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.

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.

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?

Bishop

Bishop is a welcomed retreat with much (much) warmer weather than Mammoth.

We put together a “Birds-of-a-Feather” lifestyle list of possible communities across western states.

 

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.

Montana Regional Areas

We introduced this section with a story about building a life on your own terms with Whitefish, Montana residents figuring it was time to move on because of their property tax burden.

We put together a “Birds-of-a-Feather” lifestyle list of possible communities across western states. 

Rocky Mountain Region

And we narrowed the choices to the Rocky Mountain states, specifically Colorado, before visiting and sizing up towns in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

For our Swall Meadows family, we honestly don’t know how the next chapter of their story unfolds.  

Each neighbor faced gut wrenching choices.

Start over.

Fight.

Or flight.

But, to where?

Their lifestyle profile opens up their relocation options to the same communities we already profiled.

So we can speculate.

Swall Meadows falls within the broad Bishop zip code, unlike Tom’s Place, Rock Creek Lodge, McGee Creek and Crawley Lake which claim Mammoth Lake’s zip code.

If they planned to rebuild (hopefully their financial planner made certain their fire insurance coverage was current) and needed to find a temporary home in the area, they probably chose either Bishop or Mammoth Lakes.

In both places they will find neighbors who fit their lifestyle and share their values.

Mammoth School District employed the husband as a math teacher.  

Choosing Mammoth would certainly cut their commuting expenses, while like their other neighbors, they rebuild.

But, first the “from” before the “to”.

Choosing Bishop.

Location At-A-Glance  

Region: Western United States

State: California 

Travel Region: Sierra Nevada Region; Eastern Sierra

County: Inyo County,

Patchwork County:  Service Worker Center 

Town: Bishop, Swall Meadows 

Population Density: Town and Country

Zip Codes: 93514

Profile At-A-Glance (Summer 2010) 

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

Ages: 20-29, 30-44, 45-65, 55+

Community Neighbors: 

Wireless Resorters

Premier Resorts – WRPR 

09M1T1, Big Fish Small Pond, 45-65, Empty Nests, Accumulated Wealth, Landed Gentry

Maturing Resorts — WRMR

11Y1T1 God’s Country, 30-44, Couples, Midlife, Midlife Success, Landed Gentry

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

Distant Exurbans — WRDE

48Y3T4,Young Rustic, 20-29, Striving Singles, Rustic Living

Bishop, California Zip Code 93514 — Nearby Zip Codes: 93513, 93512, 93526, 89010, 93546, 93628

At the time of the 2010 financial check up, Bishop counted four Wireless Resorter lifestyle profiles in its zip code.  

But, six years later one of the two Maturing Resort lifestyles, 11Y1T1 — 45+ Affluent Empty Nesters disappeared.

Profile At-A-Glance (Winter 2016)

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

Ages: 20-29, 45-65, 55+, 65+

Community Neighbors: 

Wireless Resorters

Premier Resorts – WRPR

09M1T1, Big Fish Small Pond, 45-65, Empty Nests, Accumulated Wealth, Landed Gentry

Maturing Resorts — WRMR

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

Resort Suburbans — WRRS 

43M3T3, Heartlanders, 55+Boomer, Cautious Couples, Middle America

Distant Exurbans — WRDE

48Y3T4, Young and Rustic, 20-29, Striving Singles, Rustic Living

High Country Eagles

Rustic Eagles – HCERE

57M4T4, Old Milltowns, 65+, Sustaining Seniors, Rustic Living

Service Worker Centers 

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

By the winter of 2016 one High Country Eagle lifestyle, the Rustic Eagle 57M4T4 joined Bishop’s zip code.  

The rustic living, sustaining senior citizen lifestyle joined another newcomer, the 43Y3T3 55+ Baby Boomer, cautious couples. 

In 2016 Bishop included lifestyles from all four Wireless Resorter communities – Premier Resorts, Maturing Resorts, Resort Suburbans (with the 43M3T3 newcomers) and Distant Exurbans — and the first High Country Eagle lifestyle (57M4T40).

Taking off and saying goodbye to Bishop, the 11Y1T1 30-44 year old successful midlife couples, having also left Breckenridge may have landed in the Lake Tahoe Basin in Tahoe City or Sunnyside. 

Or in Southwestern Colorado Region along the Animas River in Durango . 

Or in Dillon, Colorado – like Finnmark did.

What else should we consider about Bishop, according to Wikipedia?

The population was 3,879 at the 2010 census, up from 3,575 at the 2000 census. (304 more over 10 years)

To that the Bishop visitor center adds

The “greater Bishop area,” which includes unincorporated nearby neighborhoods such as West Bishop, Meadow Creek-Dixon Lane, Wilkerson Ranch, Rocking K, Mustang Mesa and Round Valley includes an additional 11,000 residents.

Bishop is a welcomed retreat with much (much) warmer weather than Mammoth. 

With 5.18″ average yearly precipitation and only 6 inches of snow, Bishop makes the perfect combo vacation – ski, golf, fish and bike year-round.

Part Two: Bishop’s History and Migrating Lifestyle

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?

Lunch Over a Hotly Contested Cold Case

We all have our moments when we wonder what the hell we’re doing, why we’re doing it, why we’re doing it here … and then something like this happens and it all becomes perfectly clear.

 

Eluding Sheriff Deputies like a kid soaping neighbors’ windows on Halloween she sneaks her way closer to her home.

 

Putting Mary aside, ever since I wrote the three-chapter series, I’ve wondered what happened to the Round / Swall Meadows survivors.

Who knew I’d get closer to finding out what it was like by simply picking up a copy of The Sheet for February 10, 2018.

The Sheet was founded in May, 2003 by Jack Lunch and is independently owned and operated.

Which is about five years before the Great Recession.

And, during our original 2003 – 2009 Time Frame.

Hmmm.

If they have an online version, I can follow my own “Step” and update Mammoth profiled in The Knowledge Path series:

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.”

Yup, I found their Monthly Archives.

It made it easy for finding out the back story you almost always miss in extended weekend visits or vacations chock full of Easter Sierra outdoor adventures.

Or …

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.

Let’s see.

I discovered as publisher and editor Jack “writes a lot of page two’s.”

And, they’ve got a Facebook Page in addition to their website.

That’s where I noticed yet another coincidence.

Comments.Thank you for writing this. I was hoping you would write about your experience, and you didn’t disappoint. Great read. And … sorry about your house.

Today Jean told me about the fire. You know I had to see what you had written in The Sheet. You didn’t disappoint. Glad to read everyone made it out ok. Now I’ll keep you in my prayers that everything goes according to your wishes.

I am curious will you rebuild? Mother nature may take ten years to rebuild the beauty that once was Swall Meadows. Then again the beauty in Swall is more then just the trees. God Bless you all.

And that’s what I’ve been curious about, too.

Like randomly trying to solve a cold case after all these years.

Straw-Bale House Construction

Like the family who lived in their house built using an environmentally friendly straw-bale-construction methodliving in their forever house,” the editor lost his home in the Swall Meadows Round Fire.

Jack, if that’s his real name (and not “Ted Carleton – Jack of all Lunches“) devoted a “Page 2” to his ordeal.

Oh, and, what’s up with the scandals and degree of truthiness in that part of the Eastern Sierras?

Is there been something in the Rock Creek water?

Headlines and Highlights

Time Frame 2015 – 2020

Winter 2015

Page 2: The year of the goat (saver)

Jack Lunch. “Pretty quiet week …

Most of you know that mine was among the many homes burned to the ground in the Round Fire.”

How can you not learn a lot about surviving from such a horrendous ordeal?

Jack realized something was up, something way out of the ordinary when he and his two-year old ran into a road block near Tom’s place on Lower Rock Creek Road.

The Swall Meadows mandatory evacuation.

He can’t get through on his cell to his wife still in Mammoth at Snowcreek.

Lunch.So I drive back to get her.

One of us needs to rescue our animals (three dogs, a cat and two goats).

And I know my wife well enough to know she’s gonna make it happen, evacuation order be damned.

She drives down like a bat out of hell to Tom’s Place – well, as much as one can be a bat out of hell in a Honda Element.”

There’s a secret route known only to locals, the forest service access road down the hill.

Lunch.It’s bumpy and rutted and thank God she’s got all-wheel drive and pretty good clearance.

Her cellphone is dying.

It’s getting darker.

Eluding Sheriff Deputies like a kid soaping neighbors’ windows on Halloween she sneaks her way closer to her home.

Lunch.The Sheriff’s Deputy sees her and lights up his siren – bloop bloop.

He yells something to her she can’t understand.

She replies with “I know, I know.” He tells her to “come here.” She yells

“No way!” and takes off running.

He’s got to drive down and around.

In that time other units are mobilized as well.

Stealthily she ditches the authorities.

She finds her neighbors figuring out how to scoop up and save their livestock too.

Her luck changes.

Busted.

But, his wife explains how now she’ll load up the animals and evacuate.

Lunch. “My wife tells him, ‘I don’t know the law. I do know I’ve got about 15 more minutes of light.’

She tells him she’s going to load up the animals and go.

At this point, he softens a bit and asks what he can do to help.

She tells him to come back in ten minutes.

By that time, she’ll be ready and will need some muscle to lift our large-ish pregnant goat into the back.

But, things turn ugly in a flash.

It couldn’t get worse for her in the moment of crisis.

The first sheriff’s deputy she outsmarted appears with only one intention.

And that wasn’t to volunteer to help her.

Lunch. “He keeps asking for her I.D. and she keeps telling him to wait.

Finally, he tells her to turn around and put her hands behind her back.

But to arrest her.

She manages to escape once more into the sanctuary of her home and locks the deputy out.

Lunch. “Law enforcement had no choice but to leave.

The neighbors came running over right after (Brian and Janet, heroes both) and it took the three of them to get the pregnant goat inside.

My takeaway from this event is not in mourning all the relics of my past that have burned up, but in celebrating the present and future of the land and the people whom I love so much.

31) Do your due diligence so you don’t regret your decision after it is too late. If you plan to move, invest in real estate, work, start a business or retire affordably, you are making a longer-term commitment. Drill down with city-data.com.

And, in this case, nose around a little more until you find Jack’s accounting of the hidden costs for clean up not covered by fire insurance policies.

Page 2: More than $141,000

Lunch. “That was the final tabulation of what it cost to clean up my property, burned in the Round Fire in Swall Meadows.

Others have received similar bills.

What was initially estimated as a $2.2 or $2.3 million project was ultimately a more than $5 million project.

To put this in perspective, when I was debating whether or not to sign up for the state-contracted cleanup, my friendly insurance adjuster recommended I shouldn’t, citing an estimate he received from a Bishop-based contractor who said he could clean up my lot for $15,000.

That’s a pretty serious discrepancy.

Or consider this. I sold the lot two months ago for $115,000.

I just received a letter from the Mono County Assessor, who, citing the fact that the fire-ravaged lots all now have a clean bill of health, recently restored my former lot to its pre-fire valuation of $125,000 – still well below cleanup cost.

According to the terms of my insurance policy, Farmers will cover $20,000 of the cleanup, leaving $121,000-plus to be footed by my fellow citizens of the State of California.

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.”

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.

31) Do your due diligence so you don’t regret your decision after it is too late. If you plan to move, invest in real estate, work, start a business or retire affordably, you are making a longer-term commitment. Drill down with city-data.com.

32) Plan extended seasonal vacations during summer and winter months. Group destination locations together in regional trips to explore what several bucket list towns have to offer in the general vicinity – with only a week or two vacation time to spend, we recommend organizing your itinerary by travel regions.

Curiosities and Coincidental Connections

Still pining for Mary, I needed something else besides bites from my veggie omelet to distract me.

 

Mono Lake “Moonscape”
The Mammoth avalanche my son told me scattered future “Rustys” at the bottom of Chair 5’s lift.

 

Or, how an omelet cured my unrequited love for Mary.

Well, almost.

De j’ vu all over again?

Did we fall off the weather wagon again?

Is this the new drought-normal?

Or, did we not end the multiple years of no rain, no snow, and no snow pack melting on its way down slope into the Los Angeles Aqueduct courtesy of the Owens Valley, after all?

This was supposed to be Anette and Steve’s awesome, empty-nest and family reunion adventure.

C’mon. February!

Always snow.

WTF?

Anette’s Norwegian family had been skiing at Mammoth for decades.

It was in their blood, kinda.

We’d almost always receive a surprise dump of snow at Mammoth.

Even on vacation in the High Sierra’s during lean snow pack years over the President’s Day weekend.

Where’s the snow we’re used to in February?

But not this year.

Not on this first day.

So we went bowling.

Then it happened.

Overnight snow dusting.

Dusting.

Not dump.

Enough accumulating by 10:30 am to cover the ground.

Enough to excite the boarders and skiers in the family.

The Stove on Old Mammoth Road

They headed for the lifts, at least for half day runs.

I headed for “The Stove” on Old Mammoth Road for a veggie omelet, but without falling for Mary again.

Burned twice in the past,

I finally learned my lesson.

Oh, ok.

Still pining for Mary, I needed something else besides bites from my veggie omelet to distract me.

I noticed this free newspaper, “The Sheet”, on my way in,  next to the turquoise stove on the enclosed porch .

Absent minded (which is my natural state according to Anette), I began flipping through its pages between bites and sips of coffee.

Mono Lake “Moonscape”

I checked out announcements “every Saturday – South Tufa walks at Mono Lake.”

Hmm.  Mono Lake.

Settling for Clouds at Mono Lake

That could be fun if the snow continues to flakes out on us,

What else?

  • And, Mammoth Film Festival at Minaret Cinemas, Village.
  • Other issues – Mammoth Airport vs. Bishop.
  • Or, fewer than normal back country permits for packers.

But one headline caught my eye.

Ouch.

Rusty Gregory ran Mammoth Mountain operations.

Honoring Dave McCoy

All those decades after founder Dave McCoy started it from scratch.

Or from dirt.

Apparently Gregory had risen up the Mammoth Mountain ranks starting as a lift operator.

Now Gregory assumed a new CEO role for Alterra Mountain Company.

Who or what?

Reading the article between bites of green pepper, mushrooms and cheese, here’s what commanded my attention … KSL Capital Partners LLC.

A name I associated with Highlights and Headlines during a 5-Year Time Frame some time between  2009 to 2014.

I looked it up later in the condo at Aspen Creek.

In the Squaw chapter described in Book Five, “California Mountain Resorts: Play and Invest in the Golden State.”

It was in the fall of 2011, but associated with the Lake Tahoe area, not Mammoth at all.

Alpine Valley.

Squaw Valley.

But, the first pieces of the connections didn’t materialize until when we had returned home a couple of weeks later.

And, a freak atmospheric river aka the “Pineapple Expressed” swiped tropical Hawaiian moisture and dumped so much snow it triggered avalanches at Mammoth and Lake Tahoe.

After our February President’s Holiday vacation!

The Mammoth avalanche my son told me scattered future “Rustys” at the bottom of Chair 5’s lift.

Tossed on my home office desk that paper copy of the 2/10/18 issue of “The Sheet: news, views and culture of the Eastern Sierra” –  laying in wait,  tempted me to Google for more information, almost as much as Mary had captured my imagination.

I dug into The Sheet’s archives, ahem, following my own recommended steps (see below) and discovered KSL-Aspen announced its new name: Alterra Mountain Company.

Winter 2018 (Jan 12)

Enter Alterra

On Thursday, January 11, Mammoth Resorts’ parent company, which had previously called itself the joint venture of affiliates KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Company, announced its new name: Alterra Mountain Company.

Affiliates of KSL Capital Partners (owners of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows), and Henry Crown and Company (owners of Aspen Skiing Company) purchased Intrawest, Mammoth Resorts, and Utah’s Deer Valley Resort in 2017.

KSL-Aspen’s acquisition of Intrawest and Mammoth Resorts was finalized on July 31, 2017.

Alterra Mountain Company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, and is comprised of Mammoth and June Mountains, Big Bear, Snow Summit, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado, Stratton Mountain in Vermont, Snowshoe in West Virginia, Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Blue Mountain in Ontario, and Deer Valley.

Alterra Mountain Company also owns CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures in British Columbia.”

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.”

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.

31) Do your due diligence so you don’t regret your decision after it is too late. If you plan to move, invest in real estate, work, start a business or retire affordably, you are making a longer-term commitment. Drill down with city-data.com.

32) Plan extended seasonal vacations during summer and winter months. Group destination locations together in regional trips to explore what several bucket list towns have to offer in the general vicinity – with only a week or two vacation time to spend, we recommend organizing your itinerary by travel regions.

McCoy

McCoy bought a small airline to fly a few skiers from Burbank, California to Mammoth.

From Mammoth Mountain Resort – History
He went to the bank, attempting to acquire an $85 loan to set up a permanent rope tow. The bank turned him down but the bank’s secretary, Roma, urged the bank to give him that loan. A few years later, McCoy would marry Roma and the two would raise six children together.”

 

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.

 

That night we shared our tale around the flaming bonfire smoking and sparking and launching glowing embers like fireflies into the deep dark starlit skies.

Embellished of course.

And, Dave McCoy wasn’t too far removed from the conversation, although everyone in the family knew him as the iconic figure who left his imprint on Mammoth Mountain and its town Mammoth Lakes.

No one else knew how close we were that night to his first mountain slope, or that he married Roma, the secretary of the bank that turned him down for an $85 loan.

That, and so much more.

Wikipedia fills in some of the details:

In 1938, McCoy got a permit and set up a primitive rope tow using parts from a Model “A” Ford truck on McGee Mountain, near US Highway 395

He went to the bank, attempting to acquire an $85 loan to set up a permanent rope tow. 

The bank turned him down but the bank’s secretary, Roma, urged the bank to give him that loan. 

A few years later, McCoy would marry Roma and the two would raise six children together. 

After swapping yarns at the bonfire we returned to our cabin and when I flicked on the light I noticed something for the first time.

Not too far from the old-time stove-heater sporting the black rounded angle “Z” stove pipe leading to the roof.

Not too far from the 14 bullet points on “Welcome to Rock Creek” rules of the road.

And not too far from the “Welcome to the Cabin” painting on wood with a an idyllic lake side setting with a deer drinking water at the water’s edge.

A ‘30s or ‘40s era gray pickup truck sat next to a log cabin with yellow lights casting a glow on the ground and with steps leading down to a canoe and dock.

I wondered if a local artist painted it and Rock Creek Lodge lent its support.

But, what caught my eye was the third piece hanging on the brown paneled wall.

A photo of three circling birds of prey, dark brown with black tipped wings.

The glare from the cabin lights masked a faint full moon directly behind the dominant hawk in a dark blue mountain sky.

In the foreground filling in the lower two-thirds of the shot you notice brown and white and gray rock formations with little else.

Except in the lower right, there it is.

Scribbled over a brown boulder Dave McCoy’s signature.

And, not part of the photo, but haphazardly fastened to it, a description:

Photo by Dave McCoy written in cursive script.

This photo was taken by Dave McCoy, the founder of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.  The proceeds from this image will be donated to the Mammoth Lakes Foundation, which supports higher education and cultural enrichment in the Eastern Sierra.

A former co-worker of mine tells a story about her boy friend chatting it up on the gondola taking him to the top of Mammoth Mountain where he’d ski down the Cornice.

During the conversation, Dave McCoy’s came up.

The gondola rider asked if he’d like to meet him.

Figuring it was just a conversation and nothing else, said “Sure.”

“When? What are you doing after the run?”

“Wait,” the boyfriend said, “This is Thanksgiving holiday weekend.”

No problem.

Dave (he called McCoy a nickname that my friend couldn’t recall in the telling of the story) won’t mind, he said.

Completely unannounced, the Gondola BFF walked up to Dave’s porch and yelled that he was there with two new BFFs in tow.

From “How I Did It … ” Inc. Magazine. CREDIT: Bryce Duffy

To my friend’s amazement Dave appeared, welcomed them into his Bishop ranch, piled them into his ATV and took them on a tour across his “back 40.”

“He really didn’t seem to care,” she said. “Even though his kids, grandkids and great grandkids were arriving at any moment.”

Maybe living all those years in the high altitude living a vigorous life is the formula for a  long life and marriage.

Wikipedia fills in some details.

Dave and Roma from Mammoth Lakes Foundation

McCoy turned 100 in August 2015. His wife Roma turned 95.

McCoy currently enjoys traveling in the Eastern Sierra driving an ATV. 

He has always enjoyed photography and that is what he does today. 

His mission is to take pictures of places very few people have even seen. 

Dave’s pictures can be bought at local stores in Bishop and Mammoth and other local towns. 

All of the proceeds go directly to the Mammoth Lakes Foundation, which helps develop education and the arts in the Eastern Sierra. 

Mammoth Lakes Foundation from its website

“The family and the community were always a big part of our success, as they helped play in the big sandbox as well,” McCoy says. 

“It shows that no man does anything alone. 

Now, my camera’s eye keeps making the Eastern Sierra a place for all of us to enjoy.”

Back in the 1940s the climate shifted and McGee Mountain received less snow than when Dave pioneered Eastern Sierra skiing.

Eastern Sierra Ski Club at McGee Creek Lift in 1938. Courtesy of Pomona Public Library

Pivot.

Where did the heavy snow fall?

Why, Mammoth Mountain, of course.

He set up his second rope tow there just as WWII was fought, in 1942.

But enough about that.

For now.

What about his story? “Dave McCoy – World Class Skier, Entrepreneur, and Visionary”

According to legend, and Wikipedia, Dave first fell in love with the Eastern Sierras when he visited roughly 87 or 88 years ago.

He loved it so much that in shop class he fashioned his first pair of skis.

During his adolescent years he had to move to the state of Washington to live when his parents split up.

The Great Alf Andersen from Wikipedia

There he lived with his grandparents.

There he encountered Norwegian ski jumpers.

And, there they fanned the spark into a flame that began in junior high school.

Here’s the Wikipedia part.

Right after graduating from high school, he moved to the tiny town of Independence, California

Two years later, he moved a few miles north to Bishop. 

In 1936, McCoy took a job as a hydrographer for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which involved skiing up to 50 miles per day.

Courtesy Mammoth Lakes Foundation

While being a hydrographer, he joined the Eastern Sierra Ski Club. At age 22, he became the California State Champion in skiing.

For the decade roughly between 1942 and 1953 the startup struggle phase of Mammoth Mountain ski area’s tested his entrepreneurial meddle.

Luckily for him the Forest Service offered by bid the right to operate the ski area.

Lucky, because nobody bid on the permit.

From Mammoth Mountain Resort – History

Without any money, he didn’t bid either.

But, they must have recognized the fire burning brightly in him, because in 1953 they gave him the permit nobody bid on but, with one stipulation.

He had to develop the mountain as a ski resort.

What?

Can you imagine how he must have felt?

An entrepreneur’s dream almost handed to him.

From Mammoth Mountain Resort – History

By 1953 a ski lodge opened.

He incorporated as Mammoth Mountain Ski Area two years later.

But all wasn’t deep powder and awesome runs.

Wikipedia describes how McCoy struggled to develop Mammoth.

The “lodge” was actually only 12′ by 24′, had a dirt floor with an outside toilet, and served snacks. 

The McCoy family used it as a home during the early years of Mammoth.[

McCoy went to the bank again for a loan of $135,000 to build a chair lift. 

Again, he was turned down. 

Somewhere he found a used chairlift.

From Mammoth Mountain Resort – History

With his dedicated Mammoth maniacs Dave worked feverishly digging holes and mixing concrete to permanently anchor the lift by themselves.

Chair 1 became operational just in time for Thanksgiving in 1955.

Chair 1 had a wooden ramp, covered with snow, that skiers had to side-step up to reach the chairs. 

Sometimes skiers would lose their balance and cause several of the skiers in line below to topple over like dominoes. 

But, it worked.

And it was definitely a platform he could build on over the next four decades.

Our family remembers the early days of the next phase in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

The ramp was removed sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s and a new high-speed Chair 1 was installed and renamed “Broadway Express.” 

The original main lodge was expanded and to this day, the upper part of the old exterior rock wall mural, with a white and brown flagstone arrow, can be seen sitting on the deck. 

By 1973, under McCoy’s leadership, the ski area grew to 14 double-chairs, and a second base lodge was built. 

The drive from Southern California region to the mountain required a dedication on the part of skiers and eventually boarders, because Mammoth wasn’t a destination ski resort.

Well, not yet anyway

What did Dave do?

McCoy bought a small airline to fly a few skiers from Burbank, California to Mammoth.

Mammoth Yosemite Airport from Wikipedia

The growth of the ski area led to growth of the town of Mammoth Lakes, California, which incorporated in 1984.

And the rest was history.

Steps:

(32) Plan extended seasonal vacations during summer and winter months. Group destination locations together in regional trips to explore what several bucket list towns have to offer in the general vicinity – with only a week or two vacation time to spend, we recommend organizing your itinerary by travel regions.

If Worse Comes to Worst

“People will lend you money to go to college, but not to retire.”

Securing Our Future
Oh, and if worse comes to worst … If they need further living expenses beyond that point, they can tap the equity in their home through a reverse mortgage.

 

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.

 

Can’t Get Back to Sleep

What keeps the couple up at night?

They can take care of what’s in front of them with their current lifestyle.

But, in less than a decade their son will be college bound and they’re afraid they’ll go broke shouldering his tuition and room and board.

And roughly seven years later dad will be retiring followed by mom a couple of years later.

What Are We Going To Do?

Have they squirreled enough away for those two rainy days?

They can manage their current nut, but …?

No more television for you my mom used to say when I misbehaved.

In their case the couple willingly cut that $40 a month cable package out of their budget and bought insurance policies with it instead.

On top of their expected pensions, they agreed to sock away $10,000 a year into two Roth IRAs.

“Few people realize they can also use Roth accounts to pay for their children’s college expenses, given a few restrictions,” the planner said.

It’s one of those good news, bad news things.

Leaving Home for a College Campus

Their son …

will probably need financial aid when he goes away to school and some colleges may provide less financial aid to families that have 529 accounts to cover higher-education expenses, the planner said.

 

Trade offs?

Certainly.

No easy choices for a couple used to carrying no debt except for their mortgage.

The planner got them to see their challenge from a different perspective.

“People will lend you money to go to college, but not to retire.”

Working out a diversified portfolio, giving standard planning returns and savings rates, and recommending Roth contributions of $10,000 a year, when the husband turns 65 the accumulated savings will reach $331,000 even after college expense.

The planner calculated the first year of college to run $16,000 and grow to $19,000 by his senior year.

What about retirement?

They can count on a pension for the husband of $77,000 a year and $7,300 in Social Security for his wife for a total of $84,300.

With reasonable withdrawals to make up for any short fall in retirement, the planner calculated their savings should last until both are in their mid-90s.

Oh, and if worse comes to worst …

If they need further living expenses beyond that point, they can tap the equity in their home through a reverse mortgage.

Completed in 2005, the house could be worth as much as $350,000 to $400,000 in 2010.

“This is our forever house,” the wife said. They even kept in mind the possibility of becoming infirm as they age. “We built it with one story so we can just roll in our wheelchairs,” she said. 

Steps

(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.