Tucked high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Mammoth Lakes is a year-round resort destination at the foot of an 11,058-foot dormant volcano. Winter meetings can include both downhill and cross-country skiing, along with snowmobiling and dog sled rides. When the snow melts, the ski mountain transforms into a mountain bike park with an adventure center that features a climbing wall, zipline, and geocaching activities. The area is also known as a world-class, fly-fishing locale. While meetings can be held year-round, shoulder seasons provide the best value when using Mammoth Lakes' event venues.
Mammoth Lakes is a 45-minute drive south of Yosemite National Park's east entrance. Three miles from town is Mammoth/Yosemite Airport, which is served by United and Horizon Airlines. All lodging has complimentary shuttle service into Mammoth Lakes and the town has an extensive free trolley system.
Mountainside Conference Center is located in Mammoth Lakes Ski Area's main lodge, which rests 1,000 feet above the town. It is the nerve center for the ski area, with seven chair lifts and a gondola coming into the facility and extensive retail and restaurant offerings on site. The conference center provides 15,000 square feet of function space in seven rooms. It is attached to the 216-room Mammoth Mountain Inn, allowing for a ski in/ski out meeting.
Other major hotel venues in Mammoth Lakes are the 230-room Westin Monache Resort, with a 1,525-square-foot room that is divisible by three and can host up to 120 people; and the 181-room Village Lodge, with three separate meeting rooms able to seat from 40 to 72 people.
Groups who want to augment their meeting with a truly special mountain experience can find that in Mammoth Lakes' event venues. Midmountain Lodge sits about halfway up the mountain and can host dinner functions for several hundred. Tamarack Lodge is a 1920s-era lodge on the banks of Twin Lakes, one of five lakes linked by creeks and waterfalls that rest in a plateau valley just above town. The lodge, which has 30 guest rooms and 25 cabins, has no meeting space, but is often used for special events. In the winter, the lodge becomes the center of a Nordic ski area with 19 miles of groomed trails. Hayden Cabin, a historic hunting cabin on banks of Mammoth Creek, is a self-interpretive museum that can host a dinner or reception for up to 250 people.
The most exclusive venue in town is Tallus Ski & Golf Private Residence Club, a gated community of luxury estates that sits on the Sierra Star Golf Course. High end retreats can take over the homes (currently five, ultimately 19) as sleeping space and use the clubhouse for all meeting and social needs. It is also possible to use the clubhouse event space as an off-site venue. The room, which is completely surrounded by windows looking up to the mountains, can handle 100 people for a banquet and 250 reception style.
Dining in Mammoth Lakes can be as laid-back or elegant as a group desires. Lake Front restaurant, located in Tamarack Lodge, has an intimate historic lodge ambience. Petra's has an elegant French menu and the best wine list in town – and just below it is The Clock Tower ski bar, where visitors elbow in next to locals to play shuffleboard and choose from 150 beers on tap. The Smokeyard is a fusion barbecue establishment run by two South African brothers and Gomez's Mexican restaurant is known as the liveliest spot in town.
Along with famous neighbor Yosemite National Park, three distinctive state parks are within an hour's drive: Just outside of town is Devil's Postpile National Monument, with the third-largest waterfall in the state (in terms of drop); Mono Lake is an inland salt lake; and Bodie State Park, California's "official ghost town," which is an 1880s gold rush town that has been meticulously preserved as a self-interpretive experience.