LISTEN: Denali lodge owner weighs economics and ethics of late opening amid coronavirus uncertainty

Photo: National Park Service
Denali (National Park Service photo)

Camp Denali and the North Face Lodge are naturalist-oriented
accommodations in the heart of Denali National Park. The business is
just one many in the Denali area depending on tourism income that, for
the foreseeable future, is nonexistent due to coronavirus related
travel restrictions.

Add to that an announcement Tuesday by the National Park Service
to indefinitely close the only road into the park, and Camp Denali’s
owners, Simon and Jenna Hamm, are grappling with the economic and
ethical implications of a late opening, or possibly none at all.

Simon Hamm says they’ve had canceled bookings, and some would-be
visitors are still hoping to come later this summer or next. But Hamm told Alaska Public Media’s Casey Grove that the decision on whether Camp Denali and the North Face Lodge will open at all this year is a complicated, ongoing conversation.

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