Though the deal is not finalized, Mammoth Lakes Tourism Executive Director John Urdi said he intends to sign a four-year contract extension.
His initial contract had expired on June 30 of this year.
The news was broken by Mayor Jo Bacon at Monday’s MLR (Mammoth Lakes Recreation) formation celebration.
Though Urdi said a lot of [outside] opportunities have presented themselves – including an opportunity to return home to become New Hampshire’s State Tourism Director.
The New Hampshire job features an $8 million budget and 84 employees, according to Urdi.
Ultimately, however, he said he wants to be here for the TBID (Tourism Business Improvement District) process and see it through.
The TBID is essentially a tax measure to raise money for marketing which Urdi championed and which was implemented by Mammoth’s Town Council beginning last fall.
Mammoth Lakes Tourism Board of Directors Chair Brent Truax said “I’ve talked with the [whole] Board, and the board is on board … we have a verbal agreement in place, and expect the document to be signed this week.
While the extenmsion has been bandied about for awhile, Truax acknowledged that the New Hampshire offer “brought this to the forefront. It became more of a priority.”
“I love it here,” said Urdi. “I love that my kids can ski five days a week in winter.”
Now look below. The Sheet and Gomez’s Restaurant and Tequileria are hosting a Town Hall event Monday where MMSA CEO Rusty Gregory will be available to talk about anything and everything. Why Big Bear? Is there enough water for snowmaking? Does air service really work? These are just a few of the topics he’ll likely tackle.
As Rusty said this week, “I want to be accountable to the community. This is an opportunity to talk to each other.”
As far as the vision part, Rusty says simply, “I see a lot of big reasons out there to be optimistic. We wouldn’t be a buyer [of Big Bear Mountain Resort] if we didn’t think there’s a good upside.”
MMSA’s senior management will all be attendance.
If nothing else, the hope is that this event provides a nice excuse for the community to gather and look ahead to the 2014-2015 ski season.
So there I was, Monday morning, Suite Z, at a joint Mammoth Lakes Town Council/Planning Commission meeting, listening to another soul-deadening Power Point presentation.
The evolution of the Power Point presentation is a prime example of what happens when technology meets business school bullshit.
But just watch. Nothing trumps bullshit like a bullshitter. Within fiveyears, the Powerless Pointless is going to be skewered by a newly minted business school hooligan … and the debunking of the Power Point will spread like wildfire. “Oh, yeah, I’ve always hated those. Let’s get rid of ‘em.”
And it will appear so obvious, that the Powerless Pointless should’ve died long ago.
“But what do we do to fill the vacuum?”
Prediction: A rebirth in old-fashioned public speaking courses.
Observation: Have you ever seen Rusty Gregory use a Powerless Pointless? No, because he rehearses his material and tries to anticipate all the questions. If you know your material, you are freed from distraction to the point where you can actually engage with your audience.
Back on (Power) point … Council and Commission were gathered to hear consultant Jamie Licko describe an exciting new way to raise money – by taking it out of the left pocket and redistributing it back into the right.
What she talked about was the potential formation of an IFD (“Infrastructure Financing District), not to be confused with an IUD, or an IED or an iPhone 6.
An IFD is essentially a replacement for redevelopment, which was eliminated by the legislature in 2012.
In technical terms, Licko proposed “tax increment financing.” What this means is that as property values increase, the tax collecting entities would volunteer to “donate” a certain percentage of the revenue “enhancement” to a special district. The special district would then dream up wonderful ways to spend the money, though building a parking structure in the Village at Mammoth appears like the first priority out of the box and would suck up the first 20 years of tax increments.
But really, the main issue I had with the workshop is that Town Council and Planning Commission didn’t bother to invite the County, et. al. The excuse was that the Town needed to learn the material before it tried to sell the idea to others.
Suggestion: Instead of putting the consultant through her paces (yes, she was paid for by Caltrans through some sort of grant so she was ‘free.’ Government entities, a global-thinking bunch, believe anything not coming out of their particular budget is ‘free.’), take just a few moments to examine the current composition of the Mono County Board of Supervisors.
Do you think there’s any chance Messrs. Stump, Fesko, Johnston and Alpers will go for this (I omit Hunt because it won’t come up during his tenure)? Once I’d answered that question for myself, I was free to reply to emails and half tune out for the rest of the meeting.