Mammoth fired up, ready to go for Memorial Day Weekend


Mammoth is fired up and ready to go.

The projected occupancy rate is 53 percent, according to Mammoth Lakes Tourism—the same as it was last year. Midweek occupancy is expected to be 24 percent, up from 18 percent last year.

The occupancy rate is as high as it has been this spring.

The tent sales are open, many hiking trails are tread-ready, the fishing is terrific for this time of year and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is pulling out the stops.

There’s only one potential problem for this year’s Memorial Day Weekend, and it has a familiar ring to it: the weather.

The National Weather Service in Reno predicted snow for today, mostly after 11 a.m., but forecast less than an inch to stick. The chance of precipitation was 60 percent as of Thursday noon. Tonight, the weather service said snow showers are likely before 11 p.m., but only a half-inch of snow should fall.

By tomorrow (Saturday), things should be on the upswing, and by Sunday, the sun ought to be out, with highs in the 50s. On Monday, the weather service predicted sunny skies with highs in the mid-60s.

Whatever happens, the weather is not likely to derail the plans of visitors and locals, whatever it is they are itching to do.

The big action is at Mammoth Mountain, where a low-snow winter means the bike park will open nine trails on the lower section of the ski hill, even as skiers and snowboarders enjoy the last full days of the season.

Sierra Star golf course is open, too, as is Snowcreek, and the ski area announced a $99 package involving skiing, mountain-biking and golf—a combination that is hard to match anywhere else.

But that’s not all.

The community tennis courts are open.

The Lakes Basin is open, with plenty of lower-elevation trails open. (The Red’s Meadow area is a bona-fide mess, though, because of the massive tree blowdown from last November.)

Running is always an option, and chances are that some of the Olympic hopefuls from around the world will pass by you, saying “hello” in whatever language or accents they’re using for the day.

The road bikes are out this weekend, too. On Sunday, the local bike club, the Eastside Velos, has its ever-popular “Proof of Life” ride, hosted by Tim and Lani Standifer and Dennis Phillips. The ride will start and finish (as usual) at the BOG, (the “bottom of the grade”) where U.S. 395 intersects with Gorge road in Bishop.

There will be an aid stop there throughout the day with snacks, drinks, water and some chairs for those in need of a rest between any of the three cols. Check-in (see the club’s website for early check-in) is at 7:30 a.m. and the peleton rolls at 8 a.m.. 

The complete route will include climbs to the top of the Pipeline (Gorge Rd. on east side of 395)—nine miles one way, then to the top of the Old Sherwin Grade (Lower Rock Creek Rd), 11 miles from 395, and then to the top of Pinecreek—11 miles from the BOG.

If the weather is a problem, there are still lots of things to do, from television (The Indy 500 Sunday morning) and the NBA and NHL Playoffs, to a book-signing by Wendilyn Grasseschi at the Booky Joint on Monday afternoon.

All in all, it is the start of summer, shaping up as what the town’s marketing people already are calling “The Best Summer Ever.”

It would be hard to argue with that.