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Alyeska Royalty.

Alyeskit Royalty. Site preparation work began in June on Seibu Alaska Inc.'s new 311-room Alyeska Prince Hotel in Girdwood. The Alyeska Prince, expected to open in December 1993, will join more than 60 other hotels in Seibu's Prince Hotel network worldwide. Seibu, a major Japanese conglomerate, purchased Alyeska Resort in 1980 from Alaska Airlines, with plans to develop the area's winter skiing and summer sightseeing opportunities into a major international tourism destination.

Tourism officials call the project the first large-scale investment in a permanent, year-round, world-class visitor facility in the state. Bill Elander, president of the Anchorage Convention and Visitor's Bureau, says, "The hotel resort will be the cornerstone of Southcentral Alaska's fall-winter-spring tourism marketing."

At an estimated cost of $50 million to $60 million, the hotel is a major construction project. It is expected to generate 100 to 150 construction jobs over the next two and a half years, as well as 300 permanent hotel staff jobs upon completion.

During the 1980s, Seibu spent $20 million to upgrade Alyeska Resort's skiing facilities. Improvements included installing a bubble quad chair-lift on the upper mountain, expanding the ski trails, and building a new day lodge.

For the new hotel, Seibu purchased 80 acres adjacent to the ski area from the Municipality of Anchorage in 1987. Seibu also was largely responsible for infrastructure improvements in the area, as new water and wastewater systems and roadways were necessary before development of the hotel site was permitted. Through a $6.1 million legislative appropriation, most of the improvements were completed last year.

The seven-story hotel's design includes four restaurants, a lounge, gift shop, meeting and convention areas, indoor swimming pool and spa, and on-site parking for 950 cars. A new chair lift will connect the hotel to the existing ski slopes a mile away. Still in the planning stages are a tramway and skyride restaurant facility.

Seibu officials say Alyeska Resort's 29-room Nugget Inn will continue operating at least until the Alyeska Prince is open, but the ultimate fate of the 20-year-old hotel is undecided.
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Title Annotation:Construction; site preparation work began for the Alyeska Prince Hotel
Publication:Alaska Business Monthly
Date:Aug 1, 1991
Previous Article:Ship Creek contract.
Next Article:Unalaska development.

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