Wanna buy an 80-foot igloo?
The embodiment of an Alaska cliche is for sale.
The massive urethane igloo is a must-stop for summer tourists heading up the Parks Highway en route to Denali National Park. It can be had for $300,000.
The 80-foot high structure was erected more than four decades ago. It was built over a shell of plywood and two-by-sixes, but was never completed. The igloo, which shows its age, has never been anything more than a magnet for cameras and vandals. They 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 is 20 miles from the nearest community at Cantwell. It is prime snowmobiling country in winter and hiking in summer. It's in a land of rolling hills and willows surrounded by mountains and splendid views.
Fisher envisions the igloo as an eye-catching seasonal restaurant and hotel run on green power.
But 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. According to an estimate 15 years ago, putting in a utility substation would cost $1.3 million. Fisher thinks powering it with 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."
Critical thinking challenge: Why might the igloo be difficult to sell?