Eaglecrest continues to lay out plan

    Eaglecrest General Manager Dave Scanlan.

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Eaglecrest officials call it revisiting the development of summer operations.

    General Manager Dave Scanlan was the guest speaker at the weekly luncheon of the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce.

    The near $35 million plan includes a gondola with a summit lodge that includes viewing and seating areas, concessions, modern bathrooms and other amenities.

    The gondola budget is $11.2 million, $5 million is budgeted for the summit lodge, $4 million for the high speed zip line, $3.25 million for the mountain coaster, $3.25 million for utilities, $2.2 million for the Hooter chairlift replacement, $1.3 million for hiking and biking trails, $1 million for the ropes course and adventure maze, and $500,000 for road construction.

    The long span zip line would connect to the top of the gondola.  It matches what is currently offered in Hoonah.

    The mountain coaster would be year-round and youth oriented.

    The ropes course and adventure maze would be another attraction for kids and for team building.

    Another addition would be a lift-served mountain biking area.  It would replace the hooter chairlift and benefit the local population.  The trail design would be geared toward growing skills and would include more difficult trails via the aerial gondola.

    Another part of the plan is hiking trail improvements.  They would preserve and enhance the non-commercial summer use, follow the 2007 trail improvement plan, reach high alpine ridge lines, Cropley Lake and Heavenly Valley, and provide future trails outside the ski area boundary.

    "There is a lot of opportunity for us to do trail improvements.  A lot of local people who go berry picking, can get away from the crowds," he added.

    More activities would include disc golf, playgrounds, and gold panning.

    The statewide comprehensive outdoor recreation plan includes the need to improve access to outdoor recreation, activities for youth and all physical backgrounds and more winter time opportunities.

    The plan would also address the aging infrastructure at Eaglecrest.  They would replace the Ptarmigan chairlift, and the Hooter chairlift and upgrade for night skiing and snow-making.

    Economic benefits include 100 new year-round jobs.  It will help retain and recruit new staff, grow the winter economy in Juneau, and increase Juneau's quality of life and desirability.

    Scanlan said a lot of the staff has not gotten raises in six years.

    "A lot of people dream about skiing Alaska.  However many people think Alyesca is the only ski resort in Alaska," he added.

    Scanlan said they think they can attract a lot of independent travelers to Juneau.  He noted it can improve the CBJ finances.

    The resort attracts 107 people on average each day during the summer. 

    The financial model for the summer time plan includes a low projection of 489 daily visitors with the average visitor spending between $79 and $99 per visitor.  The impact would be over $6.7 million.

    A high projection would be 593 daily visitors with an economic impact of $8.25 million.

    "Summer development has always been the vision of Eaglecrest.  It will help us overcome our challenges and it will greatly benefit the community.  We think the timing is really good."

    Centennial Hall hosts a Chamber After Hours Event tonight to discuss what is going on with the facility. It begins at 5:30 pm


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