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.

 

 

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.

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.

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’s History and Migrating Lifestyle

Who were the first non-Native Americans to roam the northern end of Owens Valley?

The one BOF lifestyle to say goodbye to Bishop, said hello to three Colorado and three California mountain resort towns.

 

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.

Bishop: Part One

What do we already know about Bishop?

Having driven through Owens Valley on this trip we know it’s at the northern end of the valley.

And we know that the Sierra Nevada range is west while the White Mountains lie east of town.

Rock climbers gravitate to Bishop for the over 2,000 volcanic tuff and granite challenges.

Wikipedia fills in the main hiking and climbing attractions.

“Numerous peaks are within a short distance of Bishop, including Mount Humphreys (13,986 ft.), to the west, White Mountain Peak (14,242 ft.) in the northeast, and pyramidal Mount Tom (13,658 ft.) northwest of town.

Basin Mountain (13,187 ft.) is viewed to the west from Bishop as it rises above the Buttermilks.”

Bishop promotes itself “The Gateway to Eastern Sierras” and as the “Mule Capital of the World.”

For almost half a century Bishop Mule Days celebrate the contributions that pack mules made to settling the area every week leading up to Memorial Day.

“More than 700 mules compete in 181 events and the largest non-motorized parade in the United States.”

But, mules aren’t the only draw.

Tourists come for an arts and crafts show and a country and western concert.

And maybe, Bishop should celebrate cattle too.

First of all, the town’s named after a creek that’s named after Samuel Addison Bishop.

Was Sam the first to inhabit the northern Owens Valley location?

Of course not.

Maybe on maps.

But, not in fact.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) may control much of the upstream and surrounding area but, the Paiute-Shoshone Indians of the Bishop Community of the Bishop Colony control land just west of the town.

Bishop Paiute women’s Labor Day parade float, 1940

Here’s how Wikipedia sheds light on Bishop’s Native American heritage.

“The Bishop Paiute Tribe, formerly known as the Paiute-Shoshone Indians of the Bishop Community of the Bishop Colony is a federally recognized tribe of Mono and Timbisha Indians of the Owens Valley, in Inyo County of eastern California.”

As of the 2010 Census the population was 1,588.

More recently, the tribe counts 2000 enrolled tribal members making it the fifth largest in California.

Five elected members govern via a tribal council.

“The tribe has its own tribal court and many programs for its members.

For economic development, the Bishop Community created the Paiute Palace Casino and Tu-Kah Novie restaurant in Bishop.”

In the winter of 2013 the Los Angeles Times reported that stolen petroglyphs were recovered.

“Thieves stole from an Eastern Sierra site sacred to Native Americans about 15 miles north of Bishop. 

Vandals used ladders, chisels and power saws connected to electric generators to remove the panels from cliffs know as the volcanic tableland.” 

The sheered slabs measured 15 feet above ground and many were two feet high and wide.

“Native Americans had carved hundreds of lava boulders and cliffs with spiritual renderings: concentric circles, deer, rattlesnakes, bighorn sheep and hunters with bows and arrows”.

Covered by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, the site supports sacred ceremonies local Paiute Native Americans, so …

“they are priceless to Native Americans, who regard the massive tableaux as a window into the souls of their ancestors.”

Who were the first non-Native Americans to roam the northern end of Owens Valley?

The Bishop visitor center named Kit Carson, Ed Kern and Richard Owens, as well as, Samuel Bishop as early explorers and settlers arriving in the middle 1800s.

Kit Carson had become a celebrated “Indian fighter” by then.

Carson, Kern and Owens mapped the Eastern Sierra territory.

Kern County and Owens Lake and Valley drew their names from Ed and Richard.

But, what about the core founding story of Bishop?

Ghost Town of Aurora, Nevada

Bishop came into being due to the need for beef in a booming mining camp some eighty miles to the north, Aurora, Nevada, (Aurora was believed to be on the California side of the border at that time and was the county seat of Mono County, California).

“In 1861 cattlemen drove herds of cattle some three hundred miles from the great San Joaquin Valley of California, through the southern Sierra at Walker Pass, up the Owens Valley, and then through Adobe Meadows to Aurora.”

When Bishop and his wife, and a few trail hands drove 600 cattle and 50 horses on that long journey from Fort Tejon in the Tehachapi Mountains into the valley they experience an epiphany.

Why not just settle there instead, raise the cattle and sell their beef to the miners and businesses selling to miners in Aurora?

The McGee brothers joined them as the first white settlers in the valley.

“Remnants of these early settler’s stone corrals and fences can still be seen north of Bishop along Highway 395 in Round Valley (barbed wire fencing was not invented until 1873).”

Enough of that.

What about present day?

What happened to the lifestyle that took flight?

The one BOF lifestyle to say goodbye to Bishop, said hello to three Colorado and three California mountain resort towns.

The 11Y1T1 30-44, Midlife Couples, ditched Bishop’s Wireless Resort, Maturing Resort community and possibly migrated to:

  • Mammoth Lakes, California
  • Truckee, California
  • Tahoe City – Sunnyside, California
  • Durango, Colorado
  • Telluride, Colorado or
  • Frisco – Copper Mountain, Colorado.

So keeping things local, let’s now turn to Mammoth.

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.

Swall

“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.

Winter Road Trip in the Easter Sierras
In this case a Gen-X couple in their mid- to late- 40s with a 9- year old  son lived in the rustic, remote community.

 

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 on our return trip to our epic, awesome suburban life in Southern California we had taken the scenic route, we would have discovered Swall Meadows.

U.S. Highway 395 in California’s Eastern Sierras

Instead of jumping on US 395 again, we could have taken Crowley Lake Drive from Tom’s Place and headed towards Bishop on what becomes Old Sherwin Grade Road and Lower Rock Creek Road for about 7 miles.

I first read about Swall Meadows in the Fall of 2010.

The LA Times used to print a financial planning column.

Basically, volunteers divulge their current economic and lifestyle situation.

If selected, a financial planner meets with them and assesses their goals, evaluates the gaps and challenges that would keep them from retiring the way they want to and prescribes a change in habits in the best possible way.

In this case a Gen-X couple in their mid- to late- 40s with a 9- year old  son lived in the rustic, remote community.

In this small neighborhood their neighbors overwhelmingly own their own primary or secondary homes.

Swall Meadows, California

Swall Meadows, however, is large enough to warrant its own Wikipedia page:

There were 128 housing units at an average density of 28.7 per square mile, of which 90 (91.8%) were owner-occupied, and 8 (8.2%) were occupied by renters.

The 2010 census counted 220 living the outdoor-loving life that only the four Eastern Sierra seasons can bring.

Zip Code 93514

One that Dave McCoy fell in love with in Independence, on McGee Mountain, while developing Mammoth Mountain and ATV-ing in the canyons, foothills and mountain trails surrounding Bishop.

While Swall Meadows falls within the Bishop zip code, 93514,  the downtown Bishop area is about 21 miles south (and Mammoth Lakes is roughly 25 miles north.)

 

Our financial case study couple commute to their jobs in public education.

  • There’s one major fuel cost that’s not in keeping with their green lifestyle. 
  • Mostly because husband and wife each commute two hours, round trip, to jobs, they spend a combined total of $250 a month on gasoline.
  • The family’s main source of income is the $65,622 annual salary the husband earns as a high school math teacher in the Mammoth Unified School District. 
  • His wife brings in an additional $13,000 a year as a special-education teacher’s aide for middle-school children.

Swall Meadows, in southern Mono County sits within just under 5 square miles below Wheeler Crest at about 6,500 feet above sea level.

Without any commercial enterprises, other than a firehouse near the meadow, it it’s primarily a residential community just southeast of  the “old Sky Meadows Ranch” and northwest of the Pinyon Ranch development

Mountain Peaks Surrounding Swall Meadows

The seasonal views are to die for — there’s Mt. Tom and White Mountains on the east of Owens Valley.

Wikipedia adds:

Mule Deer

It is also well known in the area as an important deer migration route for the Round Valley Mule Deer population, which cherish the grazing in the meadow and apple falls from the old orchard trees.

A year after the financial makeover article, in 2011, to protect the migrating deer, the Eastern Sierra Land Trust brought an additional 104 acres of the meadow area near an historic homesite under the control of a conservation easement.

No wonder the teachers chose the location to build their home in 2005.

They found …

Swall Meadows Willows and  Streams

permanent and seasonal streams and the eponymous meadow with wetter-habitat vegetation such as Jeffrey pines, willows, stream and bog orchids, and the remnant trees of the old commercial apple orchard. 

Sometime in 2000 or 2001 the couple became a family and put down roots.

In Swall Meadows they constructed and completed, for the most part, a 1,200 square foot, two- bedroom home by 2005.

The LA Times article described it as an …

Straw-Bale House Construction

environmentally friendly straw-bale-construction method — in which thick walls are built around the bales, which provide insulation — helps keep the 1,200-square-foot home’s electricity bill at an average of about $28 a month.

Five years later the financial planner revealed how they got by on a disciplined, frugal budget living just seven miles from where my son wanted to find out how he could live in a place like there.

Their total budget came to $4,000 a month including the mortgage payments on their $270,300 home.

Also included in it were:

  • $250 a month for fueling their commutes
  • $90 a month on propane for cooking and to heat water.
  • $28 for electricity
  • $40 a month for basic cable

They willingly cut corners to live in their pristine community.

They grow their own food, as much as they can.

Cost-Cutting Measures

Without a clothes drier, they simply fall back on the more traditional way — hanging clothes outside, even in winter.

Why buy new clothes, when you can find bargains at thrift stores, even ski outfits?

If you live in a mountain paradise, why take vacations, except to visit friends and relatives?

When they do, they make a point of camping in national parks to enjoy Mother Nature’s wonder and save on lodging.

What keeps the couple up at night?

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.

Regions

“Mountains, canyons, waterfalls and unusual landforms give life to wide variations of vegetation. Year round recreational opportunities satisfy lovers of fishing, hiking, bicycling, rafting, hot air ballooning, skiing, ice-skating and snowmobiling.”

Scenic Water Falls
How have the Pagosa Springs profiles changed between Summer of 2008 and the Winter of 2013-2014?

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

Continuing in the Rocky Mountain states region, let’s explore first what the South Central Colorado (Pagosa Springs ) and then the Southwestern Colorado travel regions have to offer.

You’ll enjoy an extended vacation in four towns that are relatively close together.

Pagosa Springs, 81147;

Durango, 81301 and 81303;

Silverton, 81433; and

Telluride 81435

We initiated coverage in 2008 and 2009 which gives us a view of the neighborhood evolutions for each like it did for Whitefish, Montana.

You will recall we introduced you to Pagosa Springs already.

Summer in Pagosa Springs

“Pagosa Springs … The Colorado You’ve Always Dreamed Of.”

Mountains, canyons, waterfalls and unusual landforms give life to wide variations of vegetation. Year round recreational opportunities satisfy lovers of fishing, hiking, bicycling, rafting, hot air ballooning, skiing, ice-skating and snowmobiling.

Does it meets the quality-of-life criteria for a resort town?

You can say an emphatic “Yes” to three key questions

  • Does it offer a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities?
  • Do the weather patterns in winter or summer make you want to live there year round, or only on a seasonal basis.
  • Does it have potential over the long term to develop into a high appreciation real estate investment while being affordable for mid-life or empty nesters?

Off the beaten path, part of the Four Corners region located in the Colorado Sunbelt, just 35 miles north of the New Mexico border and along the Western slope of the Continental Divide.

“The combination of high desert plateau and Rocky Mountains to the North and East of town creates an unusually mild climate. Pagosa Springs is located in the upper San Juan Basin, surrounded by the nearly 3 million acres of the San Juan National Forest and Weminuche Wilderness Area.”

Southern Colorado’s Pagosa Springs

Two US highways bisect the region – US 550 cuts through the forest along the north / south, while US 160 divides along the east / west axis.

“Covering 1.9 million acres in southwestern Colorado, lies the San Juan National Forest, with elevations in the forest range from 6,800 feet at Junction Creek to 13,000 feet at Wolf Creek near the Continental Divide, and over 14,000 feet at Mount Wilson in the Lizard Head Wilderness.”

Wolf Creek for Ski and Snow Boarding Enthusiasts

For ski enthusiasts, a 23-mile trek brings you to Wolf Creek Ski Area on US 160 at the top of apply named Wolf Creek Pass.

U.S. 84 is a great drive that covers 151 miles between Santa Fe and its western terminus, Pagosa Springs, population: about 1,700.

Pagosa Springs, where everyone says you should try a soak at the Springs Resort.

Baggage Claim at the Durango/La Plata County Airport

The nearest commercial airport to Pagosa Springs is the Durango/La Plata County Airport near Durango, which offers commuter air service to the major airports at Denver and Phoenix.

Durango is about 60 miles west of Pagosa Springs on US Highway 160.

The central part of Pagosa Springs, where the hot springs are, is small and easily walkable. 

However the outer parts of town are growing quickly, especially the western part where there’s plenty of new residences and big box stores.

Here’s a snapshot first taken in the summer of 2008 describing Pagosa Springs’ more permanent physical profile.

Location At-A-Glance (Summer of 2008)

Region: Western United States, Rocky Mountain Region

State: Colorado

Travel Region: South Central Colorado

County: Archuleta

Town: Pagosa Springs

Real Estate Phase: Innovation Towns

Population Density: Town and Country,

And, the neighborhoods falling within Pagosa’s zip code.

Profile At-A-Glance (Summer 2008)

Zip Code: 81147

Life Stages: Singles, Couples, Midlife, Empty Nests, Seniors

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

Community Neighbors:

Wireless Resorters

Premier Resorts –WRPR

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

25Y1T1, Country Casuals, 30-44, Couples, Midlife Success, Landed Gentry

Distant Exurbans — WRDE

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

Community Neighbors:

High Country Eagles 

Rural Cowboys — HCERC 

45Y3T3, Blue Highways, 20-29, Striving Singles, Middle America

Rustic Eagles –HCERE

58M4T4, Back Country Folks, 65+ Sustaining Seniors, Rustic Living

How did the neighborhoods evolve?

By the winter of 2013-2014 Pagosa Springs, just like Whitefish, Montana gained two new Wireless Resorter lifestyles to replace the migrating Distant Exurbans WRDE 56Y3T4 – both Maturing Resorts – WRMR23Y2T2 and 28M2T2.

Pagosa Springs kept their Premier Resorts WRPR lifestyles over the 5-year period between the summer of 2008 and the winter of 2013-2014 (09M1T1 and 25Y1T1).

But their Distant Exurbans WRDE 56Y3T4 migrated somewhere else.

In fact, across mountain towns, as you’ll discover later, in California (Mammoth), Montana (Whitefish) and Colorado (Durango and Silverton) the younger Distant Exurbans 56Y3T4 Millennials disappeared entirely.

The Rustic Living (T4) lifestyle, Rustic Eagles HCERE 58M4T4 migrated with the flock that took off from Whitefish, Montana.

Later, you’ll discover they landed in Silverton and Vail, Colorado and along US 395 in Lone Pine, California.

So, Pagosa Springs evolved from T4 Rustic Living to a more upscale T2 Town and Country ranking with the second Rural Cowboy HCERC 28M2T2.

Overall Pagosa Springs dropped the two lifestyles ranked lower for affluence and status  (86% lower that the most affluent ) 56/66 and 58/66 respectively.

The only less affluent lifestyle remaining is ranked 45/66 (68% lower)- Rural Cowboys — HCERC 45Y3T3.

Like Whitefish, Pagosa Springs added another Wireless Resorter lifestyle – Maturing Resorts – WRMR 23Y2T2.

Which as you’ll see populates many if not most of the resort destinations we’ve explored.

Here’s the most recent profile to determine the degree of fit for you, if you’ve migrated recently from  or any other town

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

Zip Code: 81147

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

Ages: 20-29, 25-54, 30-44, 45-65, 55+

Community Neighbors:

Wireless Resorters

Premier Resorts –WRPR

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

25Y1T1, Country Casuals, 30-44, Couples, Midlife Success, Landed Gentry

Maturing Resorts – WRMR

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

28M2T2 Traditional Times, 55+, Couples, Empty Nest, Country Comfort

Community Neighbors:

High Country Eagles 

Rural Cowboys — HCERC 

45Y3T3, Blue Highways, 20-29, Striving Singles, Middle America

So, Pagosa Springs slowly evolved into a more Wireless Resorter destination resort with four lifestyles, two remaining in premier resort communities and two new neighbors maturing resort communities.

If you fall within the 20 to 29, 25 to 54, 30 to 44 or 55+ age groups you might love Pagosa Springs.

There you’ll find neighbors who remain single, have found a partner, experience the ups and downs of midlife, and the suddenly empty households as children move out, and of course, age as Baby Boomers.

Should you keep it on your quality-of-life resort bucket list?

Of course the choice is yours, but on your visit keep your eyes open for

“A new look that includes intelligent town planning for increased human interaction; and abundant open space; flexibility in home design; planning for safety; shared facilities; and high-tech communications infrastructure.”

In the meantime, you should search the web for back articles about what really goes on, what life is really like and how it evolved over two 5-year timeframes, 2003 to 2008, and 2009 to 2014.

Or you can profit from the work we’ve already done on your behalf.

Steps:

(23) Focus on resort communities in the western region of the United States with a new look that includes intelligent town planning for increased human interaction; and abundant open space; flexibility in home design; planning for safety; shared facilities; and high-tech communications infrastructure.”