Local Tourism Groups Move to Discourage Visiting Mammoth

Lara Kaylor/Mammoth Lakes Tourism
Staff Writer


No longer “open for business”


In a difficult but necessary decision, Mammoth Lakes Tourism has begun to put out messaging discouraging visitation to Mammoth Lakes at this time to stop the introduction of outside illness to our community – the health and well-being of our residents and business community are paramount right now. 

We're asking anyone who is not a primary resident of Mammoth Lakes or providing essential services to our residents NOT to visit Mammoth Lakes for the time being. The reason is simple: as a small, remote mountain community our healthcare facilities lack the capacity to handle a widespread outbreak of COVID-19. Additionally, services in Mammoth Lakes are currently extremely limited. Mammoth Mountain and restaurants (excluding takeout services), bars and other public spaces are temporarily closed due to county-mandated health orders. Public gatherings have also been prohibited by the Mono County Public Health Officer.
We know that the CDC, WHO and the state of California government officials are recommending social distancing, and Mammoth Lakes might seem like the perfect place for that, we also fully understand the inclination to seek escape in the outdoors during difficult times, but the reality is that doing so right now risks lives.

Additionally, on Monday the MLT Board discussed and supported the following:

• MLT anticipates that TBID will be down $1m March - June (end of fiscal). As a result, MLT will make cuts to our expenses to make up that $1m

• Air service from JSX has ended as of Monday, March 16

• United Airlines service to and from Mammoth Yosemite Airport to Denver and SFO will be discontinued on Friday — LAX may stay on while loads permit until end of March then pause until mid-June or early July. 

• Enterprise Rental Car has paused service in Mammoth Lakes and while cars are still available in Bishop, there is no transportation from Enterprise to get to the Bishop rental location.

For the good of our community health and to help this pandemic pass as quickly as possible so we can get back to business, the MLT board support a mandatory shut down of non-essential businesses for a two week period – this action can only be implemented by order of the Mono County Health Department. (Note the Health Department did issue two health directives that went into effect on March 17, 2020 at 10 pm. Health Directive on Bars and Dining and Health Directive on Non-Essential Public Gatherings.

While it is difficult, MLT is discouraging visitation at this time to stop the introduction of outside illness to our community – the health and well-being of our residents and businesses community are paramount right now

MLT has paused all advertising until at least April 6 then will re-evaluate as spending money to attract visitation is pointless right now and in fact, detrimental to our community well-being. 

Immediate focus of the MLT team is on the content and creative needed for immediate recovery once people are ready to travel again. 

MLT will look to bolster marketing recovery efforts with reserve funds — we have the best chance to recover because we see the majority of visitation from drive markets, perceived safety of nature, gas prices being down, pent up demand etc. are all huge positives for us to recover quickly and we need to be prepared to get our messaging out ASAP.

We are not a conference and business market, leisure will bounce back faster. Also, while we do a decent international business, it’s not as large a factor as it is for our friends in the big cities around the country.

MLT will be working with the local food bank to provide supplies available to our employees affected by the recent and immediate halt of tourism business. We stand with the lifeblood of our tourism community and will work hard to make sure no one goes without a meal during this crisis.

This is a hard message for us to send, as we know how many of you cherish Mammoth Lakes and the wilderness that surrounds it, but we ask you to respect our community and this request to stay home for now. If we all work together to do the right thing during this public health crisis, we’ll all be able to enjoy the Mammoth Lakes area in a responsible and respectful way sooner rather than later.

Lara Kaylor, Director of Communications, Mammoth Lakes Tourism



Editors note: The Times has, and will continue, to try to stay on top of this fast-moving story. For more information, go to our Facebook page, where we are working hard to keep you updated, at https://tinyurl.com/rvgsxm2

Mono County and the Town of Mammoth Lakes are actively responding to the pandemic in a Unified Command Emergency Operational Center led by Mammoth Lakes Fire Chief Frank Frievalt, Town of Mammoth Lakes Manager Dan Holler, County Chief Administrative Officer Steve Barwick and County Health Officer Dr Tom Boo.  They have created a “one-stop-shopping” webpage of resources, information and sources, updated every day, multiple times a day. It is in both English and Spanish.

Here is the address: 


Be safe. Be calm. Carry on.