January 03 2012

The Whitmore Track Project: Attracting Athletes to High Altitudes in Mammoth Lakes, Califonia

How can a world-renowned ski resort town attract world-class athletes in the summer time? The answer is a top-notch sports field facility. For Mammoth Lakes, California this project is called The Whitmore Park Track and Sports Field Project, a joint effort by the High Sierra Striders and the Town of Mammoth Lakes to be completed by 2015.

While Mammoth Lakes is known for it’s skiing, snowboarding, and endless amounts of snow, the town’s recreational facilities have been lacking. While endurance athletes have historically flocked to Mammoth Lakes to train at the high altitudes (7,880 feet; 2,402 meters), the town desperately needs to update it’s recreational facilities.

Whitmore Park, managed by the Town under a lease by the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, currently boasts three baseball fields, the Mono County animal shelter, a restroom facility, dirt access and parking. The contemporary facility is an effort to bring a high performance, all weather track and field to the Eastern Sierra where athletes from all over the world can train at high altitude. Modern design components of the project include:

  • A sustainable, nine-lane, polyurethane track and synthetic infield made from recycled tire product;
  • Concessions building;
  • Terraced seating;
  • A covered open-air picnic pavilion;
  • Walkways and plaza;
  • Fitness trails;
  • Workout stations;
  • Landscape design;
  • And surface parking.
  • Whitmore Track

Once completed, no later than 2015, the track and field complex will be available to all residents and visitors, including runners, walkers, soccer players, and football players. Weather will dictate the number of months the facility is open, but generally it will operate from spring to fall. The Whitmore Track project is a crucial step for Mammoth Lakes towards gaining industry distinction, promoting economic development, attracting more visitors during the summer and fall months, and providing world-class facilities to its citizens.

Do you think it is sustainable for tourist-based communities to rely on seasonal tourism? What can we do to promote locally-based, year-round amenities to tourists, including athletes?

You can read more about the Whitmore Track Project at the Town of Mammoth Lakes website.

Credits: Image linked to source.

Patricia Kent

Patricia Kent wrote for The GRID between October 2011 and October 2012. During this time she was a graduate student in Community & Regional Planning with a concentration in Latin American Studies at the University of New Mexico. She was also a recent transplant to Mammoth Lakes, CA. Her interests ranged from political theory and public policy to sustainable tourism. A strong advocate for participatory planning practices, her studies focused on community capacity building and economic development. She believed in fostering entrepreneurship in communities. Currently, Patricia is working on economic sustainability policies that benefit both the preservation of the Eastern Sierras as well as the ever-increasing tourist population.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 at 8:53 am and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Environment, Environmental Design, Government/Politics, Infrastructure, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Social/Demographics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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