Mono County and Mammoth Lakes Wait, Again, for Approval to Open Lodging

Mammoth Lakes Town Manager Dan Holler did a pretty good job of describing “between a rock and a hard place” at Wednesday’s Town Council meeting. To paraphrase, do you defy California’s COVID-19 guidelines for opening businesses or do you wait and wait for approval of the Emergency Operations Center’s plan to open lodging, with restrictions.

In the end, both Mono County Supervisors and the Town Council agreed, they had to slog it out and wait.

One of the suggestions if the California Public Office doesn’t respond soon is reminiscent of everyone’s childhood: “Well, you didn’t say I couldn’t.” The consequence of going rogue, however, is loss of State assistance funding.

Phase 3 of Governor Gavin Newsom’s roadmap to recovery seems to have left out consideration of a big avenue for both the Town and the County: tourism. Intrinsic to tourism is travel and, with the stay-at-home order still in place, nobody’s supposed to be traveling. But, people are and there’s no legal place to stay. It’s a mess.

The plan sitting in Sacramento sets the same parameters for unincorporated parts of the County and the town of Mammoth Lakes. The only difference: the plan would go into effect June 12 for unincorporated parts of the County and June 19 for Mammoth Lakes. The June 12 opening date was chosen “to allow sufficient time to evaluate the impact of the reopening Expanded Stage 2 sectors.” The additional week’s delay before Mammoth gets the go-ahead reasoning: “it represents 82-percent of Mono County’s hotels and lodging units.”

Restrictions would include all Expanded Stage 2 sectors and activities, strategic phased reopening of hotels and lodging, a mandatory 24-hour gap before a unit can be re-rented and a recommended 48-hour gap. The final parameter—no outbound marketing—raised some questions regarding websites.

The same child who says “you didn’t say I couldn’t,” would probably say “I didn’t send anything, I just posted it.”

Tom Parker, Mammoth Hospital’s chief executive officer, confirmed to the Board of Supervisors the hospital was equipped to handle its standard capacity, current COVID patients and a potential surge.

In addition to the outline to open lodging, the plan includes a list of eight variables that would trigger a roll-back on openings. The variables include increases in calls from symptomatic people to the nurse hotline, positive tests, severe cases and the inability of the County’s tracing team to contact 80-percent of those identified or evaluate 75-percent of case contacts within 24 hours. The final trigger covers positive cases in a school environment.

So, now we wait.


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11 Responses to Mono County and Mammoth Lakes Wait, Again, for Approval to Open Lodging

  1. Mike Parkes June 6, 2020 at 11:58 am #

    Does this include the RV Parks?

    • Charles James June 6, 2020 at 12:10 pm #

      Yes. Always call first! Make sure “there’s room at the Inn…or RV space!”

      • Carol Smidt June 6, 2020 at 9:14 pm #

        I’ve tried to call, email, chat. No one answers!

  2. Dickhammer June 6, 2020 at 9:15 am #

    Burning down your city is approved but staying in a hotel is off the table folks. Welcome to clown world.

  3. Mark stanfield June 6, 2020 at 12:04 am #

    Your little town has had over 50 years to diversify your economy so you could better weather a challenge like covid but you haven’t so time to put on the big boy pants and follow the rules the health professionals have laid out to keep your petty a**es (SWM edit) alive.

    • Joe June 6, 2020 at 11:08 am #

      You stay alive in your home but the rest of us want to go back to work.

    • A Lopez June 7, 2020 at 3:16 pm #

      I agree, you don’t want the place to turn into downtown LA. Time to let the people that pay your bills come and spend some money. Just saying!

  4. Mono Person June 5, 2020 at 4:48 pm #

    This is what these politicians are saying..” Blah, blah, blah, oh we are doing such a great job! Blah, blah, blah…” #WearenotMammoth

  5. A lopez June 5, 2020 at 3:18 pm #

    This is ridiculous! We had SARS H1n1, ebola ,Swine flu, pneumonia, streptococcus and other coronaviruses and we’re freaked out about COVID-19 to where we shut down the United States economy. This has gotten out of hand. Our country has become sissified. We are United States citizens, we know how to protect ourselves and others. That is what we do.

  6. Bleach Babe June 5, 2020 at 3:00 pm #


    In the meantime the small lodges and hotels go out of business and the town loses millions in tourism dollars.


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