Mammoth Town Council reaches split decision on MUF

By Deb Murphy

Mammoth town staff was directed to proceed on Mammoth’s Multi-Use Facility at last week’s Town Council meeting.

After years of wrangling, the ice rink, with multiple uses, in Mammoth Creek Park West may not be the mega-facility originally envisioned, but the latest iteration got a 3-2 vote and came in under the $13 million cap.

It’s a tent, technically called a tensile fabric, or sprung, structure. But it will include a lobby, bleachers, restrooms, concessions, lockers, storage, warmth and even has the potential to include a mezzanine to maximize seating.

The Town’s engineering manager Haislip Hays made the presentation, including conceptual illustrations of the finished product. The project could, potentially, be under construction by next spring.

The sprung structure got decent reviews during the public comment period. While the consensus was the concept wasn’t perfect, people were just tired of talking about it.

Resident Sandy Hogan wanted funds to go toward housing first. Former councilmember Colin Fernie thought a sprung structure was “beneath us,” but it did meet programming needs.

During Council discussion, Mayor Cleland Hoff appeared to agree with Fernie in terms of the aesthetics. Kirk Stapp supported the concept but wanted to hold off on a vote until the Council prioritized other projects.

Councilmember John Wentworth’s comeback: “We can walk and chew gun at the same time. We need to balance our priorities.” Wentworth, Lynda Salcido and Bill Sauser gave the project the thumbs up.


11 Responses to Mammoth Town Council reaches split decision on MUF

  1. David Dennison June 14, 2019 at 11:26 am #

    .I never spend much time in Mammoth,when I go north fishing and camping,it’s always farther north..Lee Vining,Bridgeport,Walker Canyon….but I’ll put my two cents in anyway with this one….once again,gotta say,the important thing in our “new America”…..ALL about the money…”free enterprise”,and probably some company coming in to build and reap the rewards…and the County able to collect more money and tax revenue hoping for more tourism into the area…..think they care about residents or workers having affordable housing…or having to pay more officers for 24 hour police presence in a town that needs it ?…

    • sugarmags June 19, 2019 at 7:48 am #

      You’ve almost have it right….that is what America is all about, the almighty dollar and free enterprise. But that has nothing to do with the Govt. The Govt. is controlled/manipulated by capitalists who use it to make money for themselves and their friends. Anyone who thinks there truly is a ‘govt.’ with free will who can/will look out for the public interest is completely deluded. The goal of more tourists isn’t about tax base, it’s about dollars in the business owners pockets. One can argue there’s nothing wrong with that. And if their quest for the tourist dollar didn’t negatively effect residents, I’d agree with that. Balance should be the goal, but good luck with that.

  2. Ice Tink June 14, 2019 at 6:39 am #

    Good points Tinner.

    Putting an ice rink inside a plastic tent – should smell really good in there after a few winters – defeats its purpose.

    All the charm of a Costco in Glendale.

    • sugarmags June 19, 2019 at 7:36 am #

      have any of you ever even been to Little Eagle?

  3. Tinner June 13, 2019 at 6:25 pm #

    Affordable Housing and a 24 hour police presence should come before an ice rink under a tent, judging by John Wentworth’s driving habits, maybe he doesn’t want more police patrolling the streets.
    I lost all confidence in Town Council and the Town of Mammoth years ago after the Airport boondoggle (which we are all still paying for, thanks a lot), I would have thought they’d have earned it back by now but they continue to do things that make me question their competence.
    Completely new Council members, I know, but same old same old.
    ”We need to balance our priorities”?
    With that statement I don’t believe John Wentworth has a realistic idea of the affordable housing problem that exists in town.
    If this rink happens and goes in under a tent we will be wishing we had done things differently a few years down the road after it is completed and we will be forced to explain to visitors why our ice rink is under a tent. Let’s wait and do it right even if it takes a little longer and costs a little more, let’s not force this and have to live with a head scratcher of a structure. What’s the hurry, anyway? We’ve become pretty respectable little ski town without a rink for this long. It’s not like people are going to stop coming to Mammoth, snow or no snow. This secret is out, Mammoth is where it’s at.

    • sugarmags June 19, 2019 at 7:34 am #

      The ice rink is for locals. Of course tourists can use it too. I’ve said many times, Towns/Cities that place the community first are the places that tourists want to visit. Towns/Cities that chase the tourist dollar, not so much.

      • Freezy June 19, 2019 at 10:52 am #

        The ice rink is for locals?

        OK I get it now.

        Most “locals” are LA transplants, so the thought of an indoor ice rink in the mountains doesn’t bother them.

        • sugarmags June 19, 2019 at 3:00 pm #

          Locals want an ice rink. People enjoy curling, hockey and skating. If economic realities mean indoor or a tent, that’s better than none. An outdoor ice rink in heavy snow country is often closed for snow removal. Environmental reality!

          • Tonya Liteson June 19, 2019 at 8:48 pm #


            Keystone, Vail, Sun Valley, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, and Jackson – to name a few – all have beautiful outdoor ice rinks.

            But those are real ski towns; Mammoth is a suburb of Los Angeles.

            So indoors in a plastic tent is actually quite appropriate.

          • sugarmags June 20, 2019 at 2:03 pm #

            I don’t know what constitutes a ‘real ski town’….but I sure as heck know what constitutes a real ski mountain, and Mammoth Mountain is one of the best!!!
            And I sure as heck like living in a town where people don’t lock their front doors and leave their keys in their cars without issues other than bears opening the car doors. Try that in LA or Bishop.

          • Twin Tips June 21, 2019 at 10:08 am #

            That is and seems always will be Mammoth’s problem – world-class mountain; dumpy charmless town.


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