Mammoth Festival and Mud Run are out; Kids Adventure Games is in.
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (MMSA) is changing up their summer events schedule, canceling popular events like the Mammoth Festival and Mammoth Mud Run, but adding a few new events such as the Kids Adventure Games August 1-2.
Erik Forsell, MMSA Marketing Director, was out of the office and unavailable for comment, but Lauren Burke, Public Relations, had a few things to say about the Mountain’s summer events strategy, the canceled events, and the Kid’s Adventure Games.
“[Forsell is] creative and he likes to shake things up. He’s looking to really improve the guest experience as we move forward and sometimes that means making changes,” she said. “Every year, in winter, our events are growing. We’re trying to focus on summer now but there is just so much competition.”
Participation at the Mud Run simply wasn’t growing, according to Burke, and it was difficult for MMSA to compete with other adventure type races like the Tough Mudder and the Spartan Races.
“There are so many adventure races out there that have such a massive following,” Burke said. We’re really looking at how we can partner with one of those races to bring in a bigger crowd.”
Meanwhile, “The Mammoth Festival has been going on for years but it wasn’t growing,” she said. “And we really struggled to lock in talent for this year. We heard across the board that with smaller music festivals there is too much competition with the bigger music festivals. People’s schedules are booked years in advance.”
Burke said there will still be a wine weekend August 14-17 in the Village, with a winemakers dinner and Sunday Brunch at Campo.
“People are used to the way [events have] been done in the past but we are looking at ways we can make it better in the future,” she said. “[Forsell] has a really strong vision on the summer events plan and he wants Mammoth to be a summer events destination, which is why we’ve brought in some outside promoters this summer to really look at what’s possible.”
Take the Kid’s Adventure Games. Race Director, Billy Mattison, developed the Kids Adventure Games in 2009 at Vail Mountain in Colorado.
“The idea behind the race is to create an event that has all the fun things we dreamed about as kids,” he explained. “ With zip-lines, slip and slides, rope bridges, tubing, mud crawls and anything else we can dream up, the kids will have a true adventure and an incredible time.”
Last year NRG Marketing teamed up with the Mattisons and now six other resorts host the games in addition to Mammoth and Vail, including Snowbird Utah, Squaw Valley, The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe Vermont, Big Sky Montana, and Sun Valley Idaho.
NRG will start building the Adventure Games Course with their own materials at Mammoth early next week, with the full support of MMSA staff, of course. They will host a skills day on Friday August 1 to introduce the kids to the course and then Adventure Games staff will be at each obstacle during the race on Saturday.
Teams of two will compete side by side, “completing each obstacle together, teaching kids teamwork and patience,” Burke said. Registration is still open and the cost $150 per team. Burke is hoping 75 teams will compete and MMSA is offering $30 off, using MMCF as a discount code.
“We’ve learned that at Mammoth people sign up really last minute for these events,” she said. “So we’re just trying to rally the local community. We have some good traction going, but the more the merrier.”
With the help of NRG, the Kid’s Adventure Games could very well be successful. And Burke was enthusiastic about the success of Motorcross and optimistic about the Kamikaze Bike Games in September. “Our event production capabilities are huge,” she said. “We have the ability to support these large scale events. Its just picking and choosing the ones that are the right fit for us.”
But MMSA spent $1 million in 2013 to build an outdoor events venue at Canyon Lodge for that year’s Mammoth Festival, and the venue isn’t being used this summer at all. When asked about it, Burke said, “We use it for Night of Lights and we will have large scale events at Canyon in the future. It’s just taking this summer to refocus what those events are going to be, looking at partnering with other promoters and then moving forward to provide the best product that we can.”