After sitting on the shelf for twenty years, plans develop for a hotel at the site of the Tioga Gas Mart
When Dennis Domaille bought the property overlooking Mono Lake that eventually became the Tioga Gas Mart, he had plans to build a hotel there, he told The Sheet in July as the Gas Mart (also known as simply “The Mobil”) neared its 20th anniversary.
“To make a long story short,” he said at the time, “the gas station got built and has turned out to be incredibly successful—to the point that I didn’t need to really do any more…development. I had my hands full…”
It seems the time for that development is here after all. Dennis and Jane Domaille submitted a Notice of Preparation to the Mono County Community Development Department on October 21 for the proposed “Tioga Inn,” a 120-room hotel with a 200-seat restaurant that will be built adjacent to the current Tioga Gas Mart.
Their application to build the hotel and restaurant was approved in 1993, but they have reworked the design and added a few features in the 20 years since they opened the Tioga Gas Mart.
The proposed acreage of the entire compound is reduced from 73.7 acres (in 1993) to 67.83 acres, but the hotel is now a proposed three stories, as opposed to two stories in 1993.
“My motivation for that is twofold,” Dennis Domaille told The Sheet on Wednesday, November 2. “One, a three story building is more energy efficient. And the other thing is that by making the footprint of the hotel smaller, we maintain views from the gas station…the gas station is probably much more important to the people of the Eastern Sierra than the hotel is,” he said with a laugh, referencing the Tioga Gas Mart’s iconic views and role as a summer watering hole and music venue for both east and west siders alike.
The Domailles also want to boost the restaurant’s capacity from 100 to 200 seats and build up to 80 workforce housing units onsite.
“I hesitate to call it employee housing,” Domaille said. “It’s just rental housing. But my goal is to make it affordable. Which for single people are small, compact, energy-efficient units so it doesn’t cost them a fortune to live there. It seems that’s what the kids and the millennials kind of want. They don’t want to tie up all their income in rent.”