Onward through the fog


Looking back at 2010, we can see that our problems are as big as ever.
We have diverse seasons, major issues, inundations of visitors, yet one mantra has been ringing out for much of the year: preparation for renewal.

Our attitude toward solving those problems may have undergone a kind of tectonic shift.

The Planning Commission, the Town Council, the Recreation Commission, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and individual businesses have all endorsed the notion of being ready when reinvestment comes to town.

It might arrive in a sleigh, with bells jingling as it passes Mammoth Yosemite Airport.

The thought of being ready might not be enough to move the economy, but we think there’s something in the air – the hint of an upward scent.

This is in spite of the Hot Creek Airport litigation, a $30 million Sword of Damocles hanging above the Town’s neck, threatening a Chapter 9 bankruptcy if it falls.

It is in spite of our flagging fishing industry, the victim of falling trout stocking by the State.

It is in spite of the fact that while record numbers of visitors came to town in the critical July-August-September season in 2010, they spent little money.

It is in spite of the nation in general, in the midst of a recession that has made us blood brothers with such places as Detroit, and Oakland.

Even so, in our little village, neighborhood district plans are being knitted together into a plan for the whole town, with only Sierra Valley sites left to be shaped.

We have connected to the rest of the world with increased commercial flights.

The poster boy of the local movement forward may be Jim Demetriades – a Dave McCoy-can-do kind of guy.

His ongoing spirit of determination this past year provided a nexus of entertainment on his property along Old Mammoth Road.

From miniature golf to the whole Rafters experience and the rehabbing of Sierra Nevada Lodge, he has now added a skating rink ... in the absence of a town rink.

He has animated the Old Mammoth Road part of town, keeping alive the spirit of “if we build it they will come.”

If this past year has been a year of people coming together, working together and planning to improve conditions, services and the overall experience of living and visiting Mammoth, then here’s to 2011 and moving a little further up the ladder.