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Southeast tourism highlights.

Tourism means big business to residents of Southeast. Here's a sample of how the region's entrepreneurs are entertaining today's travelers.

Ferrytales

Passengers lucky enough to hop a ferry traveling Southeast's 1,000-mile Inside Passage can now catch entertainers in the observation lounge. These acts are part of "Arts on the Ferries," a barter program of talent for transportation introduced by Alaska Marine Highway systems director, Jim Ayers.

You may watch performances like the poet who gives the ballad of the Lorax and Tarboolah Trees, a witty mix of fantasy and ecology in a land of sheer mystery. On other days there may be singers, dancers, storytellers and almost always, interpreters from the U.S. Forest Service offering informative audio/visual programs about the Tongass National Forest, marine life and other natural wonders of the Southeast.

Write PO Box 25535, Juneau, AK 99802, for a summer schedule.

Chill Out on the Chilkoot

Hikers from all over the world -- and all over Alaska -- test their mettle on the historic 32-mile Chilkoot Trail that starts 9 miles out of Skagway. Some of the hikers stay at the Skagway Inn, (907) 983-2289.

This gold rush landmark was purchased in May 1992 by Don and Sioux Plummer, who offer a cross-country ski package during the Buckwheat Ski Classic, an annual 50-kilometer race that draws more than 200 entries in late March. Double rooms go for $60 per night, breakfast included. Summer rates are $66 per night, and the Plummer's will throw in a lift to the Chilkoot trail head.

Tool Around Tenakee; Catch a Cabin.

"This is a real different place to visit," says Jan Eagle, city clerk in Tenakee Hot Springs, a tiny coastal community of about 100. "Mostly, people just relax."

Barb Scanlon, who works for Snyder Mercantile, (907) 736-2205, a business that runs the liquor store, the grocery store, the fuel dock, rental cabins and arranges Wings Alaska charter flights to and from the island, says there has been an increase in private yachts visiting Tenakee Springs.

Land lubbers can rent one of Snyder Mercantile's seven rustic cabins or stay at one of the cabins offered by the U.S. Forest Service, (907) 586-8731. Forest Service cabins cost: $20 a night, with a 180-day advance registration, plus fees paid to the bush pilots who fly you in and out via floatplanes.

Light Up Your Life

Obscure though these forest cabins are, if humankind is weighing on you lemming-style and you really want to get away from it all, head for Rockwell Lighthouse, (907) 747-3056, near Sitka.

The lighthouse is the brain child of Burgess Bauder, a Sitka veterinarian, who built the structure between 1983 and 1985 for about $70,000, then had it officially documented as a U.S. Coast Guard aide to navigation. Bauder says it was "worth the effort to get it on the Coast Guard list of lighthouses." The light has failed only once in eight years.

Up to four adults may rent the structure for $200 per night, for a minimum three-night stay. Winter rates start at $100 per night.

Ski the Summit

The Eagle Crest Ski area, on Douglas Island across from Juneau, offers back bowls, out-of-bound areas, 29 groomed trails ranging from novice to expert, and no lift lines on weekdays. The jet set has yet to find this 3,000-foot mountain, but Hilary Lindh, the 1992 Winter Olympics silver medalist, calls it home.

Lift tickets are $18 per half-day; rental rates vary according to needs; the mountain stays open December through April. Call (907) 586-5284 for more information.
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Title Annotation:Alaska
Author:Bowers, Barbara
Publication:Alaska Business Monthly
Date:May 1, 1993
Words:593
Previous Article:Interior tourism highlights.
Next Article:New cash flow from an old field.


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