RecStrats: Curious name for a bold document

The most powerful document to come out of Mammoth in 2010 came with a curious name.

It is RecStrats, a shortening of “Recreation Vision & Strategies In Mammoth Lakes.”

Created by Carl Ribaudo of the Strategic Marketing Group of South Lake Tahoe and facilitated by former Tourism and Recreation Manager Danna Stroud, the document ultimately may turn out to be as important as the Town’s General Plan.

Not a policy document, it was created to provide all town and area leaders with a way to think in common terms about where the Town is headed in terms of what we do best – having fun.

It first appeared on July 7 by John Wentworth, whose ambitious Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation (MLTPA), which funded the research, proposed it.

On July 21, the Town Council voted unanimously to participate through the Council Recreation Reorganization Committee.

By late fall, it was a done deal and Mammoth – for the first time ever – had acquired a vision, uniting sports user groups, politicians and managers – including the Forest Service, Mammoth Mountain and Mono County.

“While there was general acknowledgement of the value recreation brought to the community from both a quality of life and economic sustainability perspective, there hadn’t been a focused effort to enhance the recreation experience in Mammoth Lakes,” the report intoned in its introduction.

Its vision is short, succinct and easy to understand: “To be the best alpine recreation community in the country.”

Incorporating policy decisions into the RecStrats wireframe is not going to be a piece of cake, the report states.

Threats are all over the place.

First, incorporating RecStrats faces an opposition to what it calls “a mindset for change.”

“The local community is challenged because some residents are not supportive of change. As such, it creates a significant challenge to move toward a new vision.”

Second, there is the current economic environment.

“The current economic environment and the federal, state and local economies are challenged.”

Then there’s competition.

“Significant competition for the recreation dollar exists from consumers’ own local area as well as from other competing destinations.”

The document also posed the ages-old question of “Can’t we all get along?”

“The recreation strategy can be undermined by the local community’s inability to coordinate efforts.”

As Measure R funds flow in and Measure U funds begin rolling into town coffers in the spring, the RecStrats document will begin to take effect.
As the wise Zen Master said, “We’ll see.”