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Hotels, Golf Course Slated at Mammoth : Plagued by Delays, Several Long-Planned : Projects Near Fruition at Sierra Town

Second of two articles on real estate at the Mono County resort town of Mammoth Lakes.

February 28, 1988|LOU DESSER | Lou Desser is news editor of the Times real estate section

MAMMOTH LAKES — While construction activity at this eastern Sierra resort town has slowed to a crawl, a number of major projects are waiting in the wings.

One project already under way is a $3.3-million Quality Inn that began construction last July, then was interrupted by winter snows. Developer Roger Parsons, broker/owner of the Cascade Co. of Mammoth Lakes, said work will resume in the spring as soon as weather conditions permit.

The 61-unit facility, on California 203 in town, will open in late summer or early fall of this year, according to Parsons. The Inn will feature underground parking, an elevator and oversized pool-spa. (See picture on Page 4.)

Hotel Construction

A use permit for a 150-room suite-type hotel on the corner of Forest Trail and Minaret Road has been issued to Tom Revelle, Seattle developer, who has been involved in other projects at Mammoth Lakes. The facility will be built in phases, with the first to start this summer.

Final approval was expected at press time for the Juniper Ridge hotel and residential development on 25.77 acres near the base of Mammoth Mountain's Chairs 15 and 24, according to William T. Taylor, assistant town planner.

Juniper Ridge would be a $106.6-million multi-use development involving land trades with the Forest Service, the incorporation of a $12-million ski area base lodge and a private road. Senior Corp. of Miami, the developer, hopes to sell the property to a major hotel chain, according to spokesman Michael Langs.

Single-Family Homes

In January, 1987, the town council approved a master plan for the project, which provides for 284 condominium units, a 300-room hotel, Mammoth Mountain's third ski lodge and 24,000 square feet of commercial space.

Gateway Estates, a $10-million development of single-family homes, was to have been under construction last spring, but financing delays caused a postponement, according to Bob Tanner, partner with Bill Tuthill in the project. Those problems have been resolved, and the first 20 homes in the 100-unit development will be under way on April 1, Tanner said.

The tract is on Meridian Boulevard east of the new elementary school.

A second project by Tanner and Tuthill, Silver Bear Condominiums, will be launched this summer. On Lakeview Boulevard, near Warming Hut 2, the $8-million, three-story structure will feature elevators and subterranean parking.

Environmental Delays

Sixteen of the planned 52 units will be built in the first phase.

Another Tanner-Tuthill project will incorporate at least 200 units of affordable housing to be built in about a year on 25 acres in the center of town, according to Tanner.

Environmental delays have plagued the $17-million Doe Ridge Resort and Golf Club, which was to have broken ground last April at Mammoth/June Lakes Airport. The project, which includes a 150-room hotel, two restaurants and an 18-hole golf course, was held up by an appeal filed by the Eastern Sierra Audubon Society, according to Jordan Glazov, the developer.

Glazov said the society had objections to the golf course. The appeal, which consumed eight months, has since been denied, and the Forest Service has amended its land plan to allow the golf course to be built, but with input from various environmental groups.

Convention Space

The county has issued a user permit for the hotel, which will include 4,300 square feet of convention space, 2,000 square feet of commercial space, a health spa, pool, tennis courts and jogging trails.

"At this point we know all the issues and don't anticipate any problems that cannot be mitigated," Glazov said in an interview.

Construction is scheduled to start this summer, with completion slated for summer of next year. The golf course, situated at an altitude of about 7,100 feet, will be the first in Mono County.

Designer Jim Colbert described it as "the Pebble Beach of mountain courses."

Environmental Appeals

The optimists at Dempsey Construction Co. are now predicting a start on the Snowcreek ski area in early 1989, but environmental appeals could cause further delays, they say. A draft of the environmental impact study should be available for public review on March 7, according to the U. S. Forest Service.

That review should be completed by June 1, with the Forest Service selecting one of six alternatives by Aug. 1. One of those alternatives is a rejection of the project.

Gail Frampton, Dempsey vice president, said he does not expect that to happen, but said appeals by environmentalists are expected each step of the way. At least one environmental group has vigorously opposed the project.

The $536-million development would include a golf course, hotels, condominiums, guest houses, restaurants and a convention facility, as well as 10 chairlifts.

Underground Utilities

The Ski Trail Mobile Home Community, located on six acres at the edge of the proposed Snowcreek Golf Course, has been remodeled and repaved, and underground utilities have been installed, according to owner Greg Ziebarth. New double-wide manufactured homes have been placed on the site, selling in the $30,000 to $40,000 range.

Caltrans continues its gradual widening of California 14 and U.S. 395 from the Los Angeles County line to the Nevada border. An official of the agency said that up to 62% of the highways providing access to Mammoth Lakes from the Los Angeles area will be four lanes by 1992.

In the meantime, growing traffic into and out of Mammoth Lakes was eased by completion last summer of a four-lane highway between the town and the junction of U.S. 395.

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