When the folks at Great Alaska International Adventure Vacations needed a shelter system that combined durability with comfort, they chose WeatherPort®.
“That’s what we were trying to achieve — luxury in the wilderness, so to speak,” said Laurence John, one of Great Alaska’s owners. “It’s not an African bush safari, quite, but it’s about as close as you get in Alaska.”
“We’re content with what the look is, and also we’ve had them for as long as 15 years and they still look good. The durability has been damn good!”
Outside Magazine calls Great Alaska’s Alaska BearCamp® “North America’s best bush camp,” and National Geographic Traveler Magazine listed the camp as one of “America’s Best Adventures.”
Great Alaska puts its guests as close to nature as possible, and the camp is designed to blend in with its surroundings while offering comfortable accommodations.
“What we’re trying to achieve here is using the dead, stark wilderness … and yet having an elegant, at least by Alaska standards, as elegant of an experience as they can have,” Mr. John said.
Guests have taken notice of all WeatherPort shelters have to offer.
“They’re comfortable, they’re decorated, they’re attractive,” Mr. John said. “I think, for the most part, people are impressed that it’s as comfortable and attractive as it is and they find it an unexpected, nice thing. Therefore, the reaction is very good.”
Located on the shores of Lake Clark National Park and accessible only by air or water, this award-winning destination is in the heart of Alaskan Brown Bear country. Guests get to soak in the rugged beauty of North America’s last wild frontier while witnessing one of the continent’s most majestic animals in the wild.
Great Alaska started with four WeatherPort shelters, “but as the years went by we kept adding two at a time,” Mr. John said.
Now, the Great Alaska has a dozen 12’ x 15’ SQ Series quonset-style sleepers, an 18’ x 20’ SQ dining hall and gathering place, and a 15’ x 20’ SQ for gear and equipment storage.
Each spacious fabric building came equipped with steel doors and window packages. The Great Alaska staff added cedar decks and other amenities.
“We wanted as much of a facility as we could get — by that I mean wooden floors, beds with mattresses,” Mr. John said. “(WeatherPort) just seemed like the appropriate product for us.”
Mr. John said easy installation was one reason why Great Alaska chose WeatherPort and they are “absolutely” quicker to build than other shelters.
“We’ve installed lots of wooden structures, you know, tent-size and cabin-size, and it’s easier once you get the hang of it to put up (WeatherPort) structures,” he said.
Great Alaska’s shelters are made in the USA using durable composite fabric membranes and high-strength metal framing systems. Mr. John said the Great Alaska staff uses standard tools to remove the membranes to store them at the end of the summer tourist season, but the metal frames stay up year round.
After nine months in storage, the membranes for all 14 shelters are reinstalled, a process that usually takes about 2 1/2 days, Mr. John said.
Once installed, the membranes are tough enough to withstand Alaska’s inclement weather.
“The design seems pretty bulletproof as far as big winds, and we get some big winds up here, so that part is good,” Mr. John said.
WeatherPort® feature low-cube packaging for quick, economical delivery, even to a remote camp like Great Alaska.
The combination of durability, comfort and value found in WeatherPort shelters is why Great Alaska is a long-term customer. Mr. John said Great Alaska would continue to use WeatherPort shelters and he would recommend them to other camp owners.
“Overall, we’re very happy with the product and the price,” Mr. John said.