January 6th, 2012
The crabs are gone. All of Mammoth mourns.
Merchants, hoteliers, restaurants and the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area all scrambled this week in the face of a steep dive in visitor occupancy.
In its weekly occupancy projection, Mammoth Tourism said the town is expected to fill to just 38 percent this weekend and 21 percent for the midweek.
Last year at this time, with an overabundance of snow and Mammoth the talk of the ski world, the town filled to 65 percent on the weekend and 35 percent in the midweek.
Many hotels and condo complexes are offering deep discounts, particularly at midweek.
As it turns out, the political wrangling and the financing debates have worked themselves out, adding to a record season at the newly reopened ice rink.
December attendance at the rink doubled over December 2009âthe last season the rink was open.
Going into the New Year, the rink already is 85 percent of the total attendance than it had in 2009-10.
âWhat a time to reopen the Ice Rink,â said Stuart Brown, the Townâs recreation director.
âAttendance has been through the roof and the quality of the experience on the ice for our guests has surpassed our expectations,â he said.
Fido is having the time of his life.
Every day is the finest time of his life, if you ask me, but even I would admit that this day ranks right up there.
He is reading his fortunes.
âDog who pee on dog gets a leg up on the competition,â he intoned. Waiting a comedic moment, he then howled in glee.
Fido had received a box of dog fortune cookies in the mail. Who from? He doesnât know. An admirer. But right there on the Chinese takeout box, was the label, âKung Fu Fido,â made somewhere in Minnesota.
Neither dust nor sun nor heat of night shall keep the Village Championships from their appointed rounds.
âThe VCsâ begin on Tuesday with the Race Department putting up gates for the first round of racing.
The second round will take place Jan. 24, followed by races on Jan. 31, Feb. 7, Feb. 14, Feb. 28, March 20; and April 3.
The VC team and individual finals will be April 10.
Itâs a wide-open competition, as it has been for 36 previous seasons. The racers are local and regional business owners, masterâs racers, junior team coaches, ski instructors, current and past competing racers.
Good news from Skip Harvey, owner of the Base Camp CafĂ© and town councilman, who says two cancerous tumors in his throat have âshrunk 50 percent.â He says he is taking one FDA-approved drug and another âhighly experimentalâ drug to control the cancer. âŠ
Mammoth Mountain sailed through the holidays just fine, according to ski area CEO Rusty Gregory.
In a carefully-worded memorandum to employees, dated Jan. 1, Gregory said this holiday period the ski area âcompleted its most successful and New Year holiday period in my 34 years on the mountain.â
Um, well, sort of.
Gregory said in an interview this week that the ski areaâs âsuccessâ is in context with other dry holiday periods in the ski areaâs historyânot an all-inclusive, year-by-year breakdown.
December 30th, 2011
He is 17 years old.
But Nick Entin of Palos Verdes isnât just another high school skier, though thereâs nothing in his outward appearance to suggest otherwise.
And then he whips out his iPhone. On it is his imaginative, 99-cent iPhone application, called Emergency Beacon. With one push of a button he can connect with first responders in case of an emergency.
Itâs a tiny little place in a remote part of the country.
Yet Mammoth has all the ingredients for a rich stew of colliding agenciesâfederal, state, county and local, plus extreme weather.
We have colliding interest groups. We have people who are passionate.
We have top-notch scientists working our water, woods and mountains. They take their findings back to their universities. Their colleagues marvel at the work they do here.
We have sport, too. Lots of sport.
We run, we ski, we ride, we backpack. We compete in Motocross. We ride road bikes.
Resident Bob Sollima, who was former winter caretaker at Reds Meadow and has been in Mammoth for oh, 126 years, says donât sweat the snow scene up here. âWeâve seen it all before âŠ no problem,â he said. âIn the winter of 1990-91 we were backpacking in and out of Fish Creek Hot Springs near Iva Belle Camp into February. On March 1, it started to snow and we got 15 feet in the month of Marchânot a lot, but enough to call it âThe March Miracleâ by alla the locals. Then there was the winter of 1976-77 where we waited and waited and waited. The snow never came.
The âNight of Lightsâ last Saturday turned into a night of fights.
Unruly concert-goers drove members of the headline band off the stage by throwing objects at them, then drove them off again when the band, the Naked and Famous, tried to resume the show.
The concert was on the snow at Canyon Lodge. While attendance numbers were not immediately available, it was believed by veteran âLightsâ observers to be among the largest crowds ever for the annual event.
Long time local and manager of the St. Moritz condominiums, Tom Greenstein, died Thursday for an as yet unknown reason.
Although there is very little official information available about Greenstein's death as of this time, the Mono County Sheriffs Department did release the following report Monday morning:
"In the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 15, at approximately 4:15 p.m., Mono County Sheriffâs Department dispatch received a call regarding an unresponsive male in the Mammoth Lakes area.
Just in the St. Nick of time, the Mammoth-Yosemite Airport opened its passenger annex Thursday.
The tent-like structure, similar to the Eagle Lodge structure, is officially a âtemporaryâ building, but then so was Eagle Lodge, and itâs still there.
It was built by Sprung Structures, the Utah company that provided the buildings at Eagle Lodge. It is a tension membrane structure. The building itself has become known as, simply, âThe Sprung Structure.â
Therein lies a problem.