Whistler’s happy tune

whistlerWhen they recently traveled to Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort, Town of Mammoth officials learned that Whistler has a big village, highly developed events and incentives for developers. Things to think about in Mammoth Lakes.

Councilmen John Eastman and Matthew Lehman flew to Whistler with Town Manager Dan Holler. Eastman made it clear that Mammoth “won’t be Whistler.” What officials did learn from Whistler is the need to incentivize developers to invest in Mammoth. Eastman said that in Mammoth, planning, Town Council and retail people have stressed the need to be “ready for the next growth spurt.” He said that was a subject for talk during the Whistler visit.

Eastman said the need to offer incentives to developers was the “screaming message at Whistler. We will not see new, major private sector development unless owners are incentivized. That,” said Eastman, “was the screaming message.” He also pointed to resort occupancy as a reason for developers to come to town. He said Whistler Village claims 65% annual occupancy. Mammoth is more like 40%. Said Eastman, “We need to bring up occupancy.”

Eastman named employee housing and marketing as two other key areas at which Whistler has succeeded. He said Whistler officials thought the Mammoth TBID or Business Improvement District assessment was a big advantage. He said they were surprised Mammoth would spend more than $5 million on marketing as a result.

Councilman Lehman said the relationship among Whistler Mountain, the town and community is “very cohesive. They have a definite plan on how to operate and grow.” He said Whistler rakes in a big return on investment for events.

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ferdinand lopez
ferdinand lopez
8 years ago

pave paradise

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago

Don’t forget the parking lot!

Norm Olson
Norm Olson
8 years ago

I actually remember flying into the Bishop airport from the Van Nuys airport on a scheduled flight back in the late sixties. It was trout season, however. Big airport just sitting there between fireworks shows now. What I really don’t understand is when a flight gets all the way up… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Norm Olson

The Mammoth=Yosemite Airport is not to provide real air service to Mammoth Lakes, it is a point of sale for Starwood to sell condos and second homes. The rap goes something like: And you can just hop on a plane in be here in a hour — ski all day… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

I would love to hear why Bishops medical flights to Reno cost a hole years wage. Grave Robbers!!

Shine
Shine
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Probably malpractice insurance.

John Barton
John Barton
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Trouble- I am not affiliated with the life flight services but it is my understanding that a high percentage of people they fly have no insurance or are Medi-cal patients which doesn’t reimburse very well. This leaves outrageous bills to those who have good insurance or the means to pay.… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  John Barton

Thxs John- You make great points and I regret throwing our life flight people under the bus so quickly. I just wish there were better options for local people in need of help.

Shine
Shine
8 years ago
Reply to  Norm Olson

Bishop not approved by FAA as alternative. Hindsight, (foresight of some), shows Bishop should have been upgraded first and then Mammoth if things worked out. Seems TOML, as Ken points out, was too invested in nearsighted speculation and not the overall health of the region that could have benefitted it… Read more »

DESCO
DESCO
8 years ago
Reply to  Shine

I would rather have a jet landing on Main Street in Mammoth than any where near Bishop.
Can’t see much benefit and a lot of noise and stink.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  DESCO

Not true. Mammoth Lakes Airport has one approved instrument approach procedure, an RNAV-GPS approach to Runway 27. Bishop Eastern Sierra Regional Airport has a VOR/DME located at the airport allowing VOR approaches to any runway using circling minimums. There are RNAV-GPS approaches to all runways. BIH in fact has published… Read more »

Shine
Shine
8 years ago

Thought there was legal restrictions to the size of commercial flights using MMH landing at BIH, barring emergency. So is it a case of the airline just not having the resources needed once landed in BIH, and the necessary security to board there? As a back seat flyer conditions in… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago

The things that would prevent an aircraft from using a particular airport are technical. Is the runway long enough given the weight of the aircraft and the altitude, can the runway handle the load imposed on it by the aircraft and for IFR operations is there an instrument approach compatible… Read more »

Shine
Shine
8 years ago

So, Norm’s original question remains, why do MMH commercial flights return to LAX when they can not land, and not use BIH?

Mark
Mark
8 years ago

The lack of snow has probably aready began to hurt

Tony Cumia
Tony Cumia
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Actually the town had more people in it than the last 2 yrs.

I Love To Fish
I Love To Fish
8 years ago

I think we should change the TBID Tax that clearly does not and will not tax tourist as much as us locals, into a big Mammoth Lakes gated resort. We can have two gates (one at 203 and the second at the 395/ML Loop) with 24h 365d security guards at… Read more »

TBone
TBone
8 years ago

In the last twenty years, Mammoth Lakes has effectively priced themselves out of their market. Delusional and greedy realtors and business owners convinced themselves that Mammoth could become another Vail, and attempted a town-wide makeover that would appeal only to richest, most affluent members of our society. Lift tickets, food,… Read more »

Sellling Short
Sellling Short
8 years ago
Reply to  TBone

Might not be a bad idea to accept that the property you own today will never appreciate every year like in the glory days of the nation’s economy.

mmmMammoth
mmmMammoth
8 years ago

Yep, that’s what we need, more developement. Perfect! How about consentrating on the only locked in clientele we have. The southern californa family. Make it a pleasant affordable experience. Get the occupancy numbers up to a point that there is a NEED for developement. I realize that our leaders are… Read more »

Real estate councilmen
Real estate councilmen
8 years ago
Reply to  mmmMammoth

When your elected officials make a living selling real estate, you are going to see attempts at more development. Just like good ol’ Los Angeles.

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago

“Both John Eastman and Myself paid for our trip and all of our own expenses.” I applaud these two; in my business this would have been a legitimate deductible expense, yet these two paid for it out of pocket to be sure it wouldn’t offend their constituents. To me, their… Read more »

Where are the honest officials?
Where are the honest officials?
8 years ago

Elected officials (who are also businessmen and lawyers) have umpteen different ways of hiding the money (travel receipts, etc.) than you might ever imagine. There are no elected officials who work for their constituents entirely. Some even think nothing of trying to sell their client’s properties to those same constituents.… Read more »

Shine
Shine
8 years ago

While I appreciate people donating towards community, tends to blur the lines of who you represent sometimes. If you are representing TOML it may be better that you are paid by town, or not go at all, to keep it clear who you are accountable to.

I Love To Fish
I Love To Fish
8 years ago

Heard this song before.

Goodbye Mama and Papa
Goodbye Jack and Jill
The grass ain’t greener
The wine ain’t sweeter
Either side of the hill.

Did you say your name was Ramblin Rose?
Ramble on baby, settle down easy
Ramble on Rose.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

In my opinion, Mammoth will never see the glory days they always think are just around the corner if they just build more condominium fractional ownership hotels. They’ve been chasing the same rabbit with the same old tired dog since the ’80’s. Same rabbit — same dog– same result. Now… Read more »

I Love To Fish
I Love To Fish
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Perfectly said.
I would like to add – if we don’t have a big winter, don’t worry the TBID tax will bring people to mammoth. =)

skiJohn
skiJohn
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

I agree with you Ken on most of your points, however, Main St looks like crap. It really does need to be spruced up a bit, don’t you think? Any decent homeowner keeps their property up to par, so the town should, too!

Curious
Curious
8 years ago
Reply to  skiJohn

When did the town buy main street?

The 203 is a state route and should remain so.

The many eyesores on Main Street are privately owned and not a taxpayer responsibility.

Enough of this corporate welfare that is sucking Mammoth Lakes dry!

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  skiJohn

Absolutely! Main St. could and should be cleaned up. But it doesn’t have to be leveled and rebuilt to do it. Look at Slocums, Footloose, The Outlet Mall., Schats. Even the A-Frame has cleaned up. Clean up the buildings. And it was franchize developers that put Cuppies there on the… Read more »

Bemused
Bemused
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Ken…when you’re right, you’re really right. As to the Shady Rest parcel; I have some unique insight…and suffice it to say that it could almost certainly be acquired for what amounts to a song right now. As in perhaps 1/2 the yearly TBID $$ haul. Unfortunately, the powers that be… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Bemused

I wish there was some way to break through the bunker mentality of the “leaders” and steakholders. Turning Shady Rest Tract into an old growth Central Park would be a unique attraction on the East Side and a real nice thing for people who live here to enjoy. But if… Read more »

MJA
MJA
8 years ago

All Mammoth really needs is snow! =

Tim
Tim
8 years ago

I’m pretty sure that incentives won’t make much of a difference. Whistler beats Mammoth of several fronts: 1. Usually more snow and some snow for longer. 2. Whistler is a fairly short drive from a metro area (Vancouver, Burnaby etc.) of over 2 million people. Mammoth: difficult to get to… Read more »

Shine
Shine
8 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Whistler pay seems similar, but employee housing about $425-650 US for own room. Shared room starting at 300. Health care for citizen or permanent resident makes difference also.

eric hein
eric hein
8 years ago

Maybe we cold swap town council members straight up.

Curious
Curious
8 years ago

Don’t you just love it when these nincompoops justify a junket by comparing apples to road apples? There was a time when Mammoth was a good value for the dollar vs the customer experience, that is no longer the case. You can spend five million a year on marketing, but… Read more »

Shine
Shine
8 years ago

TOML TBID big advantage for Whistler? Maybe work on “very cohesive” before marketing.

Pinky And The Brain
Pinky And The Brain
8 years ago

A junket is junket by any other name! NOT a stellar beginning for our new town manger Dan Holler. If this guy is as smart as I think he is, it’s only going to take him a minute to figure out that Eastman is full of himself. Mammoth deserves better.… Read more »

not fooling anyone.
not fooling anyone.
8 years ago

Lehman better come up with a better idea to increase the value of his properties he’s trying to sell through Lehman Properties.
This is total BS.

skiJohn
skiJohn
8 years ago

His companies are Matthew Lehman Real Estate and Matthew Lehman Appraisal, not Lehman Properties. What is BS, exactly?

Politicians and Conflicts of interest
Politicians and Conflicts of interest
8 years ago
Reply to  skiJohn

Lehman, like most elected officials of these times, is in it for himself – not his constituents. Forgot how he tried to railroad the town of Mammoth into buying one of his appraised, real estate properties already?

Where are the apolitical, honest politicians who have integrity?

skiJohn
skiJohn
8 years ago

Railroad the town into buying something we desperately need? An events site. So you’d rather see a casino there, huh? It seems pretty simple to me: He’s been in real estate up here for 22 years. He has a property listed, one the town may want. If they move forward… Read more »

Shine
Shine
8 years ago
Reply to  skiJohn

Casino? California allows low stake bingo, card rooms, horse race betting. Off reservation tribal casino seems long shot.

TOML “desperately need” an event site, while depending on volunteer police staff?

TBone
TBone
8 years ago
Reply to  skiJohn

Shouldn’t your name be skiMatt?

skiJohn
skiJohn
8 years ago

Lehman paid for the entire trip out of his own pocket because he knew everyone would complain. Bennett, feel free to confirm this with him. Not sure about Eastman…

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  skiJohn

OK. Thanks
BK

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  skiJohn

You are correct. Councilman Lehman responded when I asked him about this: “Both John Eastman and Myself paid for our trip and all of our own expenses.”

Benett Kessler

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

That Eastman and Leman paid for their own trip is unexpected and kudos to them for doing so. And just buy the darn Wood’s Site. Don’t let it slip away into never, never land like the Shady Rest Tract,. Please do something smart at least once. Maybe you’ll get used… Read more »

Tinner
Tinner
8 years ago

Jiminy Christmas, they had go to all the way to Whistler to figure that out? I don’t get it. I know there has been dozens or hundreds of developers and contractors in the TOML office doing plenty of screaming that same message…they didn’t have to go to all the way… Read more »

enoughalready
enoughalready
8 years ago

So how long has it been since the idea of Mammoth’s “Village” or “North Village” was concieved and sketched on a napkin in a bar. 20, 30 or 50 years, 75? Interwest came in, bought the land, broke ground and built the village. Deals were made, hands shook in agreement,… Read more »

Bemused
Bemused
8 years ago

Yawn. All widely known and accepted info/spin…straight out of a can. Absolutely ZERO necessity to actually go there to “learn” this…