Visitors Discouraged From Coming to Mammoth

Times Staff Report
Staff Writer

Mammoth Lakes Tourism is asking visitors to pull back from plans to visit Mammoth, until the COVID 19 situation calms down. 

Here is the message from MLT:

"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.

Below please find the exact messaging we are using in our communications to visitors.

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 ordersPublic 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. 

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.

For additional information from local health and travel organizations, visit the Mammoth Lakes COVID-19 resources page on

Thank you,

Mammoth Lakes Tourism

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. More details to follow when they become available. 

Lara Kaylor
Director of Communications"