Finally went skiing this season. Monday.
I dropped my daughter off at school and then drove over to Eagle Lodge to get my pass validated.
But the lodge was locked. It was about 7:45. So I drifted back to the Looney Bean for a cup of coffee and then returned to Eagle around 8:20.
By then, the lodge was open but the lights weren’t on. There was no one at the ticket window. There were no employees lingering behind the partitions which delineate the “shops.” There were a few mountain employees sitting at the bar chatting, but there was no bartender.
No bartender. That’s when you know times are tough.
A woman came up to me and asked about ski school.
Another guy asked about tickets.
I appreciated their mistaking me for someone who looks like he knows something. So much so that I decided to ask the ski area employees with the name tags if, um, anyone was working.
Oh yeah, the guy said with a wave, they’re operating everything out of the other tent.
So we all (not the employees; they stayed right where they were) marched over to the other tent – a catch all for lessons, rentals, tickets.
The line was long. So I left. And drove over toy Canyon Lodge.
I found two ticket agents there. Got my pass. Headed for the lifts. Rode up with a local ski tech who said, yeah, I had a customer come in the other day who told me that he tried to get something to eat at Main Lodge at 2 p.m. the other day but all the food venues were closed.
It’s a tough balancing act, gutting it out in a drought, trying to be five-star, but it’s hard to be five-star when you don’t have the money to feed and maintain the horses.
It would be nice if the mountain could be a bit more up front and communicate what is/isn’t available at the various lodges. Someone could’ve saved me 30 minutes just by giving it to me straight. I didn’t mind checking in somewhere else.
I did have a buddy from L.A. write to me commending the letter that CEO Rusty Gregory sent out this week. An excerpt:
“I have asked our Marketing Department to give all adult and senior MVP members a $60 gift card to spend on anything we sell, including next year’s MVP which goes on sale late March. Pick yours up at one of the base lodge ticket windows by April 30th.”
Hint: Main and Canyon Lodges are probably your best bet.
So the “other” Mammoth leadership group appears to be finally stepping out of the shadows.
Very clever title. We’re about to reach the canyon and the bridge is out. Forward!
The group is spearheaded by Kevin Green, David Levy, David Page and Joyce Turner.
The group finally opened its meetings up to the public as of this Thursday (13th). They met at 6:30 p.m. in Mammoth Brewing’s Tasting Room on Berner Street.
The purpose of the group, said Turner before the meeting, was to generate a political platform first and then see if there’s a potential candidate out there who’s inspired by it.
Tentatively, meetings will continue every Thursday at the same location and same time because, says Turner, “This is a community organization and nothing says community like beer.”
Deb Pierrel is the only declared candidate for the Mammoth Town Council election this spring. We will have the full interview next week.
Pierrel has lived in Mammoth since 2001 and currently owns and operates Cle Hospitality with partner Katy Donoghue. Cle Hospitality owns the Avalon Lodge in South Lake Tahoe and the Historian Inn in Gardnerville.
And finally, a shout out to Sulin Jones at Mammoth Lakes Library.
Sulin hosts various craft activities about once a month and my daughter and I went to the Valentine-making hour on Wednesday.
She’s always well-supplied with materials, very encouraging … really facilitates interaction and conversation within the group.
We so often take our library and our librarians for granted. The staff over there at Mammoth Library is just terrific.
FYI, according to the Town, January enplanements at Mammoth Airport were down 21% from last year, 4,540 versus 5,766 in 2013 and 4,336 (another drought year) in 2012.