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.
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 Four: Stuck in the Middle with You
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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
Extending Spring Snow Conditions
Tons Of Snow And Will Be Open Through Memorial Day
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.