Is Vons’ new roof design, part of the $4.5 million remodel the Mammoth store is currently undergoing, a liability? As the facelift continues some locals have wondered if the new cover will be safe come winter.
With it’s slanted roofline, it seems as though snow shed onto grocery store customers is inevitable. However, Larry Elbert, a contractor from Arcadia, Calif. who is head of construction on the Vons remodel, says that’s not the case.
Three gables will be added to the front of the building — two at each existing door and a larger one in the center with the company’s logo. They will be slanted at a considerable angle — much like a-frame houses in Mammoth — so snow can easily slide off.
“On the sides of the [smaller] towers, since people sit out there, we’re probably going to put some kind of a heat tape on the roof,” Elbert said. This “heat tape” would quickly melt the snow or ice buildup on the surface, preventing any potential falling particles.
As with the other buildings in the Minaret Village Shopping Center, Vons will have snow barriers along the main roof as well. Additionally, Elbert said that the parking located directly in front of the store will not return once the remodel is complete since a red zone is required to be there. A handicap area may still be available near the front, but other than that, all parking will be located behind the cart dispensers. Also, since Starbucks has moved to the upper section of the mall (near Tailwaggers and Minaret Cinemas) along with the pharmacy, there is no need for the 15-minute coffee-break parking that was in front of the store before the remodel.
Keith Parsons of Mammoth Lakes-based Grace Roofing, Inc. said the gables “aren’t necessary, but they do divert snow more.”
The new design may not seem to have been conceived with a ski resort in mind, but when compared to other Vons across the country, the front isn’t nearly as flat. Since Vons is a corporation, however, there has to be some continuity to the stores’ looks.
In addition to local concerns about the roof, there has also been some griping about Vons not hiring local contractors for the remodel work. This idea, however, is false: the corporation took bids for everything and the “most competitive” bids were chosen, according to Elbert.
“We’re pulling in locals wherever we can,” Elbert said. People traveling from Southern California just to work on the storefront aren’t worth it, he added.
“We don’t need to pay the hotel bills for those crews if there’s a local alternative close in price,” he said. There are currently “a number of [local] people on the storefront,” according to Elbert, and the framing crew is “mostly” comprised of locals, though a few are from San Diego. Additionally, all concrete, glass, and other substances that require preparation have been sourced locally.
As for the remodel’s status, store manager Richard Graham says it will be finished “Tentatively the first week of August,” rather than the originally planned July 4 completion date.