Town Council looks at Measure U money for air service

Members of the Mammoth Town Council will spend part of their Fourth of July in a special meeting to decide if they should vote to spend Measure U, or Utility Users tax in Mammoth to subsidize air service this fall from Los Angeles to Mammoth Lakes by Alaska Airlines. The Town would spend $400,000 of those tax funds.

The Council planned to meet at 2pm July 4th to talk about this. The agenda bill says that “there is a significant risk of losing year-round air service…if funding to subsidize the proposed 4 days per week air service this fall is not secured.” At risk, Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht says, is the loss of service, ability to generate as much Transient Occupancy Tax, the FAA million dollar annual enplanement reimbursement, and other economic impacts.

The agenda bill proposes that air service subsidy be paid by Mammoth Lakes Tourism – $150,000; Mammoth Mountain Ski Area – $300,000; and the Town of Mammoth Lakes – $400,000.

Town staff says air service subsidy fits under the Measure U ordinance which, in part, says the tax money can pay for mobility purposes. Town staff says air service qualifies.

The ordinance does not allow the Town to substitute Measure U money for existing Town financing. The Town Council will have to decide if spending Measure U money is substituting or “supplanting” already budgeted funding. Officials say funds have not been spent directly to subsidize air service by the Town for two years, although Mammoth Tourism has spent money on this.

The Measure U account holds $84,401 from last fiscal year and is predicted to receive $922,853 in the new year in user utility tax on gas, phones and electricity.

The Town Council will direct staff to come back with a resolution appropriating Measure U funds or not.


47 Responses to Town Council looks at Measure U money for air service

  1. Roger July 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    Don’t you dare– good money after bad. Don’t give my money to rusty.

  2. Ken Warner July 3, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Not one more dime for the airport. Do I have to say why?

    Let them know how you feel.

    Matthew Lehman

    Mayor Pro Tem
    Rick Wood

    Michael Raimondo

    John Eastman

    Jo Bacon

  3. Ken Warner July 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    I sent the following email to all the town council:

    “Members of the Mammoth Town Council will spend part of their Fourth of July in a special meeting to decide if they should vote to spend Measure U, or Utility Users tax in Mammoth to subsidize air service this fall from Los Angeles to Mammoth Lakes by Alaska Airlines. The Town would spend $400,000 of those tax funds.”

    Not one more dime of my tax money for the airport.
    The airport is not mobility. It is a charter service for MMSA.

    Your sneaky meeting and agenda is appalling. Are you people completely mad?

    Ken Warner
    Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

  4. voodoo1 July 3, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    the whole situation now stinks, but we need to look past it for a moment. this subsidy is not about the lawsuit or the idiocy that went on surrounding getting air service. the airport is also not just a charter service for mmsa. yes the mountain is a benefactor (but let’s not forget that those people who do frequent the mountain are not just sequestered there – they frequent stores and restaurants in town and the county), but so are we, the residents, who use it for travel and business.

    look, like it or not our economy is tourism dependant and visitors are integral to the health and welfare of this community. maybe someday that will change and we will be more diverse economically and as a result stronger. but for now we need amenities like flight service that will in part attract visitors and keep them coming back. there is an absolute benefit to flight service, maybe not monetarily, yes it will cost money, but to throw it out now with the bath water is shortsighted and we can’t afford anymore of that.

    • SierraFan July 4, 2012 at 10:25 am #

      1000 percent agree voodoo1!! I know most folks drive up and the air service seems to be a colossal waste to many but it serves more then the purpose of air travel. It’s a fantastic marketing tool as well that shows that Mammoth is a viable place to ski similar to the Colorado and Utah resorts. Yes, MMSA is a benefactor but the town reaps many benefits as well. Again, this is more than “air service”!

      • Ken Warner July 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

        You can’t prove any of your assertions. Mammoth is not Colorado or Utah. There’s 9 million people in all of Colorado. There’s 9 million people in L.A. County alone 4-5 hours drive away. Mammoth has been a viable place to ski since it first opened. It doesn’t take air service to validate the ski hill.

        And what about June Lake. Why did it close 4 years after the Mammoth Yosemite Airport began regular Winter air service. And why has the TOT and sales tax revenues been in steady decline since 2007?

        Your “many benefits” are imaginary. You cannot prove any overall financial benefit to the towns people with real numbers.

  5. John Starts July 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    The ability to move or be moved freely and easily.

    First off the press has the math wrong, the “shortfall” of $400k in subsidy “guarantee” is for the entire spring, summer and fall air service, not just for fall service. Guarantee is just that a revenue guarantee so the airline does not loose money, more seats sold the subsidy goes down, the air service has been growing at MMH not declining. MMSA already pays 100% of winter substidy, the shoulder season agreement is a shared split with MMSA , town and county. Every small town with commercial air starts and continues with substidy until the market grows which takes time and money

    Measure U has Mobilty in it and to use Mobilty which is also know as transportation is appropriate. Since the town is now bankrupt over a development to build hotels at the airport, not air service, the loss of air service will be the final nail in the town, good idea IMO.

    • Benett Kessler July 4, 2012 at 9:29 am #

      Here is what the agenda bill says:

      Subject: Provide direction to staff on the appropriation of Measure U
      funds to subsidize 2012 fall air service provided by Alaska Airlines

      Initiated by: Mayor Lehman and Councilmember Raimondo
      Written by: Town Manager David Wilbrecht
      Recreation Manager Stuart Brown

      The purpose of this agenda item is for the Town Council to review and provide
      direction to staff on appropriating unallocated FY 2011/12 Measure U funds,
      and encumber future Measure U funds to subsidize air service this fall from
      Los Angeles (LAX) to Mammoth Lakes (MMH) by Alaska Airlines. It is estimated
      that an annual amount of $300,000 to $400,000 is required to subsidize fall
      air service.

      (And then later it says:)

      Town staff has identified Measure U funds as a potential source of funding for
      the fall air service subsidy.

      The entire agenda bill is inside the agenda for today’s meeting. It’s on the
      Town website. Google Town of Mammoth Lakes.

      Benett Kessler

      • Ken Warner July 4, 2012 at 10:34 am #

        Here’s the text of Measure U which says in part:

        “On or after July 1, 2011 all proceeds of the tax and imposed hereunder shall be accounted for and paid into a special fund designated for use by the Town of Mammoth Lakes, and used only for the following purposes: Planning, construction, operation, maintenance, programming and administration of facilities and projects for Mobility, Recreation and Arts & Culture. Such tax proceeds shall not supplant existing funds used for the purposes set forth above.”

        Intent of Measure U

        The Mammoth Lakes Town Council reaffirmed the intent of Measure U that includes expenditures to enhance Mobility, Recreation and Arts & Culture. Some of the examples for funding are listed below (in no particular order):

        Operating a performing arts center (O&M)
        Providing Transit service for special events
        Enhancing recreation needs
        Establishing event venues (both indoor and outdoor)


        The idea that Measure U funds can be used for anything that moves is ludicrous. Should Measure U funds be used to construct chairlifts or clean the windows on the gondola or buy riding lawnmowers for Parks and Recreation?

        I can’t find one word about today’s meeting on the town website. That’s disturbing enough.

  6. Bret July 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    Please don’t subsidize an unprofitable service by using taxpayer money. If people really wanted to fly to Mammoth they will pay for it, that is what capitalism is built on.
    One more word; AMTRAK.

  7. Anti-corruption Movement July 4, 2012 at 5:55 am #

    We should demand an ordinance that will revoke taxpayer-funded pensions for city employees who violate the public trust, and an ordinance that requires city lobbyists to register their names in a public database.

    Citizens expect an open, honest and transparent government. The lobbyist disclosure ordinance and the reformed Honorable Service Ordinance reflect the town’s administration commitment to running an ethical and honest town government. This will ensure that the people of Mammoth Lakes have a government they can trust.

    These two important initiatives should be put into effect immediately:

    A Lobbyist Disclosure Ordinance, developed in partnership with the City Council, the Law Department, the Mayor’s Office that requires city government lobbyists to register in a publicly accessible database.

    In addition to registering in a public database, lobbyists will be required to wear name tags in City Hall prominently identifying themselves as lobbyists, and to file quarterly reports that identify which city government employees they lobbied, how much they spent on gifts and campaign contributions, and how much they were paid for their work.

    Information about lobbyists and the interests they represent should be public information and easily accessible. This ordinance will create much greater transparency at City Hall and give the people of Mammoth Lakes an important tool to look more closely at how our government is operating.

    What do you think is going to happen now that a developer is the town mayor?

    • Devout Liberal July 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

      Anti-corruption Unit,

      Since you are such an upstanding citizen with impecable ethics, why don’t you run for Town Council?

      Talk is cheap !!!!!

      • Anti-Corruption Movement July 5, 2012 at 8:03 am #

        Devout Liberal unit,

        … because I believe that until any government, (local, national or otherwise) makes it a crime to accept any gifts, favors, nepotism deals, etc., from any outside source (developers, lobbyists, businesses, etc.) the system you have in place will always be a corrupt one. Especially in difficult economic times. There are many smaller communities in America that have taken the lead in establishing anti-corruption ordinances for their towns – why can’t Mammoth follow suit? I’m sure this will please those who have voted for them and maintain a fair and open business environment.

  8. Fed Up! July 4, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    Avoiding public comments by doing the peoples business behind closed doors? There is no need for a special meeting other than to circumvent the Brown Act i.m.h.o.

    It is time for total transparency regarding the funding of the subsidize air service, especially during the Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings. Has the current town council learned nothing from doing the bidding of the Chamber of Commerce / MMSA interest. If you haven’t noticed it’s the little people that are suffering the most for the incompetence of town leaders and their legal advisors.

    It appears that money pit we call The Mammoth Yosemite Airport is still hemorrhaging and in need of another never ending cash infusions.

    What is so ironic is the down fall of this town will be at the insistence of the business community that we need this air service to provide a wealthier customer base for their businesses and financial interest. The air service was suppose to drive up revenues under the guise of additional TOT. The general fund revenue appears to be being used at the whim the towns business interest, it is nothing more than an empty slush fund. The general fund has been driven to insolvency over an airport for air service that the majority of citizens have yet to use much less benefit fiscally from. Our leaders are now going to decide whether to use Measure U monies to feed this beast out of the public eye?

    I predict that the airport will eventually fail, it has been an ill conceived plan from the get go. A plan for its expansion before it even has one self sustaining air carrier that hasn’t threatened to pull out of the Mammoth market. This is just more of this fools gold we’ve been sold since the beginning. It has never been properly funded, marketed or managed. It was a pig in a poke from the very start and doomed to failure because of all the shenanigans then and appearing to still be taking place.

    I’m not buying the need for the emergency meeting, what we have here is more of the same manipulation for a desired outcome. This smells like the press release handed out indicating the unanimous vote for the town bankruptcy that was printed up before the bankruptcy vote was even taken publicly.

    It appears being less than forthright is just the way of doing business once again in Mammoth!

    • Devout Liberal July 4, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      Fed up!,

      The Town should be just like the Forest Service and state at the beginning of the meeting ( as the last travel management meeting ) that ” WE WILL NOT TAKE ANY PUBLIC COMMENT “

  9. John Starts July 4, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    “Avoiding public comments by doing the peoples business behind closed doors? There is no need for a special meeting other than to circumvent the Brown Act i.m.h.o”

    What are you posting about, it is a public meeting at 2pm today at town offices, show up and speak your mind.

  10. Roger July 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    This is to agree with and add to Brett’s comment. If people really want to fly to Mammoth, charge them for the true cost. If they are unwilling to pay enough, why should those of us who do not use, or plan to use the service, pay any supplement.

    • JeanGenie July 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

      Amen Roger and Bret, this isn’t bus service for handicapped people.

  11. Feeling ripped off July 4, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Robbing Peter to pay Paul. When will they take Measure R money?

  12. Really Fed up July 5, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    Well the meeting was held to a large presence of displeased and appalled town citizens. One after another chastised the town council for their unethical efforts. Council and staff were scolded for the appearance of an illegal taking the tax money. I think the people foiled this scam of the Town for now.

    Having this meeting the day after the town files bankruptcy is really disturbing said some. We find that the town has known of this potential shortfall but yet had not budgeted for it. What the heck!
    Then to call a emergency town meeting on the fourth of July, our nations independence day is a real piece of work said another. It was quite obvious that the council was surprised that any one showed up! They really thought they would get away with this.

    Shame on the new council member Mike for going along with this shenanigan and even putting his name on this agenda bill. I think the citizens should boycott the bagel Joint as a showing of disgust by this new member. I will be one. No more bagels in my house from that Guy. Hit him where it hurts. We need to get some picket signs too.
    To further exasperate this situation there was no No streaming video, No Tv coverage, no town clerk as one citizen pointed out. I think that Stu was taking notes.

    Oh and the overtime hours that might be spent on some staff -pointed out by another.

    This Town of ours still has not learned anything from these experiences.
    I say we recall them all.
    Oh I am PISSED

    • Also fed up July 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

      I am in total agreement with you Fed Up.
      The town deserves much more than it is getting.
      Love the idea of boycotting businesses. But how do you stop council members from sucking up to developers, lobbyists, and all the other outside sources “for the good of the town’s economy?

  13. Ken Warner July 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    I think that Benett deserves some credit for her timely posting of this clandestine meeting. Had it not been for her good and timely news reporting, I wonder how many people would have shown up at that meeting?

    Kudos Benett!!!

    • Big AL July 8, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

      You’re right Ken, they would have gotten away with it .. on the 4th. of July, hoping no one would show up .. or at least not in sufficient numbers to stop this … hmmm Yeah glad people were informed.

  14. Jake July 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    To the Town Council Wake Up… Your lack of leadership is just gross at this point.

    I hope your July 4th sucked!

    At this point I do not support the businesses of ANY council member.

    PS Eastman’s fake smile at the parade made me want to go spit on the ground he was standing on.

  15. upthecreek July 6, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    All part of the problem…

    Just stop spending money……PERIOD


  16. JeanGenie July 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Why should anyone have to pay to subsidize air service to Mammoth? If it isn’t self-sustaining it should go the way of the dinosaur. Why should somebody making minimum wage ( and probably not able to afford to ski in their own town) and struggling to survive help rich people get to Mammoth to help rich people get richer? Is this some type of trickle down economics?
    A tax on gas, phones, and electricity on people who may have trouble paying for these things already to get the Fat Cats up the hill, and yes Rusty’s fixing it so you have to be a fat cat because Mammoth is SOO expensive.
    Wake up people!

  17. Tourbillon July 7, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    Subsidization should not occur using Measure U dollars or any other public funds. Crony capitalization which crowds out healthy market forces cannot be afforded any longer, in Town (bankrupt), the state (insolvent), or the country (largest debtor nation in history).

    However, a ski town needs public air service year round or it becomes a rustic relic, because public air service not only draws those “rich” folks who will spend their dollars – the ones that fuel the economy for everyone – but it marks the town as a contemporary resort destination with full amenities. This isn’t 1950 any more. If Mammoth cannot attract public air service at its true cost, then we should either step up and compete better in the market – or accept that we’ll always be a second rate destination, attracting only those drawn to rusticity or with too few dollars to spend flying (or on much of anything else).

    • Ken Warner July 7, 2012 at 12:04 pm #


      One question that should be discussed by the people who live in Mammoth Lakes is what do they want their town to be?

      Do they want it to be a place dedicated to supporting any and all businesses that rely on Snow Farming? Do they want Mammoth Lakes to be run by the Chamber of Commerce?

      Or do they want it to be a great place to live that attracts lively, intelligent people and entrepreneurs who have professions and avocations that branch out into more economic and intellectual areas than tourism?

      Do we want to grow the year around full time population with good schools, good public facilities and lively and sophisticated social life or do we want a constant influx of transient drunks and others who only come here to Mammoth Lakes to party and a large population of seasonal workers who feel used and exploited.

      What should Mammoth Lakes be? Mammoth Lakes was once a ski town. It’s not quite a ski town any more. I don’t think it can go back because winter sports aren’t as unique and attractive as they once were. It’s lost it’s mystique. Why are we trying to hang on to the way things once were but are no longer?

      Not long ago, people in SoCal had the local mountains and Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain. Now people in SoCal can fly to Australia or Chile in the Summer and in the Winter almost anywhere in Northern Hemisphere. The air travel revolution changed the World in the ’80’s like the internet is changing the World today.

      The airport is way late in coming. If there was air service in the ’80’s and ’90’s maybe it would be more productive for our economy now. But here it is in 2012 and really no significant air service that can be relied on for skiers. And really, will there ever be a reliable, affordable air service that flies into MYA? It would take a network of flights from many more SoCal airports to replace the convenience of I15/395. A few flights a day a few days a week for a few months of the year just isn’t enough. But that’s all it may ever be. And that’s just throwing money down a hole.

      The population is changing — getting fatter and lazier — spending more time “connected”. The mystique of skiing got over sold to the point of becoming just another over hyped way to spend lots of money. People get that skiing is way too expensive for what you get unless you are dedicated and live in the area. And here in Mammoth Lakes, skiing is just a way to attract customers for large property development companies. Except that more and more people are just not interested in vigorous Winter sports. They’d rather spend their time playing video games that simulate Winter sports. It’s cheaper, easier and more fun.

      Mammoth will never be Reno which is a major regional hub next to a collection of highly regarded ski areas. Mammoth will never be Aspen with all it’s charm. Mammoth should focus on what makes Mammoth unique. And the main thing that makes Mammoth unique is its isolation and rustic nature. People used to come here just for those qualities. And as the town leadership has gradually eroded those qualities by trying to mass market “up scale” amenities, people have stopped coming. Look at the history of revenue intake. That should tell you the whole story.

      I think Mammoth Lakes should stop trying to be something else and just be itself. And we really don’t need air service at MYA to be our self.

      Again, air service for the Eastern Sierra is vital for the people of the Eastern Sierra. But MYA not the place for it and the town of Mammoth Lakes doesn’t have the money for it. Bishop Airport developed by Mono and Inyo Counties for the benefit of the whole East Side makes sense. MYA doesn’t.

      • Tourbillon July 7, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

        You make some good points Ken and I for one would love to see the local economy diversify. But tell me, do you really believe you’re going to draw those entrepreneurs and professionals who will branch out from tourism without an airport, hoping to sell them on isolation and rusticity only? I have news for you. Those types of professional people to whom rusticity and isolation appeal already are here and are known as second homeowners whose businesses are elsewhere, where access is not a 1950s throwback.

        Apart from that, the sad truth is that anyone trying to foster private companies in this state, ranked dead last in the country for business, is swimming against the tide. I’m afraid Ken that tourism isn’t the region’s best friend, it’s its only friend.

        • Ken Warner July 7, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

          A well connected regional hub at Bishop would let Mammoth remain isolated — sort of — and yet provide the necessary high speed transportation.

          Tourism is not our friend. It’s our dependency. And if there was more investment in alternatives to tourism instead of the blinders on, “it was good enough for my dad” business community, we could have tourism as part of a diversified and resilient economy that wouldn’t fold in on itself when we are in a drought — like we are now and will be for years to come.

          When I was a software engineer in SoCal, I would have taken any job up here in a second even for less money. But there were no technical jobs up here. Lots of technical types think the same as I do about working in nice places.

          Google and other big companies are building facilities in quite remote areas for reasons you can find out about with a little research. There is no reason why that kind of industry — the high tech industry — can’t find a home here except for the lack of effort on our town and county leaders.

          You are right that it’s the political climate that prevents or at least discourages such diversification. I don’t have any answer for that problem.

          • Trouble July 8, 2012 at 8:23 am #

            Ken- totally agree with you. Any company wanting to locate here should be encouraged to do so.

          • Tourbillon July 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

            You are quite articulate in your complaints but somewhat short on concrete suggestions other than vague pleas for government to do something. With which I agree, but in my case, the “do something” I’d prefer to see, and what I think is most needed, is for government to stop impeding, scrutinizing, regulating, and taxing everything unto oblivion and stay just a wee bit out of the way instead of straddling the economy like the Colossus of Rhodes. Or maybe you think middle class Californians, companies, and jobs are fleeing to Texas for the weather?

          • Big AL July 8, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

            You are right that it’s the political climate that prevents or at least discourages such diversification. I don’t have any answer for that problem.

            An answer to that is for this state not to be so anal retentive with all of the road blocks it puts businesses up against.

  18. Just the facts July 8, 2012 at 5:55 am #

    The earth has tilted slightly on its axis causing a climate change. Climatologists tell us to expect milder, winters with much less snow. It may be a good idea to start figuring out what else to offer our visitors. Other ski resorts such as Aspen, Park City, Telluride, etc. have been focusing on the bon vivant tourist for years already, offering year-round professional theatre, symphony, ballet, film festivals, art and culture … aware of what those who have the money (especially in a bad economy) are looking for.
    Hopefully the powers that be are not getting ready to take the money and running away.

    • Ken Warner July 8, 2012 at 9:34 am #

      You don’t have to be rich to enjoy the arts. It helps to be educated though. And Mono County and Inyo County could put a lot more effort into higher education.

      Everything I said about high tech professionals can also be applied to college students. Would a college student like to spend 4 years getting a degree 20 or 30 minutes from MMSA? That’s why the go to Colorado and Utah for school.

      And taking the money and run is what carpet baggers do. And we got a lot of carpet baggers in this town…..

  19. Just the facts July 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    Of course you don’t have to be rich to enjoy the arts Ken. But those in the ski industry who have been around much longer than Mammoth Mountain, have found that in tough economic times it’s common sense to focus on those with the dough. Deer Valley for example is close to an international airport, a metropolitan city, and are aware that those with the dough gravitate to resorts wheret snowboarding is prohibited. I don’t see Mammoth Mountain being able to prohibit snowboarders whose average age is 17 years old, sleep 8 to a room, dining experience is McDonald’s and their idea of culture is getting stoned and can’t afford to fly into Mammoth.
    Don’t take it personally – it’s’ just business.

    • Ken Warner July 9, 2012 at 4:44 am #

      If you are rich, you don’t need anybody to focus on you. You do what you want when you want. And rich usually means smart enough to know when you are being used.

      If something is good, good people will come and use it. You won’t need to talk them into it.

  20. Econ 101 July 9, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    I’m not sure you are clear on the concept Ken. Itseems to me that in tough economic times businesses must appeal to those who have money. Those without money don’t mind driving up from L.A. (as they’ve been doing for many years) to ski. Deer Valley (Park City) had the very same poor snow conditions as Mammoth last winter yet they had a decent year. Why? Deer Valley also knows how to upscale. They hand out Kleenex on the lifts, prohibit snowboarding, and cater to the world’s the elite (who have money in tough times) in various ways. The point I’ve been trying to make is, if the Mountain believes it can compete with that (or really care to) they are fooling themselves and those who they would prefer to pick up the tab for air service (us) who don’t use the service.

    • Ken Warner July 9, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      The people you refer to will still go to Deer Valley no matter what Mammoth does short of making MMSA a private, gated community.

      Secondly, the people you are using as your demographic model will fly to Mammoth in their own planes.

  21. Reality July 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Ken Warner: “I think Mammoth Lakes should stop trying to be something else and just be itself. And we really don’t need air service at MYA to be our self.”

    Ken, I hate to be the bearer of reality but that was well established back in the late 40’s. MMSA dictated that. Been reading all your rants on this issue and can not for the life of me understand that you do not understand nor accept that reality.

    The town of Mammoth Lakes serves one and only one purpose. To lodge, feed and entertain the people that go up there to ski or snowboard at MMSA and it has been doing so long before you showed up to changed it. Without all them people and MMSA, your mountain town dies a fast and furious death. The airport assists and is a vessel in your town in getting those people up there to spend their cash. The people who’s money pays the bills for all of you, including the Town proper.

    Mammoth Lakes is a Major International Ski Resort. In order to remain one, it must stay current with the rest of the ski resorts in the United States and those in California. Be thankful they do Mr. Warner. If they didn’t, then Mammoth Lakes would suffer the same fate as June Lake seems to be destined to.

    That is the reality of this issue.

    • Ken Warner July 9, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

      Rick, what was established in 1953 when McCoy got his permit from the USFS was a ski hill without air service.

      As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 665 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008; 6,157 enplanements in 2009, and 19,814 in 2010.

      So given that an “enplanment” is one person either flying into or out of an airport, in those three years we’ve seen 26636 enplanements or 13318 total people coming into Mammoth. MMSA has 1.4 million skier days typically. Crunching numbers, that averages 0,33% of one year’s skier days per year flying into MMH.

      And you think that’s vital? Ok, you are right and everybody else is wrong. Without that important 0.3% we are doomed — doomed I say.

      May I add that Aspen is frequently held up as the model for what Mammoth wants to be. Aspen’s airport is a couple of miles out of town and has been a commercial airport since the ’70’s. And last year, “…Just over 1.3 million skier visits were logged on SkiCo’s four mountains this past season; the SkiCo was aiming for 1.4 million. A skier visit represents one person riding the mountain for any portion of one day.”

      So I think MMSA competes very well with Aspen given that we generally have more than 1.4 million skier days a year without an airport.

      But I’m wrong, you are right — we are doomed I say, doomed.

    • Ken Warner July 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

      BTW: I didn’t come up here to “…change things…” I came up here to ski before there was commercial air service. The big developers are the people who are changing things. Rant at them…..

      • A question of ethics July 10, 2012 at 5:18 am #

        Is it ethical that the new town mayor of Mammoth Lakes is a developer?
        Will he automatically recuse himself in all developmental projects or promote them to the max?
        Who are the real winners in this airport development?
        Citizens who must pay for empty airline seats?

    • JeanGenie July 10, 2012 at 10:21 am #

      I totally disagree “Reality” there is far more to the town of Mammoth then skiing and the Mountain. Of course its probably not the glitzy glamour garbage that you’re talking about. Fishing, hiking, camping, and backpacking are enjoyed by a lot of people, but they are not the kind that spend their money on, dare I say it? BS? Mammoth would be different, but it certainly wouldn’t disappear.

      • Reality July 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

        Please give us a substitute for the revenue required/TOT to operate the TOML infrastructure that you currently enjoy if MMSA goes away. Oh, and pay for the $42 million lawsuit.

        Again, different is not the right choice of verbiage.

  22. Reality July 10, 2012 at 9:13 am #


    I am ranting. I sir, have accepted and adapted to the reality of progress.

    You are doomed only because you refuse to accept progress and want this quaint little ki town and vast “processed & farmed” ski resort, to yourself. You do not want to share your sandbox. You want it all to yourself thinking that self-reliance will generate enough revenue to feed the rats that turn the motors on all them chairlifts.

    Let us not forget, that when Dave started that hill, he had a permit for ONE Chair Lift and operational authorization for some 100 or so acres of public land. The day that he “retired” he had “developed” and implemented all that exist today at MMSA. It did not just happen. He was a major player in getting commercial air service to Mammoth. He was a major motivator in getting MYA up to speed in order to do so. He also encouraged the “big developers” to come to Mammoth Lakes. All this did not just happen. It was all part of the process that has occurred here at MMSA and throughout the Ski Resort Industry, for the last 30 something years.

    One last thing, Eagle County Regional Airport, CO, is located where it is due to the geographic impediments that existed in it’s original layout design plans. Even where is lays today, the geographic layout is far more obstructed/challenging than what exists at MYA. Fact is, it is well known throughout the aviation community as having one of the most challenging geographic approaches and departures in the world.

    “Those that refuse to adapt to and not accept the universal law of change in and outside of their lives, will not survive. That is the infinite law within the universe. Those species that did not adapt to the ever changing environment around them, became extinct.”
    -Capt. James Stockdale, POW

  23. Reality July 10, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Almost forgot.

    To be fair, you did not include ski day statistics for the following Ski Resorts that Eagle County Regional Airport services as well:

    Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Steamboat and Vail.

    Throw them ski day numbers in there and see how MMSA competes.


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