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Landmark urethane igloo in Alaska for sale

By Rachel D'oro

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The embodiment of an Alaska cliche is for sale.

The massive urethane igloo that's a must-stop for summer tourists heading up the Parks Highway en route to Denali National Park and Preserve can be had for $300,000.

The 80-foot high structure was erected more than four decades ago over a shell of plywood and two-by-sixes, and was never completed on a 38-acre site, which is part of the sales package. The igloo, which shows its age, has never been anything more than a magnet for cameras and vandals, who set off firecrackers in its cavernous interior before it was boarded up.

But for someone with lots of money to spare, property owner Brad Fisher sees great possibilities for the picturesque location in Alaska's interior. The site, 20 miles from the nearest community at Cantwell, is prime snowmobiling country in winter and hiking in summer, a land of rolling hills and willows surrounded by mountains and splendid views.

Fisher, 55, envisions the igloo as an eye-catching seasonal restaurant and hotel run on green power.

Here's the catch: Creating a viable business could run a new owner at least a couple million bucks to get it ready and up to code.

For one thing, there is no available electricity around, which demands additional costs. According to an estimate 15 years ago, putting in a utility substation would cost $1.3 million. Fisher thinks powering it with such innovations as solar panels and windmills is the more affordable way to go.

It sure would be a shame to see the igloo go to waste, he said.

"If you had the money to get it going, I have no doubt that you could make money there just because of where it is," he said. "I mean, everybody stops and looks at it."

It's a total surprise for tourists who encounter the 105-foot- wide igloo as they tour the interior and the national park on excursion buses, such as those run by Holland America-Princess for cruise ship travelers. Spokesman Charlie Ball said that if bus drivers have time, they'll stop for tourists to snap some photographs of the bulbous structure.

"It's always been a curiosity for our guests," he said. "It's always been a uniquely Alaskan desired photo stop."

Fisher, who has owned the igloo since 1996 through his family business, Fisher's Fuels Inc., rented out four nearby cabins and ran a single fuel pump at the site until 2005.

The property has been for sale off and on for six years. If Fisher has no takers this time around, there are no plans to demolish it. In fact, at some point, Fisher said he would like to recoat it for weather-proofing.

"It's just there to stay," he said.

Join the discussion

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thekoshersissy April 30 2014 at 9:08 AM

Can I pay with match sticks?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Michele April 30 2014 at 12:05 PM

If this is prime tourist stopping area for snowmobilers, hikers and cruise ship travelers, turn it into a soup and grilled game restaurant in the winter and grilled game sandwich shop in the summer, with a store selling equipment and clothing for the sports activies and native costume jewelry and other souvenirs for the tourists. It can be energy efficient with solar panels and/or windmills.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
FREEDOM OF SPEECH April 30 2014 at 1:27 PM


Flag Reply +1 rate up
Kensdelrey April 30 2014 at 12:26 AM

How Much For ???

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
oemgeorge Kensdelrey April 30 2014 at 10:45 AM

Read the first sentence in the article.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
brennemanbelkin April 30 2014 at 1:03 AM

This is what is known as a "White elephant".

Flag Reply +7 rate up
3 replies
Whomever April 30 2014 at 1:11 AM

Stopping and looking at it i s a far cry from renting a room, and eating meals there in a restaurant. Face it...looking doesn't cost a dime.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
SAMUP April 30 2014 at 1:55 AM

I can not see the inside and would love to see that too. Where is the link. It looks like a cool place.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
2 replies
budshort SAMUP April 30 2014 at 8:49 AM

Take a look here...

Structural nightmare.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
sredgranny SAMUP April 30 2014 at 9:21 AM

me too

Flag Reply 0 rate up
lasiraque April 30 2014 at 2:27 AM

You have to wonder why Santa ever put it up for sale?

Flag Reply +13 rate up
2 replies
aldoussnowlive lasiraque April 30 2014 at 2:30 AM

I always look for comments from LaSiraque. You must be a comedy writer - or a professional writer of some kind. Please keep posting your amusing commentary!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
pattifer lasiraque April 30 2014 at 3:22 AM

Mrs Santa couldnt hook up to the internet. :)

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
Art pattifer April 30 2014 at 11:42 AM

If it don't work any better than mine, he must be blessed.

Flag 0 rate up
dwtomczyk April 30 2014 at 6:25 AM

alot of windows to wash

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
lassdorian dwtomczyk April 30 2014 at 11:24 AM

How can you wash frozen windows?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
earth2202 lassdorian April 30 2014 at 1:57 PM

Cleanser with antifreeze added to it.

Flag 0 rate up
Linda April 30 2014 at 7:30 AM

Well for one the shape of this "house" is really good for Alaska winters...no snow can stay on a roof that is rounded! It is BIG. But the cost of finishing it is even bigger.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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