About Mammoth Lakes Tourism Staff
Get to know the people behind the Visit Mammoth brand.
The Mammoth Lakes Tourism (MLT) staff works hard to strike a balance between bringing visitors to town and educating guests on how to take care of this beautiful place we call home. MLT initiatives ladder up to the goal of closing gaps in visitation during need-times (shoulder season and midweek visitation) in Mammoth Lakes. By filling need-times, MLT helps to ensure business owners and staff can rely on year-round income. Success in these endeavors is quantified by striving to reach 12 months of TOT viability — defined by the MLT Board of Directors as $1M or more of TOT revenue each month of the year. In addition to driving visitation during need-times, MLT helps to educate visitors while they are in Mammoth Lakes.
Meet the MLT Staff
MLT has an open-door policy. If you have questions about any of MLT’s work, please stop at any time to meet with staff members. Our address is 2520 Main Street, next door to the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center. You can also reach us at 760-934-2712 or by emailing the general office email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about the expertise MLT staff members bring below, or visit the contact us page for detailed contact information for individual staff members.
John Urdi, Executive Director
John moved to Mammoth Lakes in 2010 to lead Mammoth Lakes Tourism in its early years. His degree from Northeastern University and 31-plus years of experience in hospitality and tourism, including positions with American Skiing Company, Colorado Ski Country USA and resorts across the country, prepared John to lead the Mammoth Lakes Tourism team. He is passionate about tapping into all of the opportunities to grow the Mammoth Lakes tourism industry and bringing visitors to town during historically slower seasons. Locally, John is involved as a board member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation and the TOT compliance task force. He is also the chairman of the Visit California snow committee and a board member for the US Travel Association and California Travel Association. Winter sports have always been a draw for John, so he is grateful that Mammoth Lakes offers him and his children Bryn and Jace the chance to ski together and be on the mountain upwards of 100 days a year.
Michael Vanderhurst, Director of Sales and International Marketing
Michael Vanderhurst has 20 years of experience in sales. Michael is Mammoth Lakes Tourism’s “Road Warrior,” traveling to international markets worldwide to raise awareness and enthusiasm for the destination. Michael sits on the Mono County Tourism and Film Commission, The High Sierra Visitors Council, and is the point of contact for Brand USA and Visit California International.
Lara Kaylor, Director of Communications and PR
Lara Kaylor has more than 10 years of experience as a journalist, which gives her a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective on PR. Lara is responsible for Mammoth Lakes Tourism’s domestic media relations, including Visit California Domestic. Lara sits on the Outdoor Writers Association of California’s Board of Directors.
Brian Wright, Director of Marketing
Brian joined MLT with more than 20 years of executive-level experience in the travel industry. Early in his career, he oversaw sales, marketing and e-business efforts at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, working for Delaware North Companies (DNC) Parks and Resorts. He then served as Director of Marketing for DNC at Yosemite National Park. It was there that he first fell in love with the Sierra. During his time in Yosemite, Brian worked on many of the same challenges facing Mammoth Lakes today. Visitor education and sustainability were the main components of his work there, especially during the summer months. Brian has also served in multiple roles with Visit California’s (VCA), including time spent as the Senior Director of Communications, Director of DMO & Executive Relation, a member of the International Committee, chair of the Communications Committee, and a member of the Rural and California Welcome Center committees. Most recently, Brian worked as the Director of Global Business Development for Santa Monica Travel & Tourism.
Dakota Snider, Sr Marketing and Events Manager
Dakota joined MLT with over 12 years of experience as a professional photographer, working exclusively in the tourism, outdoors, and environmental education field. Combining his backgrounds in digital media production and parks and protected area management, with an emphasis on sustainable tourism, MLT was a perfect fit for Dakota 3 years ago.
Emily Bryant, Office Manager
Emily joined MLT in 2017. Born in Yosemite National Park, Emily started working for the park concessionaire in a variety of front-line customer service positions as a teen. During college, she worked as a receptionist for John Lambeth who introduced her to the world of Business Improvement Districts and assessments. After obtaining her degree, Emily worked with Civitas on various assessment districts across the state. In 2010 she returned to Yosemite to manage her family’s vacation rental and rejoin the hospitality world, holding a variety of management positions at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. In 2013, Emily accepted the position of Front Desk Manager at The Village Lodge for Mammoth Resorts, where she worked for almost five years before joining the MLT team as the office manager.