Republican News

Republican News

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today welcomed the National Park Service’s (NPS) decision to sign a new concessions contract in the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve that will keep a local lodge and accompanying glacier boat tour service in operation.

“The Glacier Bay Lodge and the tour boat operation at Glacier Bay National Park are central to the Southeast Alaska community of Gustavus’ tourism-dependent economy,” Murkowski said. “The National Park Service’s decision to sign a new contract is good news for the community. The loss of the lodge would have been devastating and sent strong ripples through the local economy. This decision, which is long in coming, ensures that visitors from all over the world will continue to be able to experience one of Alaska’s most spectacular locations for the next decade, and hopefully far longer.”

Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, since 2013 has pressed the National Park Service to renew the concessions contract for the lodge. Murkowski and Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, sent a letter in June of that year to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell calling on the Obama administration to keep the lodge and boat tour operation open. She expressed appreciation that the new contract provides not only for improvements to the lodge but also a commitment from the Park Service to improve trails and attractions at Bartlett Cove to give visitors more to see and do. She notes that the new Tribal House being built at the facility is slated to be finished next summer.

The 56-room Glacier Bay Lodge represents about 40 percent of the town’s capacity for overnight visitors and also provides restaurant, shower and laundry services in the small community.