Near the highway leading up to Denali National Park there stands an 80-foot igloo currently owned by businessman Brad Fisher. It has become something of a landmark for the area, as well as an eyesore for those who want to see it torn down. According to KWTX, Fisher took over ownership of the massive structure in 1996, but has been trying to sell it for the last six years. The most recent price he set on the property is a mere $300,000, which includes the 38 acres that comes with the structure.
“It’s always been a curiosity for our guests,” he told the Associated Press. “It’s always been a uniquely Alaskan desired photo stop.”
Built out of a small forest’s worth of plywood and urethane, the igloo was constructed four decades ago when its original owner had a grand vision of a hotel. Unfortunately, construction on the igloo, dubbed “Igloo City,” was never completed. Now the igloo only hosts the occasional vandal who visits to set off fireworks inside the structure’s cavernous interior.
The igloo sits in an ideal location for hikers, tourists, anglers, and hunters. It was meant to be a vibrant outpost in a remote stretch of the George Parks Highway, and the scenery is as beautiful today as when it was built. According to the Alaska Dispatch, the igloo’s original owner, Leon Smith, sold the property a total of three times before it was acquired by Fisher. Every time, Smith was forced to reclaim the structure after buyers refused to pay. In the end, the igloo was sold for a pittance.
“It was just a dream (of Smith’s) to have a hotel that looked like an igloo […] the biggest thing about it is that one man built this thing almost entirely by himself,” Fisher said. “It’s kind of remarkable.”
Fisher himself intended to complete construction on the igloo and fulfill Smith’s dream of turning it into a hotel—eventually. He hired employees to operate the nearby gas station and even rented out cabins near the igloo, but renovation costs soon became too much. Fisher finally mothballed the project in 2005.
Now, just like Smith before him, Fisher hopes that someone else will complete the work that began so long ago.
“I’d really like to see someone go forward with it,” he said. “The fact is it’s too good to tear down and I keep hoping, at some point, to put it to use.”