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Alaska City Revamp Designed To Immerse Visitors In Alaska Native Culture, Campground Planned

Alaska’s Saxman city has a fresh vision for the future. The officials of the town south of Ketchikan have recently unveiled a plan to improve its harbor and to expand the park’s cultural area, a report said.

City of Saxman Administrator Lori Richmond presented the plan to the Ketchikan Borough Assembly. City officials want to transform Saxman into a top destination focusing on Southeast Alaska Indigenous culture, not only a stop on the bus tour. To achieve this goal, Richmond says harbor development is crucial.

“The harbor isn’t equipped at the moment. It’s a blank space,” she said.

Although there’s a tiny marina at Saxman Seaport with a few floats for fishing vessels and recreational vessels, Richmond says the plan is to construct the port to accommodate more, including a dock specifically for smaller cruise ships. She claims that two Southeast Alaska cruise companies are ready to commit to dock their vessels in Saxman.

Another part of the plan is to extend the park’s cultural area. The area is comprised of the famous Totem Row, the existing clan home, and the carving shed. Easily-navigated, wheelchair-accessible walking paths would guide visitors to the different facilities.

The plan proposes the construction of two clan homes so that it is possible to hold multiple activities simultaneously, like dancing group performances.

The visitor’s center is located near the new one. It will have an enclosed bus drop-off and pick-up zone with an enclosed shelter. Other buildings built within the park’s cultural center would include the recreation center, theater, and an exhibit kitchen classroom. Richmond claims that all of it is designed to immerse visitors in Alaska Native culture.

Recreation is another aspect of the plans. Richmond claims that one area Saxman’s visitors don’t get to enjoy is the natural environment.

The list would include the tree ropes course, trails, campgrounds, and cabins with views of the surrounding mountains.

“And we’ve created the idea of two levels of those types of cabins, some that are a little less expensive from the bottom,” she explained. “It gives everybody (what they need) from just the backpacker who wants to camp overnight to somebody who needs a little more support.”

Once the plan is in place, the next step is to find funding. Richmond states that the upgrades to the uplands and harbor are estimated to cost $77 million. The trails, cultural park, and campground are estimated to cost an additional $26 million.

The city’s administrator says that creating the master plan is crucial for requesting legislative funds. The design will allow the project to be carried out by dividing it into phases over several years. The plan’s funding was provided by the taxes imposed by the state on passengers of cruise ships.

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Laura Martin
Laura Martin
February 17, 2024 9:57 pm

I’m overjoyed to share plans for traditional Alaska Native art installations, educational programs, and workshops in Saxman. It’s a delightful experience for visitors.


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Alaska City Revamp Designed To Immerse Visitors In Alaska Native Culture, Campground Planned! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/alaska/alaska-city-revamp-designed-to-immerse-visitors-in-alaska-native-culture-campground-planned/