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Mammoth really isn't that expensive to live in, not like it was say 5 years ago. I hail from so. cal, but rent is cheaper up here in Mammoth than it was in so. cal. I worked for a property management company up here and they were renting 3bedroom houses/condos for about 1200 a month that were in decent locations. It could be hard living on your own, but if you don’t mind roommates than you will be able to find a place to live fairly cheaply you just might need to spend some time looking for it (and if all else fails there’s always the ghetto haha) Food expenses are average, the only real kicker is gas, but since the town has free public transportation and is only 4 square miles you really do not end up driving that much if at all. You will have to deal with gapers on the weekends which can be annoying, but during the week the town and the mountain are usually dead. I really feel that working for the mountain in many ways is the beast option because of the free pass, because unless you are an MVP member or a college student a season pass is a very large chunk of change (as far as I know Costco isn’t doing the pass deal anymore). Also when you work for the mountain you know you are going to have sold work for at least 5 months. If your not making enough then supplement your income with a restaurant job etc, that’s what some of my friends did last winter.
I like the vibe in this town, the locals are very laid back, a lot different than where I grew up. I like that there is practically zero mountain driving. I do not know why some people are haters on this place. I agree that terrain wise squaw and alpine are more technical, but mammoth is a big, fun, enjoyable place.
I hope everything works out for you!