Former Intrawest executive returns to Mammoth with YOTELPAD project
For the first time in more than a decade, it appears that new hotel construction is on the horizon in Mammoth.
Replay Destinations announced in late October that it plans to build its second resort-based YOTELPAD in Mammoth Lakes.
According to a company-issued press release, Gary Raymond, Managing Director of Replay, said, “Our success in Park City drove us to immediately find the next YOTELPAD location. Park City Mountain is one of the top ski destinations in North America and Mammoth Mountain is equally significant in the ski resort industry. At YOTELPAD Park City we’ve had a lot of buyers from Salt Lake City which validated our early inclination that the YOTELPAD concept would appeal to a drive to market. With the majority of the fully furnished PADs priced between $290,000 and $350,000 this price point resonated well with both the nearby Salt Lake market as well as buyers from around North America.”
If Mr. Raymond’s name sounds familiar, it should. Raymond is the former Director of Intrawest Resort Development, and was with the company for 21 years before leaving to become President of Starwood Development right around the time Starwood acquired Mammoth Mountain.
According to the company bio on Replay’s website: “As the former CEO of Intrawest Placemaking, Gary was responsible for developing more than 10,000 condo hotel units, 4,000 resort condominiums, and 1,000,000 square feet of resort commercial space.
So here’s the pitch. YOTELPADs are all about efficiency. And as Raymond tells it, the rooms are designed around three major pieces of furniture.
Which is how you have one room that functions as three: a bedroom, living room and kitchen/dining room.
1.) The Murphy bed which folds over the sofa. Raymond describes it as a “proper bed” with a high quality mattress and linens.
2.) Bunk bed. As you enter the room, you’ve got a bathroom on the immediate left. That bathroom shares a wall with the living room. And built into that wall, you’re gonna have a bunk bed that folds out.
3.) The coffeetable and the foldable chairs that store easily in the cabinets. Further, the coffetable adjusts at both coffeetable height and dining height.
A standard unit can fairly comfortably sleep 4. And those units are 350 to 380-square feet in size.
“We’re not selling return,” says Raymond bluntly. “This is about lifestyle.”
Real estate can be winnowed down to two fundamental decisions, he explained. Whether to buy, and then, what to do with it.
Raymond described YOTELPAD units as “starter vacation homes.”
Historically, the average age of a second home purchaser is a person in their 50s.
“This is a huge opportunity for someone in their 30s or 40s to get involved earlier in an affordable option.”
The sales team is led by Ron Barnes, a Principal at Vine Street Advisors which is based in L.A.
As Barnes says, “I’m seeing people’s use patterns changing. Owners are spending more time at their places. They’re wired, they can work anywhere, and there’s a lot more bouncing back and forth.”
He’s targeting a younger profile which you can find in that Silicon Beach to Hollywood, tech-meets-media world.
And with the YOTELPAD price point, you can cast a far wider net. You’re not necessarily looking for one-percenters so much as ten-percenters.
Barnes says many younger people these days like the idea of buying a second home before they buy a primary residence.
Barnes says the plan is to market the project through January before a reservatioon program is launched.
More about the property. The project site is 2.6 acres. Mr. Raymond said it will have a full deck of underground parking.
The property will have a third party restaurant operator. Current Nevados owner Tim Dawson has been approached.
The Park City project has a February, 2019 construction start date.
Mammoth will follow right behind with an expected completion date of 2021.
Mr. Raymond explained that YOTEL will manage the building on behalf of Replay, but that Replay will have a continued financial interest in the building.
As far as what HOA (Homeowner Assn.) fees might look like, Barnes believed they would fall somewhere in between the Village and the Westin.
Raymond’s reply: “Very reasonable … They will reflect what you can expect to pay elsewhere for a condo.”
He tied this back to the efficiency concept. “We don’t want to throw a whole bunch of services [at clients] that are required.”
He believes services should be “A La Carte.” Pay for what you use.
The YOTEL concept started in London’s Heathrow Airport, strangely enough, where weary travelers could rent efficiencies within the airport for four-hour minimums.
It then spilled over into major metropolitan areas such as New York, Boston and San Francisco – the emphasis being on delivering attractive common areas versus a focus on large-footprint rooms.
As to how Mr. Raymond found himself back in Mammoth, he says, “In the back of my mind, I thought the product would work really well here … it all magically came together. It really is cool to be back. Even with Mammoth’s expansion, it’s still a great small town and everybody’s still here.”