Cannery Job Opportunity Alaska - DOC by bcp14436


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									Sept. 5, 2004

Dear Mr. Zerbe,

        As per your request, and owner if the Arctic Circle Hot Springs (ACHS) the following are

facts and remarks as to the value (appraisal) of the ACHS Complex.

        Appraisal. As to getting an “official appraisal” from some concern on “appraisals,” I find

it about impossible to obtain due to all circumstances involved. I have talked with many

individuals and “household appraisers” on this subject, in reference to the ACHS and nobody can

arrive at a true, close appraisal. Consequently, I can only state the facts as they pertain to the

twenty-four years I have owned and operated the business.

        Background. I also have considerable knowledge, from 1937 before my ownership from

prior owners, of the entire complex. I also have knowledge of the entire history from the founding

of the Springs to the present. At this moment the entire ACHS is all bought and paid for and no

claims or encumbrances, or litigations, etc., against it. Also, my wife and I are the sole owners

(due to government grandfather rights) of the entire complex. A deed could be issued

immediately. At present we can accommodate from 150-200 customers. Business for the future

is unlimited for expansion.

        I bought the entire ACGS complex in May of 1980, and spent several million dollars in

renovations. The total spent to date from 1980 in cash and little labor is over eighteen million

dollars. Without question, the purchase price of 4.9 million is a “steal.”

        Our main reasons for selling are our ages (I’, 87, my wife, 69), and it is extremely difficult

to hire reliable, honest, knowledgeable employees. Another main reason for our very low selling

price is that I totally agree with your over-all plans for the Springs. For the past year I have been

advocating to three Native Alaskan organizations this identical same plan. All the native villages

in Alaska need this program. I do not know of a better plan to truly help the younger Alaska

Natives become better all-round citizens. Most of them need help as hundreds in the past 30

years have become addicted to dope and alcohol. They need help now.

        I was born in Fairbanks, have lived here all my life and have worked closely with several

hundred native Alaskans. Once your program is in operation, my wife and I would happily help

(free of charge) within your over-all program and donate several thousand dollars in equipment

and needs for the over-all success of your program. We cannot find one reason why your

program would not be a 100% success.

        Since 1943, I personally worked 17-20 hours a day building up the largest airline in

Alaska (Northern Consolidated Airlines and merged with Wien Air Alaska. I was chairman of the

board for 18 years and on the board for 45 years. Then I personally built up the largest

equipment yard (over 70 acres) in North America here in Fairbanks.

        I’m quite familiar with Alaska Natives, as we had over 400 working for us over the years.

When given the opportunity, as your organization will provide, Native Alaskans have proven to

me over my 87 years, they are the finest in this world, in all aspects.

        Future possibilities. The following are future plans I had considered for the entire area

with the ACHT complex being located in the ideal spot for these activities:

1. Our area for 30 miles all around us had 87 active gold mines in operation. The EPA was

    responsible for shutting most all of them down starting approximately 22 years ago.

    However, due to changes in government rules and regulations and technologies, the entire

    picture has changed. We know for sure, due to past operations, that the gold deposits are

    there (plus working all the old diggings from 1900 to present. An associated mining group

    from Canada, Denver, Colorado, etc. have spent practically every winter since 1980

    prospecting this entire area and planning a huge operation to extract gold from this entire

    area. They have spent millions already. They staked more ground three winters ago for

    future operations. It was suggested to them by a property advisor and owner that they buy

    the ACHS complex for their headquarters. They are constantly planning and waiting for the

    price of gold to stabilize. When in operation, this will be a huge undertaking for several years

    of operation. This will happen.

2. Our Hot Springs is rather unique. It does not have the sulfur smell of most hot springs. From

    the founding of the Springs in the early 1900’s the owners would cool the hot water and use it

    for drinking, cooking, washing and heir cold water source. I have spent considerable time on

    the economical feasibility of bottling and selling the water. It will prove to be a profitable


3. There is a definite supply of oil discovered in the Kandek area, across the Yukon River,

    approximately 60 miles from the Hot Springs. Helicopters and airplanes were based out of

    our airport while prospecting that area several years ago.

4. We have an excellent airport located on our 160-acre homestead. Our original owners

    donated this airport to the State of Alaska, which was the first airport in Alaska. We have

    cross runways. The first is 4300 feet long and the other approximately 2000 feet. The State

    does an excellent job of maintaining both runways the year round. It is hard packed gravel.

    The largest airplane to land is a C-130 Hercules, 4 engine, prop jet. By extending one

    runway another 700 feet, we could legally accommodate the Boeing 737 jets. We had ten

    737 Boeings in Northern Consolidated Airline. They were landing on gravel runways daily.

    There is unlimited space for expansion of our airport, if and when needed.

5. We gave considerable thought to generating electricity from our hot water source. Without

    question, this is economically feasible.

6. There is no limit to huge gardens on our complex for growing all types of vegetables. Prior to

    World War II, the Hot Springs owners had large gardens and hot houses for tomatoes,

    cucumbers, etc. They sold most of their crops. Approximately half their yearly revenue was

    from these vegetable sales.

7. I have spent considerable time over the past several years analyzing the feasibility of a ski

    tow on Eagle Summit, approximately 4000 feet at the very top. This is 27 miles right on the

    main Steese Hwy from our Springs. From the very top spot there are 5 huge valleys leading

    off the top in a complete circle. There would be five ski tows starting at the top and leading

    into each valley. Approximately 85% of these valleys are clear of trees, etc. Very little

    clearing would be necessary to complete each tow. Due to wind and blowing snow into all

    the low spots, each tow is perfect for skiing with little maintenance necessary. I feel certain it

    would be a world top spot for skiing at a minimal cost in comparison with other ski areas.

    Headquarters would be the Arctic Circle Springs. This would be a 45-minute run with buses.

    These five valleys would include miles of the best skiing in the world.

8. Probably the largest and most profitable venture I considered over the years is setting up a

    cannery for processing salmon at Circle City on the Yukon River. Circle City is located at

    the end of the Steese Highway, 164 miles from Fairbanks, and less than a one hour run from

    our springs. The State has a good airport there. The Yukon River is two miles wide there.

    There are hundreds of thousands of salmon running this river with very few being used for

    consumption. There is an unlimited market for smoked salmon of various varieties plus

    regular canned salmon. I can see no obstacles whatsoever to the success of this venture.

9. Setting up a flight school at ACHS teaching the native young people in Alaska to fly

    airplanes. Without doubt the venture would be a 100% success. Our company, Northern

    Consolidated Airlines, had some of our planes based in Bethel, Alaska in 1946. We had

    bases all over Alaska. One of our most capable pilots (also an excellent mechanic) was

    instrumental, on his own time, free of charge, in teaching six or eight native kids how to fly.

    All turned out to be jet captains and retired as such. These pilots were highly thought of

    citizens with excellent record as flyers. They were tops. Several other native kids watched

    this operation so they too learned to fly at their own cost. Practically all stayed in Alaska. At

    present, Alaska operators would prefer to hire Native Alaskan flyers because of their past

    records. I personally could place over 100 Native Alaskan pilots immediately on jobs flying

    in Alaska providing they had their licenses. On a permanent plan this would be set up on an

    ongoing, perpetual basis. I have talked to a few of the larger Alaskan airplane companies

    (plus my own experience since 1946) and they would prefer, without question, to hire Alaska

    Native flyers.

10. There are so many smaller ventures that would be side lines of the projects mentioned

    above—such as trapping, tourism, guiding, flying hunters and fishermen to remote

    areas, sales of products made strictly by our native people, taking tourists into active gold

    mines, a sight seeing boat run (for example) from Ft. Yukon to Dawson City (all beautiful

    country on the mighty Yukon River), etc.

All of the above mentioned projects are winners. Several hundred young Native Alaskan people

could be trained on these projects, then hired to work in each.

        I might mention, in closing that starting approximately two months ago, we had the worst

forest fire season in Interior Alaska in years. There were approximately 2000 fire fighters on the

job. For approximately six weeks, we at ACHS had from 300 to 600 of the fire fighters based

there due to its location and facilities. The government took over our entire complex and used it

as a command post.

        For the past two years, I have given it considerable thought, that, due to its location and

facilities, the Arctic Circle Hot Springs should be utilized by and for the native people of Alaska.

These young people could become better citizens without question.

        I would be happy to work along with you, Les, for the success of the above mentioned

projects. With my years in Fairbanks and Alaska ( I was in Cold Bay, in the army for 2 ½ years,

then 1 year in Fairbanks. I was in complete charge, with 40 soldiers, of building two large

runways, plus approx. 100 miles of road, from 1942 to 1944.) I feel very knowledgeable of most

of Alaska’s problems. With my years in Alaska and experience at the Hot Springs, it is my

sincere wish that this project go through and be a model facility for the Alaska Native youth for all

the USA to admire.


Robert Miller



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