Today’s “Village” area is a mix of old and new properties including the redeveloped area known as the Village at Mammoth.
This area was originally an extension of the Canyon Lodge and Mammoth Slopes neighborhoods and was comprised of a mishmash of condo projects, funky commercial, motels, apartments, etc. During the depressed era of the early 1990’s, the surrounding 38 property owners agreed to the rezoning of the area in to the North Village Specific Plan. The concept would utilize the ski lift easement aligned with Canyon Lodge (Warming Hut II at the time).
This Plan anticipated the demand for the development of a “faux Alpine Village” similar to that in resorts like Whistler and Vail. This planning concept was the brainchild of Eldon Beck, a planning professor from UC Berkeley. The North Village Specific Plan allowed for greater densities and increased building height limitations. It also allowed for any combination of resort oriented usages including hotel, condominiums, commercial, etc.
Bob Dylan said it best “The Times They Are A Changin”
Once Intrawest arrived on the Mammoth scene in 1996, they began amassing ownership of the properties at the base of the lift easement. Old buildings were demolished and roads were realigned. Following Intrawest’s development of condo hotel units at Eagle Base, they began development of the condo hotel properties of Lincoln House, White Mountain Lodge and Grand Sierra Lodge. The Village Gondola was completed in the early 2000’s giving this neighborhood new access to the Ski Area.
The “ground floor commercial” of the condominium projects includes a mix of restaurant and retail to pique the interests of the upper floor visitors/transient occupants. Two additional properties were developed in the immediate area; The Westin Monache, a very high-end condo hotel property, and 80/50 a luxury fractional ownership hotel. Prior to the financial crisis of 2008, the Ritz Carlton and “W” were in the development process, but those plans were eventually scrapped.
The Redevelopment of the Village Helps the Neighborhood as a Whole
Many of the older, improved surrounding properties still operate much the way they did prior to all of the redevelopment, but benefiting from the addition of all the new traffic. The historic Alpenhof across from the Village is as popular as ever. The legendary Whiskey Creek closed in 2013 and was replaced by the very successful Mammoth Brewing Company.
Some of the older lodges remain but are abandoned and are waiting for another surge of development. Even the older industrial area on Berner St. is in a renaissance with new businesses. Today, many of the lots within the North Village Specific Plan remain undeveloped. In the mid-2000’s the luxury town home project Stonegate was developed in the south end of the Plans confines. This project fronts on Sierra Star fairway but has close proximity to the Village amenities.
To round-out the older existing usages, the Mammoth Slopes residential area fringes the Village adding a more sedate vibe to the area. The older existing condominium projects like Viewpoint, Val D’Isere, Helios, Mammoth Estates, Canyon Ski & Racquet and Mammoth View Villas have all benefited from the redevelopment and gondola addition. In the summer of 2014 the Town completed the sidewalk and street lighting on Canyon Blvd. between the Village and the lower Canyon Lodge making a major improvement to the entire neighborhood.
To the north of the Village is the Mammoth Knolls and Holiday Pines single-family subdivisions. While these are an easy walk to the Village they remain somewhat isolated because they are bounded on three side by National Forest land. This is a lovely residential neighborhood known for a beautiful mix of pines and firs. The immediate access to the forest makes this area popular for snowmobilers and snowshoers or for those who just want to take the dog for a walk.