The University of Alaska Anchorage Civil Engineering department was requested by the Mountain Rider's Alliance to conduct a preliminary site design for a ski resort on Manitoba Mountain located on the eastern Kenai Peninsula. The goal of the Mountain Rider's Alliance is to design and operate a ski resort that has a small resort feel with big mountain riding, avoiding the current mantra of the need for multi-million dollar resorts in order to gain the perfect ski experience.
The Mountain Rider's Alliance requests the total project cost be in the range of $750 thousand to $1 million and meet the following economic objectives:
- Develop the minimum initial infrastructure which can be expanded to meet anticipated future demand.
- Create a facility that is designed to be supported by the local and regional markets, but will still appeal to a niche market of out of state and global travelers.
- Provide ski terrain for all ability levels from first time beginner to the highest level experts. Teach avalanche awareness and winter rescue skills.
- Provide the most economical ski and outdoor recreation opportunities possible for the Kenai Peninsula and South Central Alaska.
- Employ quality used equipment to keep the initial capital investment to a minimum.
- Use of surface lifts to increase dependability in high wind weather and minimize the environmental footprint.
- Create an economic engine to support the winter economies of Hope/Sunrise, Cooper Landing, and Moose Pass as well as support the year round operation of Summit Lake Lodge.
- Support the use of the Hut to Hut system in the Summit Lake and Johnson Pass area.
- Preserve the natural experience and scenic qualities of Summit Lake, by taking all efforts to minimize the visual impacts of the lift infrastructure and trail development.