Thank you for the excellent news story about the proposed new 150-room lodge for Girdwood.
This would be the first new resort lodge in about 30 years, and the time is right for another hotel in our tourism-oriented community. The tourism business in Alaska has grown so much in the past 30 years, and the demand for good hotel accommodations is very strong in Southcentral Alaska.
For a typical resort community in the U.S. or Europe, it needs more than one big anchor hotel like the Hotel Alyeska. Most resorts have numerous large and small lodges.
I am glad the state of Alaska is willing to offer a long-term lease on its land as, unfortunately, the Municipality of Anchorage and the Heritage Land Bank have not really been proactive and offered an RFP for such a development on the many hundreds of acres of suitable land they own.
I hope the approval process will be smoother and faster than in the past.
When our company, Seibu/ Prince Hotels, purchased Alyeska Resort in 1980, it took almost 10 years for the MOA to approve a master plan and the permits to build the Alyeska Prince Hotel. Because of the long delays in the process, the hotel project almost did not happen, because Alaska in the 1980s had a major downturn in the economy.
Our Japanese investor almost lost confidence in the MOA government process.
It is good that developers Treadwell and Faulkner have strong local roots and they and their families have lived and skied here in Girdwood and Alyeska for many decades. I just hope the majority of the residents in Girdwood will support this much-needed new resort lodge.
Girdwood and Alyeska are fortunate that we have a strong year-round business, and this should make this new resort development successful.
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