Eaglecrest Ski Area eyes plan for new summer activities

Juneau's Eaglecrest Ski Area wants to expand its summer offerings to capitalize on the big crowds that visit the capital city on cruise ships

JUNEAU, Alaska -- Officials with Eaglecrest Ski Area in Juneau want to expand summer offerings to capitalize on the crowds that visit the capital city on cruise ships.

Eaglecrest representatives presented the idea Monday to a Juneau Assembly committee, whose members were open to the concept, the Juneau Empire reported .

"This is the single greatest news I have heard come out of Eaglecrest since I've lived in Juneau — all 24 years," Assembly member Wade Bryson said.

Desired additions would include a rope-suspended aerial obstacle course, a gravity assisted mountain roller coaster, an expanded zip line and additional mountain bike trails, according to Ski Area General Manager Dave Scanlan.

The matter did not need Assembly action. Scanlan said he wanted to be transparent about a potentially large development, estimated to cost up to $35 million.

Scanlan said he hopes to return with a more definite plan in the fall. In the meantime, he wants to gauge the public's reception to the idea.

Eaglecrest is subsidized by the city, receiving $7000,000 a year for operations. Scanlan said the ski area also usually receives another $225,000 to $250,000 for deferred maintenance and other expenses.

Operators hope increased summer revenue will eliminate the need for the subsidy, said Eaglecrest board member Mike Satre.

"We believe this is an opportunity to pay for itself and generate additional revenue for Juneau," he said.