PALMER — An extended-awaited alpine ski space in Hatcher Cross is a step nearer to actuality with a brand new identify: Skeetawk.
The identify, introduced at an occasion Saturday, is a phonetic spelling of a Dena’ina phrase — Shk’ituk’t — that interprets to “the place we slide down,” in response to Louisa Branchflower, board president for Hatcher Alpine Xperience.
The nonprofit is making an attempt to deliver a uncommon new American downhill ski space to the Talkeetna Mountains northwest of Palmer. Members started two years in the past making an attempt to construct a raise-served space in Hatcher Cross, already a well-liked winter vacation spot for its early-season snow, ample terrain and scenic mountain views.
The world is at Mile 10.6 of Hatcher Move Street, and is groomed and open weekends. A $500,000 grant from the Mat-Su Well being Basis allowed the nonprofit to work towards the acquisition of a triple chairlift and rent an element-time government director. The group hopes to open for the 2019-2020 ski season.
Individuals submitted greater than 460 ideas for the identify, Branchflower stated. In late December, the board picked 4 finalists: Ptarmigan, Pinnacle, Fishhook and Skitok. A majority of the group’s one hundred sixty five members voted on their selection and Skitok gained in a landslide, she stated.
The unique phrase was the identify for a settlement close to Previous Kenai, Branchflower stated, so group members reached out to Kenai and native tribal teams and each have been supportive.
The change to “Skeetawk” resulted from considerations that Skitok duplicated the identify of the group Tok and different much less favorable phrases, she stated. “We modified the spelling to be extra phonetic as a result of we thought that may be extra applicable, and to make it our personal.”
The identify was usually celebrated however took some warmth even on the group’s personal Fb web page. An area historian identified how far the identify is from its origins. A number of individuals questioned why the identify wasn’t “Hatcher Cross” one thing-or-different.
The board needed to set the ski space aside from the bigger Hatcher Cross space and its many various consumer teams, Branchflower stated.
In late 2016, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough entered an settlement with the group to function the ski space.
The primary part of the venture features a 2,four hundred-sq.-foot shed for a snowcat, six miles of path clearing, momentary warming amenities and the newbie chair raise. The subsequent part features a parking zone, an up to date entry street, a day lodge and a excessive-velocity quad raise.