State will provide loans for Hatcher Pass development

$24 million in state loans may get ski resort up and running

Posted: Friday, September 23, 2005

ANCHORAGE (AP) — The state says it will provide $24 million in loans to help develop a ski area at Hatcher Pass that would include Olympic-class Nordic ski trails, a day lodge and about 450 acres of residential property.

The state’s decision was eased by the Mat-Su Borough’s bringing electricity to the future alpine ski area, and testing soils and water levels in proposed residential and ski areas, said Jim McMillan, who serves as the deputy director of credit and business development at the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.

He said the borough’s efforts created a better picture of what level of development the mountainous area can handle.

John Rubini, chairman of JL Properties, on Tuesday told the Borough Assembly that the Anchorage-based firm is ready to move ahead on development at Hatcher Pass.

Over 30 years, Rubini estimated the borough would net upward of $20 million from ski area use.

The $41.25 million development on part of 3,000 borough acres would include an alpine ski area and day lodge; an Olympic-class Nordic ski area; about 450 acres of residential property on the south side of Hatcher Pass; and a 20-acre commercial village at the base of the pass.

Construction of Nordic trails could begin in May, and the alpine facility and village could be complete by September 2007.

The borough must produce $10 million to finance part of the project, money it hopes will come in federal grants.

Assemblywoman Jody Simpson said she had several concerns about the plan.

The borough could be saddled with running the ski area if JL Properties agreed to operate it for only a limited duration, she said.

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