnyside bordering Lake Tahoe said hello .

Such wasn’t the case for the second lifestyle.

The goodbyes to the 20-29 striving singles used to rustic living and lower incomes felt more permanent.

Winter Fun

Across mountain towns in California (Mammoth), Montana (Whitefish) and Colorado (Pagosa Springs, Durango and Silverton) the younger Distant Exurbans those 56Y3T4 Millennials disappeared.

They probably returned home as so many other Millennials did during the Great Recession.

NOTE: Don’t feel too bad for them. According to our 2016 update, they may be flocking back to Telluride, Colorado.

Part Three: Chains that Bind – Bankruptcy, Foreclosures and No Snow

Steps:

20) Pivot. Maybe the lists of best places don’t appeal to you. Where can you go to make a fresh, new start? Don’t limit your imagination. Think anywhere — across the globe. Where do you really, really want to live, work and play?  Why not live where it’s a vacation all year round?

26) If you know the zip code you can discover the lifestyles living in the community. You can compare your profile with theirs to estimate your degree of fit.

27) Estimate how well suited you are for the resorts. Refer to “Profiles-at-a-Glance” comparing 2008-2009 and 2013-2014 for changes in Life Stages – Singles, Couples, Families, Midlife, Empty Nests, Baby Boomers and Seniors; Ages – 20-29, 25-54, 30-44, 45+ 45-65, 55+ and 65+; and mix of Lifestyles in neighborhoods. Does the resort still offer the age, life stage and lifestyle profiles you prefer?

28) Which lifestyles profiled in the western resort towns during 2008 – 2009 remained five years later in 2013-2014?  Which disappeared entirely? Why? Which new lifestyles emerged, grew or moved in to shift the neighborhood mix? Have longtime locals been forced out by escalating property valuations and sky-high property taxes?

Mammoth

To top it all off for the winter 1976 – 1977 ski season Mother Nature decided to dump only 94 inches making the disaster the worst in Mammoth’s history.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area was sold to Starwood Capital Group in a deal that valued Mammoth at $365 million- a far cry from the $135,000 he borrowed in 1953 to build the first lift.

 

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

If the Swall Valley family needed to relocate, either temporarily or permanently, after the Round Valley Fire, and they chose Mammoth then their commute to the school district would be closer and less expensive.

Like the Swall Valley community the Mammoth Mountain Ski area and town of Mammoth Lakes, since the 1940s, suffered their share of economic, prolonged climate and seasonal weather-related setbacks too.

From Mammoth Mountain Resort – History

Establishing Mammoth Mountain as a growing ski area wasn’t easy for Dave McCoy when he switched from McGee Mountain in 1941.

At the end of the 1950s his entrepreneurial burning desire was almost snuffed out by a drought.  

Roughly a dozen years later the Southern California economy almost collapsed with a spike in gas prices triggered by the 1973 oil crisis.

Drivers who had to fill up at much higher fuel prices, but only on odd or even days of the week, weren’t about to risk getting stuck somewhere along US 395.

To top it all off for the winter 1976 – 1977 ski season Mother Nature decided to dump only 94 inches making the disaster the worst in Mammoth’s history.

Mammoth Yosemite Airport from Wikipedia

But, in the ‘90s Alpha Airlines flew resorters from LA to the small Mammoth Airport you drive past on US 395.

In the mid- to late- ‘90s investors wanted a piece of McCoy’s dream.  

Here’s how Wikipedia described the time

In January 1996, Intrawest Corporation and Mammoth Mountain Ski area announced that Intrawest Corporation had purchased 33% of Mammoth and June Mountain ski operations, as well as all of the developable real estate owned by Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. 

In 1998, Intrawest increased their partnership interest to 58%. 

5-Year Time Frame 2003-2008

When the new millennium began in the Eastern Sierra’s times were better.  

Horizon Airlines offered service round trip between Mammoth and Los Angeles and the Bay Area and Reno.  

Not just for winter holidays, but for all four seasons too.

Straw-Bale House Construction

The Swall family completed their sustainable, forever home and hadn’t volunteered for a financial make over yet. 

The Malibu fire hadn’t forced Scott Palamar from the mountains to Owens Valley yet.

The Great Recession hadn’t dashed the hopes of millions yet.

With Intrawest’s investment, McCoy realized a significant portion of his dream.

The development of three new village areas: The Village at Mammoth, Sierra Star, and Juniper Springs, has brought new developments to the resort.

The Village at Mammoth, a European-style and pedestrian-only complex, was built in a style similar to other Intrawest properties, such as Whistler or Keystone. 

The Village opened in 2003 with various stores, restaurants, galleries and 166 luxury condominiums. 

The 15-passenger Village Gondola, which departs from the Village, transports skiers and snowboarders directly to the Canyon Lodge base.

By 2005 McCoy had designed, build and run the ski area for almost 70 years.  

So, he decided to sell his stake in Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and announced it during the winter ski season in 2005.  

Maybe he just wanted to enjoy skiing for a few more years without all the headaches and responsibilities he had shouldered for 68 years.

Or maybe his knee began bothering him. 

Three years later he had a knee replacement.

Or maybe he wanted to take more time to enjoy his family.

As of 2008, he and Roma’s family numbered 6 children, 16 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren according to Wikipedia.

At any rate, in the first week of October, 2005 Barry Sternlicht of the real estate private equity fund, Starwood Capital Group, bought McCoy’s ownership stake.  

Wikipedia reported the details

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area was sold to Starwood Capital Group in a deal that valued Mammoth at $365 million- a far cry from the $135,000 he borrowed in 1953 to build the first lift.

Timing is everything.

Because of a poor economy in California, beginning in 2007, many of the stores and restaurants in The Village closed.

As the recession hit, the Town of Mammoth Lakes owed tens of millions of dollars for a deal that fell through.

Wikipedia says

In 2008, after a jury trial, the Mono County Superior Court entered a $43 million judgment against the Town of Mammoth Lakes for breach of a development agreement. 

Part Two:

Steps:

24) Determine which maker or breaker community issues you will find across all resort communities vs. those unique only to the quality-of-life towns at the top of your best places list.

25) Compare what “life” was like in those communities before the Great Recession, how resilient each was during the economic downturn, and to what degree did each bounce back after with any “economic hangover.” 

30) Review headlines and relevant news as far back as you can find online to surface each community’s unique pulse and identify information necessary to make your decision. Is there a “ticking time bomb” issue you may uncover that eliminates the resort from your bucket list? Search on Topix.com.