Borough assemblywoman revs up action on Alaskaland

Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A member of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly is circulating a plan that aims to spur quicker renovations at Alaskaland.

Assemblywoman Bonnie Williams is calling for creation of an Alaskaland commission and an agreement with the Carlson Center to share some operations, such as marketing and maintenance, of the aging tourist attraction.

Williams also wants the borough to buy an electronic sign to promote Alaskaland and Carlson Center functions and to move Alaskaland's maintenance yard off site.

Borough officials and residents, who want the park to be a better draw for visitors, have been working on an Alaskaland master plan for years. The impetus for Williams' proposal is the most recent master plan draft, created by a consultant and released for public comments.

The consultant's recommendations come with an $18 million cost to move an old rail car, open a banquet hall in the Riverboat Nenana, close the mini golf course and shut the tunnel entrance to Alaskaland's shopping district, among other things.

Williams promotes installing better signs in the park by 2003 and completing parking lot improvements and landscaping by 2005. She also wants the railroad aspect of the park expanded.

But her plan is less specific about the Gold Rush Town, the park's shopping district.

The assembly has been working on some aspects of Alaskaland renovations. It passed a resolution last month asking the state to fix access problems.

On Thursday, the Borough Assembly will consider changing Alaskaland's name to Pioneer Park.

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