Prospective buyer intends to maintain site as events venue
Since this summer, Sam’s Wood Site off Minaret Road, the traditional venue for Mammoth’s Bluesapalooza and Festival of Beers, Labor Day Arts and Crafts Festival and Sierra Classic Theatre’s summer Shakespeare production, has been in escrow.
Well, at least the four-acre parcel owned by Sam Walker and Dennis Hartman is in escrow.
What many don’t know is that the adjacent 3.2 acre parcel, called the Oetikirk parcel, is owned by other parties.
We’ll get to that in a moment.
The prospective buyer is a man named Dirk Winters, a contractor by trade who formerly lived in Mammoth from 1971-1983. Winters, who used to own the land across the street (which he sold to Stonegate developers Elliott Brainard and the late John Vereuck), is interested in maintaining the site as an events venue.
The deal between Walker-Hartman and Winters has evolved over time.
Both parties indicated that part of the deal initially involved discussion of density transfer.
The property is located within the North Village Specific Plan (NVSP). The NVSP allows for the transfer of lodging density within the NVSP between certain parcels.
The idea was that Winters could monetize the density, bringing down the cost of the land so that preserving it as an events venue would be more viable.
Unfortunately, said Town Manager Dan Holler, “Nobody’s been beating down the door wanting to buy density.”
As Town Councilman Bill Sauser observes, part of the reason that such lodging density has little value is based on how the Town has historically operated.
Traditionally, developers have petitioned for extra density, height and other zoning concessions in return for amenities and/or infrastructure.
So why spend money now on something you know you’ll be able to acquire later?