Road would offer cheap vacations

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I've been reading some of the letters to the editor regarding the cost of travel with or without a road to Juneau. I've read Dimitra Lavrakas "My Turn" column (Oct. 20) and disagree with this old way of thinking; in fact the road will generate more revenue and spur the economy in Skagway.

The road will bring more revenue to Skagway, Juneau and other southeast communities in the trade and tourism it will create. More skiers from Whitehorse would come to Eaglecrest in the winter to ski or visit the Mendenhall Glacier and camp in the summer. The same would hold true for Juneau residents; more of us would travel to Skagway for the Buckwheat ski classic, or Klondike Road Relay, or the Yukon and the Interior to ski or snowmobile in the winter; hike, mountain bike, canoe or kayak, golf, fish and camp in the summer.

More locals would buy land in Haines, Skagway and beyond if only they had road access, and road connection would lead to reduced cost of overland freight and other commercial goods.

In reading Chip Thoma's letter to editor (Oct. 12), and Sheila Box's letter (Oct. 14), with all due respect, your math and analogies are simply bunk. I learned growing up that it doesn't take a lot of money to take a vacation; we camped all the time. Why couldn't a family of four take a vacation for a couple hundred dollars in gas, camping permits, and groceries? Heck, you could spend a week or more in the Interior car camping for next to nothing. We do it all the time, and recently took a few days to drive down to the Liard hot springs, which was an inexpensive and relaxing trip, well, ferry excluded - it was late, as usual, and costly.

And Shelia forgot to do the math for a family of four in Anchorage, as well as forgot to include transportation expenses and lodging while in Anchorage. Those cheap airfares mentioned are not offered all the time, so the average trip to Anchorage for a family is much more then you reported.

I could name hundreds of places a family could travel for a cheap vacation by car if only we had a road to Juneau. Build the road; it's good for Alaska's economy and your long-term health. Get out a little more and you'll see for yourself what I'm talking about.

Dan Hays


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