How has a dry December affected Mammoth?
“It’s a steady mediocre,” said Marty Shapiro, owner of Another T-Shirt Shop, on Wednesday, January 3, when asked how his business was faring after the lack of snow this December.
Though Mammoth’s snowfall in December of 2016 paled in comparison to the record January that followed, this time last year, Mammoth Mountain had received approximately 104 inches of snowfall at Main Lodge, said Lauren Burke, Public Relations and Social Media Manager for Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. This year, as of press time, the Mountain has received 42 inches of snowfall at Main Lodge (and approximately 105 inches at the summit), Burke told The Sheet. Burke declined to say how many skier visits MMSA has had so far this season, writing in an email that MMSA “typically [doesn’t] release skier visits until the end of the year.” Burke did provide some numbers last year (just under 22,000 skiers on the hill on January 14, 2017, during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, for instance).
Despite the difference in snowfall, most Mammoth businesses reported that they’ve had holiday business that is comparable to last year’s. Robert Schaubmayer, owner of the Alpenhof Lodge and Petra’s Bistro, said “the holidays take care of themselves.”
“Families plan their vacations well in advance, and in most cases cannot cancel reservations less than 30 days in advance of arrival without losing their money” wrote John Morris, Director of Operations for Snowcreek resort, in an email. “I think a lot of guests just enjoy the mountains as holiday time and for them the snow conditions are not a big deal.”
However, Robert Schaubmayer said, “with the lack of snow, that jolly feeling starts to diminish for visitors and town morale alike. We’re used to seeing snow” on the ground in December, he said.
Robert and his brother Kirk, who run the Alpenhof and Petra’s together, said that they have the same number of employees that they had last year at this time, with Kirk reporting that numbers at the hotel were only 3.1 percent down from December, 2016, though occupancy was noticeably slower leading up to the Christmas holiday.