Mammoth’s Economic Stimulus Council members met this Thursday on the east side of the Mammoth Creek Park to tour a new potential venue site. Before the tour, Mammoth Lakes Tourism Executive Director John Urdi noted that the town can do much more to capture bands passing from San Francisco to Las Vegas, and from Reno to L.A., relating that just a few days prior, Houston-based rock band Blue October stopped by for a beer, but not a show, at the Mammoth Brewing Company.
The proposed venue site stretches from Old Mammoth Road south to the last dirt parking lot along the east side of Mammoth Creek. Urdi suggested a VIP parking area, vendor space, or secondary venue closer to the road, with an amphitheater space to the south. “The thing that’s most impressive about this site are the Sherwins,” he said, gesturing to the view from the south end of the site. “And if we took off 100 feet or more of the hill” that sits between the park and the college, “we could easily host 6-10,000 people here.”
The amphitheater space hasn’t been discussed with the Forest Service yet, and “would obviously take some work,” according to Mayor Pro-Tem Matthew Lehman. But Community Development Director Mark Wardlaw reported that Deputy District Ranger Mike Schlafmann “told us he thinks it’d be relatively simple to modify the town permit” for the northernmost area “to allow for events.”
The group thinks the venue has much to offer that other proposed venues, including the Snow Pit and Canyon Lodge, do not, like proximity to town businesses, and scenic views.
The next step: hosting a discussion about the site, with another possible tour, and “finding a way to host an event that pushes on the permit process,” said Wardlaw.