Mammoth Creek Inn to expand


Targets families, larger groups

Suddenly, things are beginning to sizzle along the southern section of the Old Mammoth Road neighborhood.

Once a lonesome outpost for the Cast-Off and the Southern California Edison Building, the area by the end of 2014 could have the new Rock ’n Bowl recreation center/restaurant as well as three new buildings as part of a proposed expansion by the Mammoth Creek Inn.

The Inn, owned by Steven Hakim and the Mammoth Hotel Association, LLC, unveiled its plans before the Mammoth Lakes Planning Commission on Wednesday, Jan. 9.

The proposal is to expand the existing Mammoth Creek Inn by adding 12 additional hotel rooms in nine condominium-hotel (condo-hotel) units. The condo-hotel units would function as “hot beds,” a term the town uses to require condo-hotel projects to have things such as daily housekeeping service, a front desk, standardized furniture, fixtures and equipment, etc.

The nine proposed condo-hotel units would be contained in three buildings of the same design located to the east of the existing hotel building. The buildings are proposed to be approximately 43 feet tall, which is taller than most height requirements, but with its proposed understructure parking spaces, the height limit falls within the town’s requirements.

Hakim, who presented the plans to the commission, said the proposal also includes additional parking spaces to meet the requirements for the existing hotel and the 12 additional rooms. He said the expansion is targeted for families, primarily.

The presentation, which was to take just 15 minutes according to the agenda, went to one-hour, 22-minutes because of concerns raised by the commission having to do with appearance (Elizabeth Tenney), possible visual impact on sightlines to the Sherwin Range (Chair Rhonda Duggan) and parking (everyone).

Town Fire Marshall Thom Heller went beyond the specific project at hand, though, and urged the commission to examine the neighborhood overall.

“One of our biggest concerns is that whole block,” Heller said.

“You have a total of 103 parking spots between the 37 at Rock ’n Bowl, the 27 that are at Cast-Off, and the 39 that are proposed for this project.

“In addition to that, you have about 40 spots out on the road, but in the winter, those are going to be daytime use only.

“So when you add up the numbers for that particular geographical location in town, we’ve given away an awful lot of parking. 

“I know that people are not going to use the bus coming to the hotel, and people don’t use the bus to go the Cast-Off, so the big unknown at this point is really what’s going to happen with Rock ’n Bowl?

“We know the housing developments on the other side of the road already flow out onto the street, so parking in that area is definitely a concern as far as emergency vehicles go; not so big a concern for Police Department vehicles and the ambulances, because they’re smaller vehicles, but for larger fire trucks, it is a concern.”

Because the meeting was in a workshop format, the Planning Commission took no action on any aspect of the proposed Mammoth Creek Inn expansion.