Mammoth Lakes Tourism (MLT) Executive Director John Urdi announced this week that MLT will petition Mammoth’s Town Council to tap the Joint Tourism Marketing Reserve for the second time in four months.
In November, MLT asked the Town to release $250,000 in emergency funds because of a “tourism emergency” due to a lack of November snowfall.
This time, MLT is asking the Town for the release of $400,000 because there is too much snow, jeopardizing the near-term accessibility of the Lakes Basin and potentially pushing Snowcreek and Sierra Star golf course opening days into June.
“We need to be able to give our guests what they want, when they want,” explained Urdi. “If they want to ski on May 5 and then suddenly decide to fish the Lakes Basin on May 6, we’ve got to adapt to consumer demand.”
“Make no mistake. We are in a marketing arms race,” continued Urdi. “If we don’t provide the services and amenities people want, they’ll go elsewhere.”
Urdi then explained his plan for the emergency $400,000 for Operation Spring Ahead. $200,000 will be spent on a combination paid/volunteer campaign to remove snow from “critical assets” by any means necessary.
Not only will this involve snowplows clearing the Lakes Basin, but it will also involve Citizen Brigades clearing campgrounds and providing access to shorelines, as well as drying out golf courses.
Charles Scatolini and Jeff Frome have volunteered to lead the Snowcreek Golf Course Mayday (aiming for May 1 open) team.
Scatolini explained the two-pronged process for accelerated course preparation, which he said has been developed under the supervision of Greenskeeper Bob Gibson.
“The first step,” he said, “is to focus on the tee boxes and greens. We use the shovels to clear most of snow, being careful not to ground the shovels, and then clear the last layer and dry out the ground with the hair dryers.”
For those citizens who wish to help, Mammoth Lakes Tourism has offered to purchase a Turbo Power TwinTurbo 3200 model hair dryer for anyone who puts in ten or more hours of volunteer service.
The 1,900-watt dryer, which comes in five colors, is equipped with a K-Lamination motor and retails for $155 on Amazon.
The second part of Urdi’s marketing strategy involves the production of a Spring Ahead promotional video starring Olivia Jade.
Jade is a “social influencer” who was recently caught up in the college admissions bribery scandal.
Urdi says the scandal has reduced the price for Jade’s services, and seeing as she is no longer taking classes at the University of Southern California, she’s available.
“We think the ‘meltdown’ theme as it relates to snow and Olivia’s career will dovetail really well,” said MLT’s Communications Director Lara Kaylor
“Plus, she’s really hot,” said Mammoth Lakes Mayor and MLT Board member Cleland Hoff. “The other board members asked me to point that out because they thought it would be too creepy coming from them.”
Urdi asked MLT’s Advertising Agency, Mering Carson, to commission a cost-benefit analysis of opening amenities ahead of schedule.
Mering Carson principal Dave Mering said the comprehensive $157,000 analysis found that for every extra day the Lakes Basin is open to the public during the summer season, the Town of Mammoth Lakes reaps an estimated $689,000 of increased economic activity, translating into almost $70,000 per day in tax revenue.
So if Urdi’s $200,000 investment opens the Lakes Basin a month ahead of schedule, the Town will enjoy more than $20 million in correlated economic activity.
Yet one more way MLT is making you money.
And for Chuck Scatolini, a 41-handicap, you can’t put a price tag on what every extra day of golf is worth.
“I know it’s supposed to snow two feet on Wednesday, but I’ll be out on that first tee box all night. I will never cede gained ground to the enemy – Mother Nature – and I don’t care what it takes. I’ll clear snow with my ball retriever if I have to!”
For those interested in joining the Operation Spring Ahead Citizens Brigade, there is a volunteer orientation scheduled for Monday (APRIL FOOL’S DAY) at the MLT offices beginning at 9 a.m.