Begich Wants Solutions to Keep Bear Valley Open

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Jay Barrett/KMXT
It turns out Kodiak’s Bear Valley Golf Course isn’t the only military-owned course that is facing closure in the immediate or near future. Anchorage’s Eagleglen, considered one of the nicest in the state, will not open this year, according to Lieutenant General Russell Handy, the commander of the 11th Air Force at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
In an announcement yesterday, Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich said they understood that federal budget cuts are forcing the course closure at Eagleglen and others around the country, but expressed disappointment that community-based solutions were not given a chance to work in Anchorage. Community leaders there, as well as non-profit organizations, business representatives and golf enthusiasts in general have met over the past three months to brainstorm solutions to keep the course open, but General Handy said only steeply increased greens fees would keep Eagleglen open. Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson also operates two courses at Moose Run.
Joe Bower, the Moral-Welfare-Recreation director at Coast Guard Base Kodiak, said earlier this month that the base commander was dedicated to closing Bear Valley after this summer’s season.
Begich said he is hoping the numbers in Kodiak could add up to keeping Bear Valley open.
“The question is, what is the deficit they are claiming? If it’s low, I think we could probably work something out with the community, and we should try.”
Begich says keeping Bear Valley open would serve to bring Coast Guardsmen and their families closer with Kodiak’s civilian population.
Golf courses on military bases have closed in Florida, Nebraska and Kansas in recent years.

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