Girdwood, Alaska — Alaska’s most famous ski resort is inching closer to a base village. However, a few roadblocks still stand in the way.

Turnagain News reported last week that the Anchorage Planning and Zoning Commission voted to dismiss a decision from the Girdwood Land Use Committee that would bar Alyeska Resort from developing the undeveloped space. The plan will now go to the Anchorage Planning Department for a vote on July 15. However, the head of the planning department said it’s possible that they may not accept it.

There are various reasons why this plan is a bit controversial. The first is that while the expansion onto this public land is deemed acceptable under the 1995 Girdwood Area Plan, quite a few people question whether this nearly thirty-year-old plan should still be valid for approving such a development. A new Girdwood Comprehensive Plan draft, which was released earlier this year, redesignates this land as open space. Secondly, the expansion would go into areas that are currently used as hiking and cross-country trails, which many people currently enjoy using. Thirdly, some worry about how an increase in traffic would impact their roads.

Ultimately, while some want it to remain it to become open space, the community needs housing, and Pomeroy Lodging, which has owned the ski resort since 2019, believes this roughly 100-acre plot of land is the best place to do that.

In phase one, Alyeska aims to grow a base village and build an activity village called Moose Meadows. The base village, which would be situated near the present-day hotel, could feature other hotel accommodations, a condominium, and a conference center. The Moose Meadows area could include workforce housing, retail shops, a community center, a daycare facility, and an NHL-regulation-sized hockey rink. Future phases would add more workforce housing and condominiums.

If they get the thumbs up, Alyeska aims to start construction in the spring of 2025 and complete phase one in 2027.

Image Credits: Skylab Architecture

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